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Beyond nature vs. nurture: Williams syndrome across cultures

La Jolla, CA – Nobody questions that the color of our eyes is encoded in our genes. When it comes to behavior the concept of "DNA as fate" quickly breaks down – it's been long accepted that both genes and the environment shape human behavior. But just how much sway the environment holds over our genetic destiny has been difficult to untangle.

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National Academy of Sciences honors Joe Ecker with Carty Award

La Jolla, CA – The National Academy of Sciences has selected Joseph R. Ecker, professor in the Plant Biology Laboratory and director of the Salk Institute Genomic Analysis Laboratory, to receive the 2007 John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science "for contributions in the areas of ethylene signal transduction and Arabidopsis genomics that have paved the way for a revolution in modern agriculture."

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The time it takes to reassemble the world

La Jolla, CA – A few glimpses are enough to perceive a seamless and richly detailed visual world. But instead of "photographic snapshots," information about the color, shape and motion of an object is pulled apart and sent through individual nerve cells, or neurons, to the visual center in the brain. How the brain puts the scene back to together has been hotly debated ever since neurons were discovered over a century ago.

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Detailed 3-D image catches a key regulator of neural stem cell differentiation in action

La Jolla, CA – Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in collaboration with scientists at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) took a high resolution "action shot" of a protein switch that plays a crucial role in the development of the nervous system. Their findings, published in the Dec. 8 issue of the journal Molecular Cell, provide a template for the design of small molecule inhibitors to control that switch, a protein called Scp1, at will.

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Salk scientist wins 2007 McKnight Neuroscience of Brain Disorders Award

La Jolla, CA —Dr. Andrew Dillin, an assistant professor in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, has been selected for the 2007 McKnight Neuroscience of Brain Disorders Award. He will receive $300,000 over a three-year period to study “age-associated neuroprotection by insulin/IGF-1 signaling.”

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Salk scientists named 2006 AAAS Fellows

La Jolla, CA – Professors Terrence J. Sejnowski and Inder Verma have been awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow. Election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science is an honor bestowed upon members by their peers.

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Starting over: Wnt reactivates dormant limb regeneration program

La Jolla, CA – Chop off a salamander's leg and a brand new one will sprout in no time. But most animals have lost the ability to replace missing limbs. Now, a research team at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies has been able to regenerate a wing in a chick embryo – a species not known to be able to regrow limbs - suggesting that the potential for such regeneration exists innately in all vertebrates, including humans.

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DNA repair teams' motto: 'To protect and serve'

La Jolla, CA – When you dial 911 you expect rescuers to pull up at your front door, unload and get busy – not park the truck down the street and eat donuts.

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Salk Institute President Richard A. Murphy Announces His Retirement

La Jolla, CA – The Salk Institute for Biological Studies today announced that Dr. Richard Murphy will retire from his position of President and CEO on July 1, 2007. Murphy, 62, has served in this capacity since Oct. 1, 2000. Murphy made his announcement at the Nov. 10 meeting of the Salk Institute's Board of Trustees.

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In early embryos, cilia get the message across

La Jolla, CA – Having your heart in the right place usually means having it located on the left side of your body. But just how a perfectly symmetrical embryo settles on what's right and what's left has fascinated developmental biologists for a long time. The turning point came when the rotational beating of cilia, hair-like structures found on most cells, was identified as essential to the process.

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