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Salk researchers make fast strides towards understanding how our body controls walking

La Jolla, CA – Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified an important circuit in the spinal cord that controls the speed with which our leg muscles contract and relax. Their findings mark an important milestone in understanding the neural circuitry that coordinates walking movements – one of the main obstacles in developing new treatments for spinal cord injuries.

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Salk Board of Trustees adds three prominent San Diegans to its leadership

La Jolla, CA – Dr. Irwin Jacobs, co-founder of QUALCOMM; Richard Freeman, president and chief operating officer of the San Diego Padres; and Ted Waitt, co-founder of Gateway, have been named to the positions of vice chair of the Salk Institute's Board of Trustees. They join vice chair, Dr. Jennifer Howse, president of the March of Dimes; and Jerry Kohlberg, chairman of the Board of Trustees, to form the upper echelon of board leadership for the Salk Institute.

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"Jumping genes": new target for body's innate immune protection system against viruses

La Jolla, CA – When HIV and other retroviruses invade a cell in the human body, a fierce battle ensues between the intruder and the cell's defense team: members of the APOBEC family, a handful of closely related antiviral proteins that try to disarm the invading virus by scrambling its genetic information.

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When the going gets tough, stress response genes can make do with less

La Jolla, CA – Reading the DNA recipes of the 25,000 or so genes within a human cell, a process called transcription, is a highly scripted endeavor. Like the main character in a movie, an enzyme called RNA Polymerase plays the lead role and is supported by an ever-changing cast of supporting transcription factors that come and go as the script demands.

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A novel function for a protein designed to curtail tumor growth

La Jolla, CA – Mutations in a protein, called APC, that normally functions to suppress the development of tumors, cause 85 percent of all colon cancers, the number two cancer killer in the US. For years, scientists thought they knew how: The normal APC protein destroys a protein called Β-catenin, which turns on genes responsible for cell growth. The mutant APC proteins that are commonly found in colon cancer and melanoma, are not able to destroy Β-catenin, leading to unchecked cell growth.

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Genetically modified mice are resistant to obesity despite a high fat diet

La Jolla, CA – Ravenous mice that chomp down as if there were no tomorrow yet stay lean and mean? Shutting down two genes that modulate a body's energy balance transformed these animals into fidgeting, highly efficient fat burning machines, report scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in this week's issue of Cell Metabolism.

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We live in the past and our brain makes up for it

La Jolla, CA – For the first time, scientists have caught a glimpse of the brain as it predicted the future location of a fast moving object in real time.

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Ohio civic volunteer Caryl Philips and former publisher and Santa Barbara resident Michael Pulitzer join Salk Institute?s Board of Trustees

La Jolla, CA – Caryl D. Philips, a longtime supporter of graduate student training at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., and Michael Pulitzer, former chairman of a newspaper empire, recently were elected to the Institute's Board of Trustees.

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Salk Institute's new faculty scientist conducts basic research on molecular pathways at intersection of diabetes and cancer

La Jolla, CA – A research scientist who recently discovered a critical message-relaying pathway that underlies the development of both cancer and type 2 diabetes, in January joined the Salk Institute for Biological Studies as an assistant professor in the institute's Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory and Dulbecco Laboratory for Cancer Research.

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Human embryonic stem cells integrate successfully into mouse brain

La Jolla, CA – Previous studies have shown that undifferentiated human embryonic stem cells (hESC) can survive in the brains of laboratory rats with Parkinson's disease. But until now it was unclear whether hESCs can become fully functional members of the host animal's neuronal architecture – a basic necessity if stem cells are ever to be used in medical treatments replenishing missing or damaged neurons in human patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease.

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