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Nuclear pore complexes harbor new class of gene regulators, offer clues to gene expression and cancer

LA JOLLA, CA—Nuclear pore complexes are best known as the communication channels that regulate the passage of all molecules to and from a cell's nucleus. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, however, have shown that some of the pores' constituent proteins, called nucleoporins, pull double duty as transcription factors regulating the activity of genes active during early development.


Stress peptide and receptor may have role in diabetes

LA JOLLA, CA—The neuropeptide corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) makes cameo appearances throughout the body, but its leading role is as the opening act in the stress response, jump-starting the process along the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have found that CRF also plays a part in the pancreas, where it increases insulin secretion and promotes the division of the insulin-producing beta cells.


Unwanted guests: How herpes simplex virus gets rid of the cell's security guards

LA JOLLA, CA—A viral infection is like an uninvited, tenacious houseguest in the cell, using a range of tricks to prevent its eviction. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified one of the key proteins allowing herpes simplex virus (HSV) DNA to fly under the radar of their hosts' involuntary hospitality.


Dual role for immune cells in the brain

LA JOLLA, CA—We all have at one time or another experienced the typical signs of an infection: the fever, the listlessness, the lack of appetite. They are orchestrated by the brain in response to circulating cytokines, the signaling molecules of the immune system. But just how cytokines' reach extends beyond the almost impenetrable blood-brain barrier has been the topic of much dispute.


Seeing without looking

LA JOLLA, CA—Like a spotlight that illuminates an otherwise dark scene, attention brings to mind specific details of our environment while shutting others out. A new study by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies shows that the superior colliculus, a brain structure that primarily had been known for its role in the control of eye and head movements, is crucial for moving the mind's spotlight.


Mobilizing the repair squad: Critical protein helps mend damaged DNA

LA JOLLA, CA—In order to preserve our DNA, cells have developed an intricate system for monitoring and repairing DNA damage. Yet precisely how the initial damage signal is converted into a repair response remains unclear. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have now solved a crucial piece of the complex puzzle.


Delaying the aging process protects against Alzheimer's disease

LA JOLLA, CA—Aging is the single greatest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. In their latest study, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies found that simply slowing the aging process in mice prone to develop Alzheimer's disease prevented their brains from turning into a neuronal wasteland.


Salk Institute receives $4.4M NIH Recovery Act grant to build state-of-the-art data center; Award is one of two in California

LA JOLLA, CA—The Salk Institute for Biological Studies has received a $4.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to build a state-of-the-art data center that will dramatically increase its research computing power for the next decade.


Harvard and Stanford Scientists join Salk Institute's Non-Resident Fellows

LA JOLLA, CA—The Salk Institute has named two highly accomplished, world-renowned scientists from the stem cell and genomics research fields to join its faculty as Non-Resident Fellows.


Feeding the clock

LA JOLLA, CA—When you eat may be just as vital to your health as what you eat, found researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Their experiments in mice revealed that the daily waxing and waning of thousands of genes in the liver—the body's metabolic clearinghouse—is mostly controlled by food intake and not by the body's circadian clock as conventional wisdom had it.


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