PLD1 protein is implicated in Alzheimer’s brain damage

Most current Alzheimer’s drugs target molecules responsible for memory formation but don’t address the root of the problem: plaques that build amid brain cells, causing them to weaken and die. Rockefeller scientists now say that a protein called PLD1 is closely linked to the pathways through which these plaques develop, and may be a target for new drugs that better treat Alzheimer’s. More »

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Genetic studies in mice yield clues to how heart disease is inherited

Heart disease tends to run in families, and scientists have long known that genetics play an important role. Now, new research in mice, from the laboratory of Rockefeller’s Jan L. Breslow, shows that the genetics of heart disease are more complicated than previously thought. More »

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Newly discovered immune cell partially responsible for psoriasis

In a discovery that may help shape new treatments for psoriasis, scientists at Rockefeller University have found a new type of immune cell that may be critical in producing inflammation and tissue damage in the skin. More »

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‘Geneless’ enzyme is key to how bacteria intack

To infect, bacteria must first stick. New research from Rockefeller’s Fischetti Lab has identified an enzyme essential to how proteins on the surface of staph and strep bacteria stick to the tissues of their hosts. The scientists say their discovery could lead to drugs that prevent some of our most dangerous bacteria from gaining a foothold. More »

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For insect cells, like mouse cells, one protein decides between life and death

Cells are given life by mitochondria, an organelle that provides them with all the energy they need. But while mitochondria giveth, they also taketh away — when a cell’s time is up, they release molecules that start a cascade ending in death. At least that’s how it works in humans, mice and other vertebrates. And now, new research from Rockefeller University’s Hermann Steller shows for the first time that the molecules and events that trigger cell death in invertebrates can also start in the mitochondria. More »

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‘Hitchhiking’ chromosomes yield new theory of cell division

From the moment the cell was discovered, scientists have been dissecting the methodical, multi-step process by which they duplicate themselves. This week, Rockefeller researchers studying one component of this process — how a cell’s chromosomes move in preparation for division — announce a discovery that overturns current cell-division theory. More »

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Study shows a fundamental difference between how insects, mammals detect odors

Contrary to what has been widely believed, the molecular basis of insect olfaction is not related to the mammalian system, but is an extraordinary case of the two types of organisms evolving along similar, but separate, lines — what scientists term convergent evolution — says Rockefeller’s Leslie Vosshall. More »

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‘U.S. biomedical research under seige,’ says Rockefeller University president Paul Nurse

In an editorial published this week in one of the nation’s leading biomedical journals, Paul Nurse suggests that the scientific research enterprise in the United States is in danger of suffering major damage as a result of stagnated funding and the failure of political leaders to take science seriously. More »

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New research shows how proteins make biological clock tick

By looking inside a single cell and following two different proteins over several hours, Rockefeller scientists have turned the old model of the cellular circadian clock on its head. When the two proteins come together, the scientists say, they create a six-hour timer that appears to tightly regulate the cell’s circadian rhythm. More »

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Three Rockefeller scientists receive 2005 Mayor’s awards

Rockefeller faculty members Jan Breslow, Mitchell Feigenbaum and Leslie Vosshall were among recipients of the 2005 New York City Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in Science and Technology, announced today at Gracie Mansion. More »

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Scientists, linking gene with serotonin and depression, offer insights to new treatments

New research shows that a gene called p11 is closely related to serotonin transmission in the brain – and may play a key role in determining a person’s susceptibility to depression. Reported today in the journal Science, the researchers say their discovery could lead to new treatments for certain mental disorders. More »

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New ‘PhyloGibbs’ software helps scientists make sense of DNA

For scientists studying the link between genes and disease, there’s no shortage of information. The challenge is making sense of the data. A new algorithm designed by Eric Siggia’s Rockefeller laboratory may be an important new tool for scientists seeking to extract answers from sequenced genomes. More »

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New genetic sequencing technique reveals possible genetic protection from heroin addiction

New research from the laboratory of Mary Jeanne Kreek at Rockefeller University uses a novel sequencing approach to show that even very tiny differences within genes may help protect someone from heroin addiction, and perhaps addiction disorders in general. More »

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Protein structure suggests bacteria may be more sophisticated than we thought

Rockefeller scientists say Pseudomonas syringae, a bacterial plant pathogen, evades a plant’s immune defenses by mimicking one of the plant’s own enzymes: an E3 ubiquitin ligase that had never before been seen in bacteria. More »

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Watching fruit fly larvae crawl towards odors provides clues to how smells are detected

In new research published this month in Current Biology, Rockefeller scientists provide evidence that a “combinatorial code” is the mechanism by which fruit flies, and most likely other animals, distinguish one odor from another. More »

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New evidence that SARS cripples the immune system

New research gleaned from blood samples of SARS patients suggests that those who died from the disease had immune systems that crashed, while the immune systems of those who survived were better able to control the virus. More »

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From cell to gel: refined protocol uses GFP to locate proteins and examine their interactions

Green fluorescent protein, already widely used to visualize where proteins occur within cells, can now be used to study how those proteins interact with one another. The new technique, developed by Rockefeller scientists, establishes a simple and rapid method that can be applied to any protein that has been previously linked to GFP. More »

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Paul Nurse elected trustee of HHMI

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, one of the world’s largest philanthropies and a major funder of biomedical research, has elected Rockefeller President Paul Nurse to its board of trustees. More »

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Neurons in the brain change shape when stressed

Rockefeller University scientists are inching closer to understanding how long-term stress can change an area of the brain responsible for learning and memory. In a finding that may have implications for the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder and severe depression, they report that an animal’s response to chronic stress is at least partially dependent on an enzyme called tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA. More »

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Immune cell receptors act in combination to regulate attack

Not all antibodies are created equal, and Rockefeller researchers have just pinned down one reason why: Each one activates different combinations of receptors on an immune cell’s surface, and only one combination results in the most effective immune response. More »

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