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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.


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.


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?"


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.


Salk researchers uncover molecular connection between excessive nutrient levels and insulin resistance

La Jolla, CA – For quite some time now, scientists suspected the so-called hexosamine pathway – a small side business of the main sugar processing enterprise inside a cell – to be involved in the development of insulin resistance. But they could never quite put their finger on the underlying mechanism.


PNAS article by Salk scientists wins 2007 Cozzarelli Prize

La Jolla, CA – The editors of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) selected the article "Targeted delivery of proteins across the blood-brain barrier" by Brian J. Spencer, Ph.D. and Inder M. Verma, Ph.D., for the 2007 Cozzarelli Prize, which recognizes papers that reflect the highest standards of scientific excellence and originality.


Salk Researcher Receives Prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship

La Jolla, CA – Tatyana Sharpee, an assistant professor in the Laboratory for Computational Biology, has been named an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow. She will receive a grant of $50,000 for a two-year period.


Root or shoot? EAR calls the shots

La Jolla, CA – Controlled by a tightly regulated choreography that determines what should go up and what should go down, plants develop along a polar axis with a root on one end and a shoot on the other.


Dr. Inder Verma Named Recipient of the 2008 Vilcek Foundation Prize

La Jolla, CA – The Vilcek Foundation has named Salk professor Dr. Inder Verma as the recipient of its 2008 prize in biomedical science. The honor is awarded annually to foreign-born individuals for their extraordinary contributions to society in the United States.


Newborn brain cells modulate learning and memory

La Jolla, CA – Boosted by physical and mental exercise, neural stem cells continue to sprout new neurons throughout life, but the exact function of these newcomers has been the topic of much debate. Removing a genetic master switch that maintains neural stem cells in their proliferative state finally gave researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies some definitive answers.


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