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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Two Rockefeller postdocs receive funding for research at the “scientific interface”

Nicolas E. Buchler and Edo L. Kussell have received 2006 Career Awards at the Scientific Interface from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. The two scientists will receive $500,000 to assist in the transition to becoming independent investigators. More »

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Scientists say toxins use their shape to wreak havoc on cells

Last year, Rockefeller University scientists used X-ray crystallography to determine the structure of a widespread bacterial toxin called CDT. Now, the researchers have taken an even closer look at its configuration to gain a better understanding of what makes this potential carcinogen so effective. More »

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Building a better vaccine

By studying how the yellow fever vaccine creates a potent, lifelong immunity after a single shot, Rockefeller scientists say they could unlock secrets that will help design new vaccines to target not only the influenza virus, but perhaps other infectious diseases such as HIV or hepatitis C. More »

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From primordial soup to cells

Biophysicist Albert Libchaber and colleagues at Rockefeller University have been getting closer over the past few years to identifying what are the bare-minimum components of a cell, and this month they announce new progress. More »

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New report bolsters theory on ear’s inner amplifier

Two competing theories exist to explain how the human ear amplifies sound. Now, using ear hair cells from a bullfrog, scientists at Rockefeller provide evidence to bolster the theory they proposed in 1998. More »

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Reversing sugar’s effect on the brain

New research on diabetes shows that the brain’s memory center is one target of uncontrolled high blood sugar — and that the effects on it may be reversible. More »

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Scientists teach worms to learn

Worms, like people, tend to avoid foods that have made them sick in the past. By coaxing worms to select only healthy choices from a menu of bacteria, Rockefeller scientists show that one brain chemical, serotonin, helps cement behavior. More »

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Application deadline for faculty search is next week

Scientists interested in tenure-track faculty positions in the biological and biomedical sciences at The Rockefeller University must submit applications by Nov. 15. More »

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Bruce McEwen awarded Goldman-Rakic Prize

Rockefeller University’s Bruce McEwen has received the Goldman-Rakic Prize for Cognitive Neuroscience for his studies on environmentally regulated gene expression in the brain, which has contributed to an understanding of stress and stress hormones in a range of disorders, including depression and post-traumatic stress. More »

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Protecting the brain from overactivity

Alzheimer’s disease, depression and epilepsy all share a problem with a single brain chemical: glutamate. New research from Rockefeller University shows how the brain uses a specific protein, neuropeptide Y, to protect itself from glutamate damage. More »

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