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New pathway is a common thread in age-related neurodegenerative diseases

La Jolla, CA–How are neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's initiated, and why is age the major risk factor? A recent study of a protein called MOCA (Modifier of Cell Adhesion), carried out at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, provides new clues to the answers of these fundamental questions.

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Newborn brain cells "time-stamp" memories

La Jolla, CA — "Remember when...?" is how many a wistful trip down memory lane begins. But just how the brain keeps tabs on what happened and when is still a matter of speculation. A computational model developed by scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies now suggests that newborn brain cells—generated by the thousands each day—add a time-related code, which is unique to memories formed around the same time.

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The breakdown of barriers in old cells may hold clues to aging process

La Jolla, CA - Like guards controlling access to a gated community, nuclear pore complexes are communication channels that regulate the passage of proteins and RNA to and from a cells nucleus. Recent studies by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies offer new insights about the pores' lifespan and how their longevity affects their function.

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Salk Launches Center for Aging Research

The Salk Institute today received a $5 million gift from the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research, becoming the third institution (with Harvard University and MIT) to receive major Glenn funding for studying the molecular basis of aging.

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Salk researchers develop novel glioblastoma mouse model

La Jolla, CA – Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have developed a versatile mouse model of glioblastoma—the most common and deadly brain cancer in humans—that closely resembles the development and progression of human brain tumors that arise naturally.

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Geoffrey M. Wahl named 2008 AAAS Fellow

Salk researcher Geoffrey M. Wahl, a professor in the Gene Expression Laboratory, has been awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow, an honor bestowed upon members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science by their peers.

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A novel human stem cell-based model of ALS opens doors for rapid drug screening

La Jolla, CA — Long thought of as mere bystanders, astrocytes are crucial for the survival and well-being of motor neurons, which control voluntary muscle movements. In fact, defective astrocytes can lay waste to motor neurons and are the main suspects in the muscle-wasting disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

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FoxJ1 helps cilia beat a path to asymmetry

La Jolla, CA — New work at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies reveals how a genetic switch, known as FoxJ1, helps developing embryos tell their left from their right. While at first glance the right and left sides of our bodies are identical to each other, this symmetry is only skin-deep. Below the surface, some of our internal organs are shifted sideways—heart and stomach to the left, liver and appendix to the right.

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Novel regulatory step during HIV replication

La Jolla, CA – A previously unknown regulatory step during human immunodeficiency (HIV) replication provides a potentially valuable new target for HIV/AIDS therapy, report researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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Newborn neurons in the adult brain can settle in the wrong neighborhood

La Jolla, CA–In a study that could have significant consequences for neural tissue transplantation strategies, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies report that inactivating a specific gene in adult neural stem cells makes nerve cells emerging from those precursors form connections in the wrong part of the adult brain.

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