Left-right wiring determined by neural communication in the embryonic worm

Although most animals appear symmetrical at first glance, they hide a glut of internal asymmetries. The roundworm C. elegans has nerves on its left and right sides that perform different functions, and which nerve runs down which side seems random from worm to worm. New research shows that the system responsible for establishing the arbitrary left-right configuration is an embryonic network of gap junctions that dissolve as the worm develops. More »

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Single circadian clock regulates flies’ response to light and temperature

Circadian rhythms allow animals to align their bodies to the earth’s rotation. Now, new research shows that the same molecular clock that flies use to sync themselves to the sun’s patterns is what allows them to sync to temperature patterns, too. More »

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De Lange, Nussenzweig elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Rockefeller University faculty will become members of the independent policy and research center devoted to studying complex emerging problems. More »

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Libchaber and Young elected to National Academy of Sciences

Two Rockefeller scientists are among 72 new members and 18 foreign associates from 12 countries who were chosen for distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. More »

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Richard Dawkins accepts 2006 Lewis Thomas Prize

Best known for promoting the gene-centered view of evolution in his 1976 bestseller The Selfish Gene, Dawkins is critically regarded for his ability to convey large, universal theories by use of detailed examples taken from a lifetime of observation of the natural world. More »

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Mice on Prozac help scientists find better depression treatments

By comparing mice that had been given Prozac with mice given an alternate drug, researchers have identified a new class of chemicals that could offer better control over serotonin and more effective treatments for the debilitating mental illness. More »

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Jeffrey Ravetch to receive William B. Coley Award

The Cancer Research Institute, which administers the annual prize to a scientist studying basic and tumor immunology, chose Ravetch for his work on Fc receptors, which has led to fundamental discoveries critical to the design of therapeutic antibodies. More »

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New study reveals inner workings of a molecular clamp critical to DNA replication

The process by which DNA is copied, an essential biological function which occurs millions of times a day in an average mammal, is driven by three core protein complexes. New research from Rockefeller University now shows that one of these complexes, a “clamp loader,” requires several previously unidentified steps to get the process started. More »

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David Allis to receive Gairdner Award

Allis, who studies DNA-packaging proteins called histones, is one of five scientists to be honored by the Gairdner Foundation for “fundamental discoveries that will have impact on human genetic development, cancer and other diseases.” More »

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Building the nuclear pore piece by piece

Because the nuclear pore is the only way in or out of the nucleus, the cell is in dire straits when the pore malfunctions, as in forms of leukemia where nuclear pore complex proteins are mutated. Two new structural renderings of nuclear pore complex proteins, however, created in the Nobel Prize-winning lab that has worked for nearly 40 years on understanding how proteins are transported within cells, are beginning to shed light on this puzzling assembly. More »

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Dendritic cells may be key to reversing diabetes

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s own immune system assaults the cells responsible for producing insulin. Now, researchers studying the immune system’s dendritic cells have found a way to stop the destruction and help revive and maintain the population of insulin-producing β cells in mice, a discovery that could lead to a lasting cure. More »

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Density does it: Fibrinogen concentration controls clot formation

Blood clots are the product of an intricate molecular dance between cell fragments called platelets in the blood and the glycoprotein fibrinogen. The process not only creates scabs over wounds, it can also play a role in strokes and heart attacks. In a new finding that has implications for such diseases, researchers show that it’s the density of fibrinogen on a wound or other surface that dictates whether additional platelets are recruited. More »

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To recognize their friends, mice use their amygdalas

Even those who can’t remember names can usually recall faces. New research from Rockefeller University suggests that a simple brain chemical, a neuropeptide called oxytocin, is a reason. More »

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Hepatitis C virus blocks ‘superinfection’

There’s infection and then there’s superinfection – when a cell already infected by a virus gets a second viral infection. But some viruses don’t like to share their cells. New research from Rockefeller University shows that the hepatitis C virus, which infects cells in the liver and can cause chronic liver disease, can block other hepatitis C variants from infecting the same cell. More »

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Understanding ubiquitylation: Researchers identify a process that enables access to genes

Activating a gene requires a host of proteins to work in tandem to pry open DNA’s protective chromatin shell, formed by complexes of DNA and special packaging proteins called histones. New research identifies a key step in the mechanism that unpackages DNA. More »

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New glimpse into early brain development shows how nerve cells move into position

By pinning down how cells in the brain’s cerebellum migrate and differentiate during the first stages of brain development, researchers show that different combinations of regulatory proteins called transcription factors are responsible for driving these changes. More »

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Immune response to cancer stem cells may dictate cancer’s course

About three percent of adults over 40 test positive for a condition known as monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, or MGUS, which sometimes progresses to multiple myeloma. But new research suggests that MGUS patients who naturally develop an immune response to an embryonic stem cell protein, called SOX2, appear to be protected from developing the blood cancer. More »

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Humans, flies smell alike, neurobiologists find

While it would seem that how a fruit fly judges odors should differ from how a human smells, new research from Rockefeller University finds that at the neurobiological level, the two organisms have more in common than one might expect. More »

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Viral protein is an effective preventative against infection

For parents, eight million cases of acute middle-ear infections every year add up to a lot of sleepless nights and trips to the pediatrician. But new research suggests that a lysin – a protein derived from viruses that infect bacteria – may prevent children from developing secondary ear infections. More »

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Chemical cues turn embryonic stem cells into cerebellar neurons

vIn order to differentiate and specialize, stem cells require very specific environmental cues in a very specific order, and scientists have so far been unable to prod them to go through each of the necessary steps. But now, for the first time, a study in mice shows that embryonic stem cells implanted in the brain appear to develop into fully differentiated granule neurons, the most plentiful neuron in the cerebellum. More »

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