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Repairing a 'bad' reputation?

La Jolla, CA—New research at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies casts the role of a neuronal growth factor receptor—long suspected to facilitate the toxic effects of beta amyloid in Alzheimer's disease—in a new light, suggesting the molecule actually protects the neuron in the periphery from beta amyloid-induced damage.

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How the retina works: Like a multi-layered jigsaw puzzle of receptive fields

La Jolla, CA—About 1.25 million neurons in the retina -- each of which views the world only through a small jagged window called a receptive field -- collectively form the seamless picture we rely on to navigate our environment. Receptive fields fit together like pieces of a puzzle, preventing "blind spots" and excessive overlap that could blur our perception of the world, according to researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

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Salk scientist -- one of 50 nationwide -- selected as HHMI Early Career Scientist

La Jolla, CA—Salk Institute scientist Reuben J. Shaw, Ph.D., has been selected a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist, the HHMI announced today.

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Salk Institute Signs Strategic Alliance with sanofi-aventis

La Jolla, CA—The Salk Institute today announced that it has signed a strategic alliance agreement with sanofi-aventis, establishing a joint program that supports cutting-edge research and promotes an exchange of discoveries focused on scientific advances and therapeutic applications.

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Visual attention: how the brain makes the most of the visible world

La Jolla, CA—The visual system has limited capacity and cannot process everything that falls onto the retina. Instead, the brain relies on attention to bring salient details into focus and filter out background clutter. Two recent studies by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, one study employing computational modeling techniques and the other experimental techniques, have helped to unravel the mechanisms underlying attention.

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Forget it! A biochemical pathway for blocking your worst fears?

La Jolla, CA — A receptor for glutamate, the most prominent neurotransmitter in the brain, plays a key role in the process of "unlearning," report researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Their findings, published in the current issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, could eventually help scientists develop new drug therapies to treat a variety of disorders, including phobias and anxiety disorders, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Stem Cells Yield New Clues to Glut of Glial Cells in Down's Syndrome, Glioblastoma, and Alzheimer's Disease

La Jolla, CA—A newly identified molecular pathway that directs stem cells to produce glial cells yields insights into the neurobiology of Down's syndrome and a number of central nervous system disorders characterized by too many glial cells, according to a recent study by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

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Salk scientists detect molecular obesity link to insulin resistance, type II diabetes

La Jolla, CA—A molecular switch found in the fat tissue of obese mice is a critical factor in the development of insulin resistance, report scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Previously found to increase glucose production by the liver during fasting, the culprit—a protein known as CREB—is also activated in fat tissue of obese mice where it promotes insulin resistance.

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Light or fight? Scientists discover how plants make tough survival choices

La Jolla, CA — Ever since insects developed a taste for vegetation, plants have faced the same dilemma: use limited resources to out-compete their neighbors for light to grow, or, invest directly in defense against hungry insects. Now, an international team of scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the Institute of Investigaciones Fisiológicas y Ecológicas Vinculadas a la Agronomía (IFEVA) has discovered how plants weigh the tradeoffs and redirect their energies accordingly.

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Inder Verma Named First Incumbent of the Irwin Mark Jacobs Chair in Exemplary Life Sciences

La Jolla, CA -- The Salk Institute today named principal investigator Inder M. Verma the first incumbent of the Irwin Mark Jacobs Chair in Exemplary Life Sciences. Established to honor its namesake's exceptional leadership in business and philanthropy, the honor is given to an internationally renowned senior Salk scientist who has made extraordinary discoveries in basic biomedical research and has contributed to the direction and vitality of the Institute.

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