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Salk News
Salk Non-Resident Fellow Honored with Nobel Prize for the Discovery of Telomerase

LA JOLLA, CA—Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Ph.D., a professor at the University of California in San Francisco and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies since 2001, will receive this year's Nobel Prize in Medicine/Physiology for "the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase," the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden announced today.


Umbilical cord blood as a readily available source for off-the-shelf, patient-specific stem cells

LA JOLLA, CA—Umbilical cord blood cells can successfully be reprogrammed to function like embryonic stem cells, setting the basis for the creation of a comprehensive bank of tissue-matched, cord blood-derived induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells for off-the-shelf applications, report researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the Center for Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona, Spain.


Rising above the din:
Attention makes sensory signals stand out amidst the background noise in the brain

LA JOLLA, CA—The brain never sits idle. Whether we are awake or asleep, watch TV or close our eyes, waves of spontaneous nerve signals wash through our brains. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies studying visual attention have discovered a novel mechanism that explains how incoming sensory signals make themselves heard amidst the constant background rumblings so they can be reliably processed and passed on.


Shedding Light on the Latest Ravages of Polio in America: Salk Institute Launches Website for Polio Survivors

LA JOLLA, CA—The Salk Institute for Biological Studies today officially launched — a resource for polio survivors intended to raise awareness of the crippling post-polio syndrome (PPS), a serious neuromuscular condition that can strike an estimated 40-50 percent of people decades after they were first infected with the poliovirus.


The "S" stands for surprise: Anticoagulant plays unexpected role in maintaining circulatory integrity

LA JOLLA, CA—Protein S, a well-known anticoagulant protein, keeps the blood flowing in more than one way, discovered researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. The protein contributes to the formation and function of healthy blood vessels.


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.


Remembering Chris Lamb

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


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.


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.


"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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