Search for cholesterol absorption genes narrows to two chromosome regions

Two people eat the same egg, cheese and ham muffin for breakfast, yet one absorbs significantly more cholesterol into his or her blood than the other. Why? More »

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First quantum dots applied to living organism

Quantum dots are nano-sized crystals that exhibit all the colors of the rainbow due to their unique semiconductor qualities. These exquisitely small, human-made beacons have the power to shine their fluorescent light for months, even years. But in the near-decade since they were first readily produced, quantum dots have excluded themselves from the useful purview of biology. Now, for the first time, this flexible tool has been refined, and delivered to the hands of biologists. More »

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“Outlaw” organism turns informant

In a critical scene in the film remake of the classic 1960s TV series “The Fugitive,” actor Harrison Ford sheds his coat and replaces it with another. This simple deception allows him to escape detection by the swarm of police officers trailing him. More »

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Noise inner life cells

Within the smoothly operating factory that is the cell, tiny molecular machines carry out their tasks with order and certainty. Or at least that’s what many scientists once believed. More »

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Wrong Proteins Targeted in Battle Against Cancer?

Researchers may be looking for novel cancer drugs in the wrong places, says Rockefeller University Professor James E. Darnell Jr., M.D., in an article in this month’s Nature Reviews Cancer. More »

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“CAF” protein mystery solved by AIDS researchers

Acclaimed AIDS researcher David Ho, M.D., a Rockefeller University Irene Diamond Professor who heads the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center (ADARC), and his research team, have discovered that several natural proteins -alpha-defensins 1, 2 and 3 – can be manufactured and released by killer T cells to inhibit HIV. More »

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Lasker Award Honors Rockefeller University’s James Darnell

James E. Darnell Jr., M.D., the pioneering researcher in the field of gene regulation — who has nurtured the careers of over 100 young, talented scientists — was honored today with the 2002 Albert Lasker Award for Special Achievement in Medical Science. More »

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One gene, two important proteins

When the Human Genome Project first revealed last year that humans possess only an estimated 30,000 genes — fives times more than a mustard weed plant — the fact that many of our genes code for more than just one protein assumed greater importance. Such protein variations, researchers reasoned, must play an even larger role than previously thought in contributing to the remarkable complexity of human beings. More »

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Rockefeller researchers provide the first functional evidence for mammalian pheromone receptors

Pheromones — chemical signals that influence social and reproductive behaviors — have been studied since the 1950s, but the molecules in the mammalian nervous system that actually detect pheromones have remained elusive. More »

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Dinosaur ancestor’s vision possibly nocturnal

Call it “Triassic Park”: with statistics, instead of amber-preserved DNA, researchers at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at The Rockefeller University and Yale University recreated in the test tube a functional pigment that would have characterized the eyes of archosaurs (“ruling reptiles”) and allowed these direct ancestors to dinosaurs to see in dim light. More »

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Natural-born killers enlisted to fight anthrax

Researchers at The Rockefeller University have hit upon a promising method for rapidly and effectively treating people infected with the deadly anthrax bacterium — including feared drug – resistant strains. The new research, reported in the August 22 issue of Nature, takes advantage of anthrax’s number one natural enemy: bateriophage, or “bacteria – eating” viruses. More »

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Pivotal Brain Processor Decreased in Schizophrenia

New York, NY (August 14, 2002) — Levels of a pivotal signal processor in the brain are reduced significantly in people with schizophrenia, a study by scientists at The Rockefeller University, Weill Cornell Medical College and University of California at Irvine has found. More »

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What inspires yeast cells to divide?

Often in science a novel set of experiments comes along that forces researchers to abandon old models in exchange for new ones that better fit their observations. This is the case in a new Nature report by Rockefeller University researchers, which finds that past models of cellular division in the simple yeast organism were focused on the wrong protein. More »

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Researchers discover molecular “switch” that tells body to store or burn fat

An enzyme called SCD-1 plays a crucial role —through the hormone leptin —in signaling the body to either store fat or burn it, report a team of scientists in the July 12 issue of the journal Science. More »

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Proteins that transport cholesterol identified

Professor Jan Breslow and colleagues, including biomedical fellow Raymond Soccio, recently discovered a novel subfamily of the START domain lipid transfer proteins, which are thought to shuttle lipids such as cholesterol within cells. More »

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Researchers Solve Killer Protein’s “Crime”

A killer protein named Reaper. A protective protein in bits and pieces. And a dead cell. This is the scene of one of the body’s most perfect crimes: programmed cell death. This vital process occurs throughout life as a means to, among other purposes, eliminate potentially cancerous cells. More »

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“Vanishing Breed” of Researchers Recognized by HHMI

Robert B. Darnell, M.D., Ph.D., whose bench-to-bedside studies at Rockefeller University have uncovered new insights about how the brain normally works and about tumor immunity, is one of the 12 physician-scientists selected for a new Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) program spotlighting the value of relating basic research discoveries to improving medical therapy. More »

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The making of a fat cell

The future of a young body cell is filled with uncertainties. Will it mature into a red blood cell and carry oxygen to remote tissues? Or might it become a liver cell and help rid the body of dangerous toxins? Ultimately, its destiny depends on a set of molecular signals that activate one of several possible cellular programs. More »

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Three-D images shed light on first steps of RNA synthesis

The first three-dimensional images of the initiating form of the molecular machinery in bacteria that “transcribes” genetic information from DNA into RNA — the crucial first step for making proteins — is reported in a pair of papers in the May 17 issue of the journal Science. More »

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More Than Just Packaging, Histones Help Turn Genes On

Histones, the proteins that help roll several feet of DNA into the microscopic span of a single nucleus, are turning out to be much more than just packaging material. Instead, recent studies indicate that these once underrated proteins actively participate in switching genes “on” — a vital life process occurring at all times in each one of our cells. More »

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