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Site for alcohol's action in the brain discovered

LA JOLLA, CA—Alcohol's inebriating effects are familiar to everyone. But the molecular details of alcohol's impact on brain activity remain a mystery. A new study by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies brings us closer to understanding how alcohol alters the way brain cells work.

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Climbing the ladder to longevity: critical enzyme pair identified

LA JOLLA, CA-Experiment after experiment confirms that a diet on the brink of starvation expands lifespan in mice and many other species. But the molecular mechanism that links nutrition and survival is still poorly understood. Now, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified a pivotal role for two enzymes that work together to determine the health benefits of diet restriction.

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The battle for CRTC2: how obesity increases the risk for diabetes

La Jolla, CA—Obesity is probably the most important factor in the development of insulin resistance, but science's understanding of the chain of events is still spotty. Now, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have filled in the gap and identified the missing link between the two. Their findings, to be published in the June 21, 2009 advance online edition of the journal Nature, explain how obesity sets the stage for diabetes and why thin people can become insulin-resistant.

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Hungry cells: Tumor metabolism discovery opens new detection and treatment possibilities for rare form of colon cancer

LA JOLLA, CA-People who suffer from Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, a rare inherited cancer syndrome, develop gastrointestinal polyps and are predisposed to colon cancer and other tumor types. Carefully tracing the cellular chain-of-command that links nutrient intake to cell growth (and which is interrupted in Peutz-Jeghers syndrome), allowed researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies to exploit the tumors' weak spot.

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Genetic Re-disposition: Combined stem cell-gene therapy approach cures human genetic disease in vitro

La Jolla, CA—A study led by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, has catapulted the field of regenerative medicine significantly forward, proving in principle that a human genetic disease can be cured using a combination of gene therapy and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology. The study, published in the May 31, 2009 early online edition of Nature, is a major milestone on the path from the laboratory to the clinic.

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Salk Scientist Inder Verma to Receive 2009 Outstanding Achievement Award from American Society of Gene Therapy

La Jolla, CA—Salk Professor Inder M. Verma, Ph.D., one of the world's leading authorities on the development and use of engineered viruses for gene therapy, has been named the 2009 recipient of the American Society of Gene Therapy's Outstanding Achievement Award. The award recognizes an ASGT member who has conducted groundbreaking research or achieved a lifetime of significant scientific contributions to the field of gene therapy. Verma is only the second scientist honored with the society's Outstanding Achievement Award, which debuted in 2008.

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Salk Institute Scientist Plays Pivotal Role in More Than $100 Mill National "Stand Up To Cancer" Fundraising, Pancreatic Cancer Research "Dream Team"

La Jolla-More than three years ago, while serving as president-elect and then president of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), Salk scientist Geoff Wahl had an epiphany: cancer research needed a grassroots American fundraising movement reminiscent of the polio-inspired March of Dimes.

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Good fences make good neighbors:

La Jolla, CA-Our genome is a patchwork of neighborhoods that couldn't be more different: Some areas are hustling and bustling with gene activity, while others are sparsely populated and in perpetual lock-down. Breaking down just a few of the molecular fences that separate them blurs the lines and leads to the inactivation of at least two tumor suppressor genes, according to researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

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Salk Scientist wins the 2009 McKnight Scholar Award

La Jolla, CA—Dr. Tatyana Sharpee, an assistant professor in the Laboratory for Computational Biology, has been named a 2009 McKnight Scholar. She will receive a grant of $225,000 over a three-year period to study "Discrete representation of visual shapes in the brain."

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Salk Receives $6.6 Million Grant to Develop Stem Cell-Based Treatments for Incurable Diseases

La Jolla, CA -- The Salk Institute for Biological Studies has been awarded a $6.6 million grant – the largest single award in the latest competition -- by the California Institute Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) for research aimed at translating basic science into clinical cures. The funds are part of $67.7 million Early Translational Grants CIRM provided to 15 research organizations on Wednesday.

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