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More than meets the eye

La Jolla, CA – Ever watch a jittery video made with a hand-held camera that made you almost ill? With our eyes constantly darting back and forth and our body hardly ever holding still, that is exactly what our brain is faced with. Yet despite the shaky video stream, we usually perceive our environment as perfectly stable.

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Williams syndrome, the brain, and music

La Jolla, CA – Children with Williams syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, just love music and will spend hours listening to or making music. Despite averaging an IQ score of 60, many possess a great memory for songs, an uncanny sense of rhythm, and the kind of auditory acuity that can discern differences between different vacuum cleaner brands.

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Salk Nonresident Fellow Liz Blackburn awarded 2006 Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research

La Jolla, CA – Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Ph.D., has been awarded the highly prestigious Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for her pioneering work on telomeres, the structures that protect chromosome ends, the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation announced on Saturday.

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Ronald M. Evans to receive Harvey Prize for outstanding contributions to human health

La Jolla, CA – Dr. Ronald M. Evans, professor and head of the Gene Expression Laboratory of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, was awarded the prestigious Harvey Prize in Human Health from the Technion-Israel Institute for Technology, Israel's premier science and technology university.

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Distinguishing friend from foe in the battle against cancer

La Jolla, CA – The latest generation of cancer chemotherapeutic drugs specifically targets mutant enzymes or "oncoproteins" that have run amok and now promote uncontrolled cell growth. As promising as these drugs are, cancer cells with their backs against the wall have the tendency to fight back. A major goal of cancer research is to frustrate these acts of cellular desperation.

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Two Salk researchers win McKnight Technological Innovations in Neuroscience Award

La Jolla, CA – Dr. Richard J. Krauzlis and Dr. Edward M. Callaway have been selected for the McKnight Technological Innovations in Neurosciences Award. The awards support scientists working on new and unusual approaches to understand brain function.

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In a technical tour de force, Salk scientists take a global view of the epigenome

La Jolla, CA – A collaboration between researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the University of California at Los Angeles captured the genome-wide DNA methylation pattern of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana – the "laboratory rat" of the plant world – in one big sweep.

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When the going gets tough, slime molds start synthesizing

La Jolla, CA – In times of plenty, the uni-cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum leads a solitary life munching on bacteria littering the forest floor. But these simple creatures can perform heroic developmental acts: when the bacterial food supply dries up, Dictyostelium amebas band together with their neighbors and form a multi-cellular tower designed to save the children.

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Neuroscientists create technique to rapidly switch neurons off and on to study function

La Jolla, CA – Using molecules involved in insect molting, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have created a laboratory method that can quickly turn off neurons in the brain and spinal cord of live animals - and can just as rapidly switch them back on.

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Life and death in the hippocampus: what young neurons need to survive

La Jolla, CA – Whether newborn nerve cells in adult brains live or die depends on whether they can muscle their way into networks occupied by mature neurons. Neuroscientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies pin-pointed the molecular survival gear required for a young neuron to successfully jump into the fray and hook up with other cells.

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