Newly discovered gene controls levels of “bad” cholesterol in mice

Heart disease researchers at Rockefeller University have discovered the function of a gene associated with high cholesterol levels in humans. Using mice as test subjects, the Rockefeller scientists determined that the gene, called Pcsk9, can decrease the number of receptors on liver cells that remove the “bad” LDL cholesterol from the blood. More »

Tags: , ,

Brain visualized in real time as animal “smells”

In real time in a living animal, scientists have observed regions of the brain as they respond to odors. The Rockefeller University study with mice, reported as the cover story in the April 8 issue of the journal Neuron, promises to advance research on how animals, as well as humans, sense odors. More »

Tags: ,

Fat hormone leptin alters brain architecture and activity, which in turn shapes feeding behavior

Scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and The Rockefeller University in collaboration with investigators at Yale University have found that leptin – a hormone found in fat tissue and critical to regulating weight – affects both the architecture and function of neural circuits in the brain. The hormone alters the wiring by controlling synapses – the inputs and outputs to neurons that, in this case, regulate feeding behavior. More »

Tags:

Mouse produced from cloning a single neuron yields answers about the genetics of olfaction

Scientists led by Rockefeller’s Peter Mombaerts, M.D., Ph.D., used cloning technology to produce an entire mouse from the DNA in just one of the animal’s olfactory neurons. They then traced the spread of that neuron’s nucleus as the mouse embryo developed and eventually as the mouse itself grew. More »

Tags: ,

Rockefeller University scientists take on controversial and widely publicized “vibration theory” of smell

Two researchers at Rockefeller University have put a controversial theory of smell to the sniff test and have found no evidence to support it. They say their study, published in the April issue of Nature Neuroscience, should raise firm doubts about the validity of “vibration theory,” which states that molecules in each substance generate a specific vibration frequency that the nose can interpret as distinct smells. More »

Tags: , ,

Immunity runs amok without Csk

Inflammation is emerging as a new window on chronic diseases such as cancer, heart ailments and autoimmunity. Two Rockefeller University scientists have recently revealed one of the molecular keys to inflammation. Their discovery may help clinicians understand shortcomings in the inflammatory response that lead to potentially life-threatening conditions. More »

Tags: , ,

Rockefeller researchers identify how protein linked to cancer correct cells when they divide

A protein, which has been linked to tumor formation when it is overproduced, in normal amounts actually helps correct errors during cell division that can lead to cancer and other diseases, according to new research by scientists at Rockefeller University in the March issue of Nature Cell Biology. More »

Tags: , ,

Biological clock scientist takes on VP for Academic Affairs position at Rockefeller University on March 1

Rockefeller University scientist Michael W. Young, who investigates the genetic pathways that enable the body’s biological clock to tick, will become Rockefeller University’s Vice President for Academic Affairs on March 1. More »

Tags:

Natural killer cells are made, not born

For years, scientists regarded natural killer cells as a blunt instrument of the body’s immune defense system. Born to kill, these cells were thought to travel straight from the bone marrow, where they are manufactured, to the blood, circulating there and infiltrating the sites of early tumors or infectious agents in the body. Now, Rockefeller University scientists, led by Christian Münz, Ph.D., have learned otherwise. More »

Tags: , ,

Feeder-free system for maintaining embryonic stem cells pioneered at Rockefeller University

Rockefeller University researchers, in collaboration with two European scientists, have devised a system for maintaining human embryonic stem cell lines that excludes the need for troublesome mouse feeder cells.
More »

Tags: , , ,

Internationally renowned neurobiologist to join Rockefeller University; Cori Bargmann discovered “matchmaker” molecule

Cornelia I. Bargmann, Ph.D., universally recognized as a scientific leader in research on how the circuitry of the brain is organized and influences behavior, will join The Rockefeller University, its President Paul Nurse, Ph.D., announced today. More »

Tags:

Scientists finally pry stubborn cellular door ajar

Imagine a door with key and combination locks on both sides, back and front. Now imagine trying to unlock that door blind-folded. This is the challenge faced by David Gadsby, Ph.D., and his Rockefeller University colleagues, who for years have struggled to understand the highly intricate and unusual cystic fibrosis chloride channel – a cellular doorway for salt ions that is defective in people with cystic fibrosis. More »

New science of “epigenetics” advanced by findings reported in Molecular Cell

Scientists have known that some physical changes that are passed on to the next generation can’t be attributed to mutations in DNA alone. Thus a relatively new field of research — epigenetics — has emerged to investigate the inheritance of physical changes that cannot be traced back to mutations in the DNA sequence. More »

Tags: ,

New method identifying and isolating stem cells developed

Researchers at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at The Rockefeller University have discovered a new method to track and isolate elusive stem cells. The new animal model they developed was successfully tested by isolating and characterizing skin stem cells, but may also be valuable in searching for stem cells that produce the cells of the heart, pancreas or other specific body tissues. More »

Tags: ,

Trial of new investigational AIDS vaccine begins in New York and Rochester

The Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center (ADARC), an affiliate of The Rockefeller University, and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) announced today that they have begun a human trial of a new investigational vaccine to prevent HIV/AIDS. The trial is actively seeking healthy volunteers in New York City and Rochester, New York. More »

Tags: , ,

Genes may protect against heart disease rather than be harmful as previously thought

A genetic pathway whose activity was suspected to advance heart disease by increasing inflammation in the blood vessels and arteries feeding the heart may actually protect against it at least in laboratory mice, reports a team of Rockefeller University scientists led by Jan Breslow, M.D., in the Nov. 25 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. More »

Tags: ,

Mouse studies show brain’s “master molecule” produces same behavior from three different psychostimulant drugs

A mouse study reported in this week’s Science magazine shows that three drugs, each acting on a different chemical transmitter in the brain, all produce the same schizophrenia-like symptoms by acting on a single “master molecule” in the brain. More »

Tags: ,

By the year 2050, human population could add 2.6 billion people, reports Rockefeller scientist Joel E. Cohen

It took from the beginning of time until 1950 to put the first 2.5 billion people on the planet. Yet in the next half-century, an increase that exceeds the total population of the world in 1950 will occur. So writes Joel E. Cohen, Ph.D., Dr.P.H., professor and head of the Laboratory of Populations at The Rockefeller University and Columbia University, in a Viewpoint article in the November 14 issue of the journal Science.
More »

Tags: ,

Researchers describe new technique for cataloging RNA targets in rare brain disease

RNA, often thought of as merely the chemical messenger that helps decode DNA’s genetic instructions for making proteins, can itself play a crucial role in regulating protein expression. Not surprisingly, this regulation occurs through proteins that bind to RNA. All cells in the body, especially nerve cells in the brain, use and regulate RNA in an exquisite fashion. More »

Tags: , ,

Giant protein organizes the transportation railway system within cells

To get its job done, each cell in the human body must constantly change its inner skeleton and therefore its outer shape. This skeleton also serves as a vast network of “tracks,” which grow and shrink and move in different directions as needed to transport proteins and other materials within the cell and to organize cells within a tissue or organ. More »

Tags: ,