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Chemotherapy resistance: Checkpoint protein provides armor against cancer drugs

LA JOLLA, CA-Cell cycle checkpoints act like molecular tripwires for damaged cells, forcing them to pause and take stock. Leave the tripwire in place for too long, though, and cancer cells will press on regardless, making them resistant to the lethal effects of certain types of chemotherapy, according to researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

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Remembering Chris Lamb

Chris Lamb, the Salk Institute's first plant biologist, died suddenly August 21st at age 59 in Norwich, England.

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Nicotinic Receptor May Help Trigger Alzheimer's Disease

LA JOLLA, CA—For close to a decade, pharmaceutical researchers have been in hot pursuit of compounds to activate a key nicotine receptor that plays a role in cognitive processes. Triggering it, they hope, might prevent or even reverse the devastation wrought by Alzheimer's disease.

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Tumor suppressor pulls double shift as reprogramming watchdog

LA JOLLA, CA—A collaborative study by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies uncovered that the tumor suppressor p53, which made its name as "guardian of the genome," not only stops cells that could become cancerous in their tracks but also controls somatic cell reprogramming.

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"Jumping genes" create diversity in human brain cells, offering clues to evolutionary and neurological disease

LA JOLLA, CA—Rather than sticking to a single DNA script, human brain cells harbor astonishing genomic variability, according to scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. The findings, to be published in the Aug. 5, 2009, advance online edition of Nature, could help explain brain development and individuality, as well as lead to a better understanding of neurological disease.

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New science of learning offers preview of tomorrow

LA JOLLA, CA—Of all the qualities that distinguish humans from other species, how we learn is one of the most significant. In the July 17, 2009 issue of the journal Science, researchers who are at the forefront of neuroscience, psychology, education, and machine learning have synthesized a new science of learning that is already reshaping how we think about learning and creating opportunities to re-imagine the classroom for the 21st century.

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Timing is everything: Growth factor keeps brain development on track

LA JOLLA, CA—Just like a conductor cueing musicians in an orchestra, Fgf10, a member of the fibroblast growth factor (Ffg) family of morphogens, lets brain stem cells know that the moment to get to work has arrived, ensuring that they hit their first developmental milestone on time, report scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in the July 16, 2009, edition of the journal Neuron.

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Salk Institute establishes Presidential Chair to honor Qualcomm founder Dr. Irwin M. Jacobs

SAN DIEGO, CA—The Salk Institute for Biological Sciences today announced the establishment of the Irwin M. Jacobs Presidential Chair based on an endowment from Qualcomm and Qualcomm's employees. The Presidential Chair commemorates Qualcomm founder Dr. Irwin Jacobs' recent decision to step down as chairman of Qualcomm's Board of Directors and recognizes his ongoing dedicated leadership of the Salk Institute's Board of Trustees. Dr. Jacobs continues to serve as a member of Qualcomm's Board of Directors and in that capacity continues to provide his vision and guidance.

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NIH designates Salk Institute one of seven national basic research centers focused on vision

LA JOLLA, CA—A $3.8 million grant from the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health places the Salk Institute among one of seven NEI-designated centers focused exclusively on the basic research of vision, and is the first basic science facility created by the NEI in nearly a decade.

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Newborn brain cells show the way

LA JOLLA, CA—Although the fact that we generate new brain cells throughout life is no longer disputed, their purpose has been the topic of much debate. Now, an international collaboration of researchers made a big leap forward in understanding what all these newborn neurons might actually do. Their study, published in the July 10, 2009, issue of the journal Science, illustrates how these young cells improve our ability to navigate our environment.

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