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Canker sore drug may aid in weight loss

LA JOLLA, CA—A team of scientists, including researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, has discovered that a drug used to treat canker sores appears to reverse obesity in mice. The findings, published February 10 in Nature Medicine, may lead to new weight-loss medications that could have an impact on growing obesity and diabetes rates in the United States. The drug, amlexanox, has been on the market for more than 15 years. Different formulations of the drug are used in Japan to treat asthma and in the United States to treat canker sores. Human clinical trials for weight loss are expected to begin later this year.

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Hidden layer of genome unveils how plants may adapt to environments throughout the world

LA JOLLA, CA—Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified patterns of epigenomic diversity that not only allow plants to adapt to various environments, but could also benefit crop production and the study of human diseases.

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Remembering Ian Trowbridge

Ian Trowbridge, an esteemed researcher who had been a member of the Salk faculty for almost three decades, passed away on Wednesday, February 6.

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Plants cut the mustard for basic discoveries in metabolism

LA JOLLA, CA—You might think you have nothing in common with mustard except hotdogs. Yet based on research in a plant from the mustard family, Salk scientists have discovered a possible explanation for how organisms, including humans, directly regulate chemical reactions that quickly adjust the growth of organs. These findings overturn conventional views of how different body parts coordinate their growth, shedding light on the development of more productive plants and new therapies for metabolic diseases.

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Salk scientists use Amazon Cloud to view molecular machinery in remarkable detail

LA JOLLA, CA—In this week's Nature Methods, Salk researchers share a how-to secret for biologists: code for Amazon Cloud that significantly reduces the time necessary to process data-intensive microscopic images.

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Diabetes drug could hold promise for lung cancer patients

LA JOLLA, CA—Ever since discovering a decade ago that a gene altered in lung cancer regulated an enzyme used in therapies against diabetes, Reuben Shaw has wondered if drugs originally designed to treat metabolic diseases could also work against cancer.

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Salk Institute awarded historic $42 million grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust

LA JOLLA, CA—The Salk Institute for Biological Studies has received a $42 million gift-the largest in the Institute's history-to establish the Helmsley Center for Genomic Medicine (HCGM), a research center dedicated to decoding the common genetic factors underlying many complex chronic human diseases.

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Chromosome "anchors" organize DNA during cell division

LA JOLLA, CA—For humans to grow and to replace and heal damaged tissues, the body's cells must continually reproduce, a process known as "cell division," by which one cell becomes two, two become four, and so on. A key question of biomedical research is how chromosomes, which are duplicated during cell division so that each daughter cell receives an exact copy of a person's genome, are arranged during this process.

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More than 3,000 epigenetic switches control daily liver cycles

LA JOLLA, CA—When it's dark, and we start to fall asleep, most of us think we're tired because our bodies need rest. Yet circadian rhythms affect our bodies not just on a global scale, but at the level of individual organs, and even genes.

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Salk scientists develop faster, safer method for producing stem cells

LA JOLLA, CA—A new method for generating stem cells from mature cells promises to boost stem cell production in the laboratory, helping to remove a barrier to regenerative medicine therapies that would replace damaged or unhealthy body tissues.

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