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Charting the Epigenome

La Jolla, CA – Until recently, the chemical marks littering the DNA inside our cells like trees dotting a landscape could only be studied one gene at a time. But new high-throughput DNA sequencing technology has enabled researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies to map the precise position of these individual DNA modifications throughout the genome of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, and chart its effect on the activity of any of Arabidopsis' roughly 26,000 genes.

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Sharing the road

La Jolla, CA – Come summer, we will once again marvel at the amazing athletic skills of Olympic athletes while in fact, the simple act of walking is no less remarkable. Just to prevent us from toppling over, the neuromuscular circuitry that controls all bodily movements relies on constant sensory feedback from the periphery to fine-tune its commands to hundreds of muscles.

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The Salk Institute announces $10 million challenge gift from Irwin and Joan Jacobs

La Jolla, CA – The Salk Institute announced today that Irwin and Joan Jacobs have established a $10 million matching fund to support the creation of 10 Senior Scientist Endowed Chairs. By providing a match, this fund enables 10 donors to each make a gift of $2 million to create and name a highly prestigious and permanent chair. The Irwin and Joan Jacobs Leadership Challenge will add a $1 million match to each gift, thus providing each Chair with a $3 million endowment. Each named chair will provide key support to a Salk Institute Senior scientist.

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A place in the sun

La Jolla, CA – Those spindly plants that desperately try to reach for a break in the canopy formed by larger plants all suffer from the same affliction: Shade avoidance syndrome or SAS. Now, the molecular details of SAS have been brought to light by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

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Salk scientist wins 2007 Young Investigator's Award in Gene Therapy for Cancer

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 selected for the 2007 Young Investigator's Award in Gene Therapy for Cancer. She will receive $500,000 over a three-year period to develop the "next generation oncolytic adenoviruses for p53-selective tumor therapy."

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Vicki Lundblad to receive 2008 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize

La Jolla, CA – The fifth annual Pearl Meister Greengard Prize, an international award to recognize outstanding women scientists, has been awarded to Salk professor Vicki Lundblad, Ph.D., for her groundbreaking work in telomere biology.

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How worms protect their chromosomes: Thereby hangs a surprising tail

La Jolla, CA – A team of scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies has discovered that the roundworm C. elegans constructs the protective tips of its chromosomes – known as telomeres – with a little more panache than do mammals, a finding that could deepen our understanding of the interrelationship of aging and cancer.

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Chronically elevated blood sugar levels disable "fasting switch"

La Jolla, CA – Continually revved up insulin production, the kind that results from overeating and obesity, slowly dulls the body's response to insulin. As a result, blood sugar levels start to creep up, setting the stage for diabetes-associated complications such as blindness, stroke and renal failure. To make matters even worse, chronically elevated blood sugar concentrations exacerbate insulin resistance.

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UC San Diego and Salk Institute Establish Center to Study the Origin of Humans

La Jolla, CA – Perhaps the oldest question in the world is "where do I come from?"

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New potential drug target for the treatment of atherosclerosis

La Jolla, CA – A nuclear receptor protein, known for controlling the ability of cells to burn fat, also exerts powerful anti-inflammatory effects in arteries, suppressing atherosclerosis in mice prone to developing the harmful plaques, according to new research by scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the Harvard School of Public Health.

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