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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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San Diego City Council Unanimously Approves Salk Institute Master Plan

La Jolla, CA – The San Diego City Council unanimously approved the Salk Institute's master plan in a vote yesterday afternoon that clears the way for the Institute to construct new buildings and parking facilities that will add a net 186,000 square feet of research and support space on its 27-acre site. "The Salk Institute has been a foundation of our economy, not to mention the important scientific research it contributes for all our benefit," Mayor Jerry Sanders said during the City Council meeting. "This expansion will help extend its research."

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Streamlining brain signals for speed and efficacy

La Jolla, CA – Life exists at the edge of chaos, where small changes can have striking and unanticipated effects, and major stimuli may go unheard. But there is no space for ambiguity when the brain needs to transform head motion into precise eye, head, and body movements that rapidly stabilize our posture and gaze; otherwise, we would stumble helplessly through the world, and our vision would resemble an undecipherable blur.

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Salk researchers successfully reprogram keratinocytes attached to a single hair

The first reports of the successful reprogramming of adult human cells back into so-called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which by all appearances looked and acted liked embryonic stem cells created a media stir. But the process was woefully inefficient: Only one out of 10,000 cells could be persuaded to turn back the clock.

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Salk Scientist Fred H. Gage to Receive the Keio Medical Science Prize

La Jolla – Salk researcher Dr. Fred H. Gage, professor in the Laboratory of Genetics, has been awarded the Keio Medical Science Prize for his discovery of the physiological role of adult neurogenesis in mammalian brains. He will officially receive the award during a ceremony at Keio University's School of Medicine in Japan on Nov. 21.

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