Human stem cells can contribute to a developing mouse embryo, despite evolutionary differences

A new line of human embryonic stem cells, created using private funds, has been coaxed to grow inside a developing mouse embryo, giving scientists the unique opportunity to observe as the undifferentiated cells replicate and specialize. The results offer a groundbreaking means of both elucidating the beginning of human embryonic development and serving as a starting point from which to understand their potential therapeutic secrets of human embryonic stem cells. More »

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Sound investment: A new mathematical method provides a better way to analyze noise

Even though the brain has only a small fraction of its sensory receptors dedicated to sound, the human auditory system is lightning fast — and researchers say that’s because the brain can perform a series of intricate calculations that translate minimal input into maximal understanding. In a potential breakthrough in sound analysis, Rockefeller researchers have now created an algorithm that mimics human auditory processing and is proving far more accurate than any other sound analysis program available. More »

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Insights into the spliceosome suggest new explanations for generating biological complexity

Many organisms — including humans — evolve in part by using a complex mechanism by which strands of RNA are spliced together in a two-step process. Rockefeller scientists show that a delicate balance in the way this process is executed can generate an enormous number of new gene products, providing a vast reservoir of material for selection during evolution. More »

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Natural products chemist to become Rockefeller’s newest lab head

Following a yearlong search process involving an applicant pool of close to 700 candidates, Rockefeller University President Paul Nurse has announced that Sean Brady, a chemical biologist with a background in organic chemistry, microbiology and plant biology, will become assistant professor and head of laboratory at Rockefeller. Brady intends to build his lab around the study of naturally occurring small molecules, such as those produced by soil bacteria and bacterial pathogens. More »

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New research retraces connections between nose and brain

Every second our noses are bombarded with hundreds of smells, some pleasant, others not. Before we can react, however, our brains must first recognize an odor, and there are multiple steps between the nose and the brain. Now scientists say that new evidence suggests that proteins that help link the two may not function the way they previously believed. More »

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Study of neurons leads scientists to re-envision vision

As we age, our eyes change shape — that’s why you see your eye doctor every year. But new research from Rockefeller University suggests that how the brain interprets visual information also changes with experience. And by studying the way in which nerve cells form connections between the eye and the brain, researchers say that some of their basic assumptions about the nature of visual development may need to be rethought. More »

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Four Rockefeller scientists elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Titia de Lange, Charles D. Gilbert, Michael E. O’Donnell and Jeffrey V. Ravetch, all heads of laboratories at Rockefeller University, have been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare. More »

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Netrin molecules help neruons shed their symmetry

For years, scientists have known that netrin molecules help guide growing neurons and their axons — the long tendrils that conduct electrical signals. But new research shows that these proteins are also important for helping create the neuron’s characteristically asymmetrical shape. More »

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Paul Nurse elected fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Rockefeller University’s president is among 175 newly elected members to the Academy, an independent policy research center founded in 1780 to undertake studies of complex and emerging problems. More »

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Newly discovered protein kills Anthrax bacteria by exploding their cell walls

A newly discovered protein called PlyPH specifically targets one of our most feared bioterror threats, the anthrax bacterium, by punching holes in its cell wall and exploding it. Scientists at Rockefeller say the protein has several advantages over antibiotic drugs — and a solution based on it could clean areas that have been contaminated with anthrax spores. More »

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Genetic data from an island population proves to be useful tool in understanding disease

With fewer than 4,000 residents, the genetically isolated Micronesian island of Kosrae, in the West Pacific, provides an ideal population in which to research heritability of disease. Now this data is beginning to yield intriguing results about the genetic basis of complex disease. More »

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Help for bleeding hearts: new research links a third protein to blood-clotting disorders

Analyzing patients with a rare blood disorder led Rockefeller scientists to discover that a protein called calnexin is required to build a blood-cell receptor that’s required for clotting. More »

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McEwen to receive Pasarow Award

Rockefeller University’s Bruce McEwen, whose laboratory studies how the brain changes in response to stress and other experiences, will receive the 2005 Neuropsychiatry Research Award from the Robert J. and Claire Pasarow Foundation. More »

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Researchers uncover a pathway linked to autoimmune disease

In a series of discoveries that has the potential to help researchers halt autoimmune disorders — such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis — a Rockefeller University scientist has found an underlying mechanism that begins to explain the pathologies of a number of immune diseases. More »

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Lizard’s ‘third eye’ sheds light on how vision evolved

A primitive third eye found in many types of lizards, used to detect changes in light and dark and to regulate the production of certain hormones, may help explain how vision evolved and how signals are transmitted from the eyes to the brain. Now, new experiments show that the molecular mechanisms that underlie this parietal eye’s responses to light are similar to those that transmit responses from rod and cone cells in the eye to the brain. More »

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Researchers show laboratory hepatitis C strain is also infections in animal models

For many years scientists have struggled with an inability to efficiently culture the hepatitis C virus in the laboratory. Now, researchers at Rockefeller University have overcome several obstacles and successfully shown that a strain of HCV they created in the laboratory, which can efficiently be cultured in vitro, is also infectious in animals. More »

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Paul Nurse to co-host Charlie Rose on avian flu

Rockefeller President Paul Nurse will make his second appearance on Charlie Rose tonight, when he co-hosts, with Rose, an hour-long discussion on the threat of avian flu. The show, which is to be the first in a series of science-themed Charlie Rose shows co-hosted with Nurse, will air on PBS television stations nationwide. More »

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When mice choose mates, experience counts

In a series of experiments designed to help scientists understand the brain chemicals that guide mate selection, Rockefeller scientists exposed female mice to the odor of either a male mouse alone or a male mouse with a female. The females consistently preferred the scent of males linked to other females. More »

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Developing neurons reverse direction in absence of Wnt protein

Despite years of study, scientists don’t fully understand how the body routes information among the brain’s 10 billion neurons. Now, Rockefeller University scientists have discovered that proteins in the ubiquitous Wnt family are vital for charting nerve growth and direction of information flow along a neuron. In fact, the absence of certain Wnt proteins in worms can alter a nerve so substantially that it grows in reverse. More »

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Aggravated assault: How adhesion proteins regulate skin inflammation

While strong links between skin cells form a tight barrier that protects the body from the world outside, new research from Rockefeller University shows that the proteins that create these bonds are also key components of a pathway that prevents rampant inflammation. More »

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