New research explores how the fly brain reroutes odor information to produce flexible behavior

New research explores how the fly brain reroutes odor information to produce flexible behaviorTaking advantage of the simple architecture of the fruit fly brain, scientists examined how the molecule dopamine acts like an operator at a switchboard, changing the flow of information. Their work helps explain why the same stimulus can lead to different responses, and quite likely has parallels in the human brain. More »

Widespread skewed expression of mRNA components correlate with fine tuning of protein production

Widespread skewed expression of mRNA components correlate with fine tuning of protein productionIn numerous tissues and genes, the researchers found lopsided ratios in two parts of mRNA transcripts of genes, one of which carries the code for a protein and one that doesn’t. They suspect some of these skewed ratios may help control protein production, particularly in the embryo, but also in the adult. More »

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Luciano Marraffini receives the Hans Sigrist Prize for work on antibiotic resistance

Luciano Marraffini receives the Hans Sigrist Prize for work on antibiotic resistanceThis award, bestowed by the University of Bern, honors Marraffini for his work developing a new approach to fight antibiotic resistance. Marraffini studies CRISPR-Cas systems, which enable some bacteria to acquire immunity against viruses, and is investigating ways to use them to fight off microbial pathogens. More »

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Mosquitoes are tuned to seek out temperatures that match warm-blooded hosts

Mosquitoes are tuned to seek out temperatures that match warm-blooded hostsResearchers have described a process that allows the insects to distinguish between temperatures with high precision to find their prey. Studies like this one may help generate better repellents, traps, and other ways to control mosquitoes. More »

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Groundbreaking ceremony marks start of construction on East River seawall repairs

Groundbreaking ceremony marks start of construction on East River seawall repairsThe university has started to refurbish the damaged seawall that supports the East River Esplanade between 63rd and 68th Streets as part of the campus extension project. The esplanade will also be improved, with a new bike lane, landscaping, and a noise barrier along the FDR Drive. More »

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Researchers discover new aspect of gene regulation and a possible target for cancer drugs

Researchers discover new aspect of gene regulation and a possible target for future cancer drugsThe expression of about three-quarters of a cell’s active genes is controlled by a process in which the DNA-transcribing enzyme hesitates before going to work. Experiments have identified the complex of proteins that helps restart this enzyme when it stalls, and so helped to explain how some promising cancer drugs work. More »

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Study suggests new way to help the immune system fight off sleeping sickness parasite

Study suggests new way to help the immune system fight off sleeping sickness parasiteThere are currently few treatments for the disease, and those that exist have substantial side effects. A new study reveals a method, involving epigenetic mechanisms, that causes the African sleeping sickness parasite to change into a new state, potentially making it easier for the host immune system to eliminate it. More »

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New research helps to explain how temperature shifts the circadian clock

New research helps to explain how temperature shifts the circadian clockOne important aspect of the internal time-keeping system continues to perplex scientists: its complex response to temperature, which can shift the clock forward or backward, but cannot change its 24-hour period. New experiments help explain how this is possible. More »

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Study reveals new mechanism in nicotine addiction

Study reveals new mechanism in nicotine addictionTwo chemical signals, acetylcholine and glutamate, were known to act as part of the negative reward system that fuels craving, but it wasn’t clear how this happened. In new experiments, researchers have learned that one of these neurotransmitters, acetylcholine, regulates the other, glutamate, to reinforce nicotine dependence. More »

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A newly discovered signaling molecule helps neurons find their way in the developing brain

Commissural neurons in a mouse embryoIn the developing nervous system, some neurons must extend their branches to connect one half of the brain with the other. A new study sheds light on the molecular mechanisms that guide the winding paths of their axons. More »

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Mutations in key cancer protein suggest new route to treatments

Mutations in key cancer protein suggest new route to treatmentsResearchers found they could disrupt STAT3’s ability to act as a transcription factor and so contribute to the proliferation of cancerous cells, by altering a particular part of the protein. This accomplishment suggests a basis for new, targeted approaches to fighting cancer. More »

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Rockefeller’s newest faculty member investigates how antibodies are made

Rockefeller’s newest faculty member investigates how antibodies are madeGabriel Victora, an immunologist who studies the processes by which the immune system refines its response to an infection, will establish the Laboratory of Lymphocyte Dynamics in September of 2016 where he will study antibody responses at the levels molecules, cells, and whole organs. More »

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DNA strands often “wiggle” as part of genetic repair

DNA strands often “wiggle” as part of genetic repairNew research indicates that every time a double-stranded break occurs in DNA strands, the damaged ends move about during repair. Scientists believe a better understanding of this mysterious mechanism could improve the use of cancer treatments, some of which manipulate DNA repair in malignant cells. More »

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Study reveals the architecture of the molecular machine that copies DNA

Study reveals the architecture of the molecular machine that copies DNAUntil now, the exact configuration of the replisome, a block of proteins that unzips the DNA helix and creates two duplicate helices, was unknown. After taking the first complete pictures of it, researchers were surprised to find the complex possesses a counterintuitive architecture, raising new questions about its functions. More »

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Researchers examine how a face represents a whole person in the brain

Researchers examine how a face represents a whole person in the brainA face is more than a collection of features; it can represent the complete individual. A new brain imaging study shows that parts of a primate face processing system actually prefer faces with bodies, offering new insight into how faces convey this broader social information. More »

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Discovery of genes involved in inner ear development hints at a way to restore hearing and balance

Discovery of genes involved in inner ear development hints at a way to restore hearing and balanceScientists have identified two genes crucial to the production of delicate sensors, called hair cells, in mammals. These genes, or others in the same pathway, could be promising targets for efforts to treat hearing loss or balance problems, the scientists suggest. More »

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Researchers explore how a cell’s protein-making factories are assembled

Researchers explore how a cell’s protein-making factories are assembledThe intricate dynamics of ribosome assembly, an elaborate and carefully coordinated process that happens continuously inside cells, are not yet fully understood. Using a new technique they devised, researchers have mapped out the proteins involved in the early stages of the construction of a ribosome. More »

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Researchers identify potential new leukemia drug target

Researchers identify potential new leukemia drug targetIn some cases of acute myeloid leukemia, a mutant protein is known to cause dramatic changes in gene expression. Now researchers have identified a second protein with similar function that plays an even broader role in the disease. More »

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Jean-Laurent Casanova elected to the National Academy of Medicine

Jean-Laurent Casanova elected to the National Academy of MedicineWith his election, Casanova, who investigates the genetic underpinnings of unusual vulnerability to specific infectious diseases among young people, receives one of the highest honors within the field of medicine. Seventeen Rockefeller scientists are currently members of the academy of medicine. More »

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Helmsley Trust renews $15 million grant for novel digestive disorders research

Helmsley Trust renews $15 million grant for novel digestive disorders research The funding renewal will support research initiatives within Rockefeller’s interdisciplinary Center for Basic and Translational Research on Disorders of the Digestive System. The center brings together about 20 labs that study a broad range of biological processes related to the digestive system. More »

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