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Exercise in a pill

LA JOLLA, CA—Trying to reap the health benefits of exercise? Forget treadmills and spin classes, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies may have found a way around the sweat and pain. They identified two signaling pathways that are activated in response to exercise and converge to dramatically increase endurance.

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Stem cell chicken and egg debate moves to unlikely arena: the testes

La Jolla, CA – Logic says it has to be the niche. As air and water preceded life, so the niche, that hospitable environment that shelters adult stem cells in many tissues and provides factors necessary to keep them young and vital, must have emerged before its stem cell dependents.

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Can you hear me now?

La Jolla, CA – When it comes to cellular communication networks, a primitive single-celled microbe that answers to the name of Monosiga brevicollis has a leg up on animals composed of billions of cells. It commands a signaling network more elaborate and diverse than found in any multicellular organism higher up on the evolutionary tree, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered.

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Salk researchers reprogram adult stem cells in their natural environment

La Jolla, CA – In recent years, stem cell researchers have become very adept at manipulating the fate of adult stem cells cultured in the lab. Now, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies achieved the same feat with adult neural stem cells still in place in the brain. They successfully coaxed mouse brain stem cells bound to join the neuronal network to differentiate into support cells instead.

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Salk Institute partners with the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research to study extreme obesity-related genetic disorder

La Jolla, CA – The Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research (FPWR) today announced a partnership that will forge new research to study a rare genetic disorder that thwarts appetite regulation and leads to extreme obesity.

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Perfect vision but blind to light

La Jolla, CA – Mammals have two types of light-sensitive detectors in the retina. Known as rod and cone cells, they are both necessary to picture their environment. However, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have found that eliminating a third sensor – cells expressing a photopigment called melanopsin that measures the intensity of incoming light – makes the circadian clock blind to light, yet leaves normal vision intact.

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Salk scientists selected as Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators

La Jolla, CA – Salk scientists Samuel L. Pfaff and Andrew Dillin have been selected as Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigators, HHMI announced today. Both join a prestigious group of the nation's top biomedical researchers who share the coveted title given to science's most innovative minds.

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Salk Researcher Named 2008 Searle Scholar

La Jolla, CA – Tatyana Sharpee, an assistant professor in the Salk Institute's Laboratory for Computational Biology, has been named a 2008 Searle Scholar. She will receive $300,000 over the next three years in support of her research entitled "Computational Principles of Natural Sensory Processing."

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Salk study links diabetes and Alzheimer's disease

La Jolla, CA – Diabetic individuals have a significantly higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease but the molecular connection between the two remains unexplained. Now, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies identified the probable molecular basis for the diabetes – Alzheimer's interaction.

In a study published in the current online issue of Neurobiology of Aging, investigators led by David R. Schubert, Ph.D., professor in the Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory, report that the blood vessels in the brain of young diabetic mice are damaged by the interaction of elevated blood glucose levels characteristic of diabetes and low levels of beta amyloid, a peptide that clumps to form the senile plaques that riddle the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

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Salk scientist wins 2008 Beckman Young Investigator Award

La Jolla, CA – Dr. Clodagh O'Shea, an assistant professor in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, has been awarded the 2008 Beckmann Young Investigator Award. She will receive $300,000 over a three-year period to develop new technologies for the rapid assembly and cell type-specific targeting of therapeutic viruses.

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