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Silencing Alzheimer's: targeting a key enzyme with gene therapy reversed course of disease in mouse models

La Jolla, CA – In mice, that had been genetically engineered to develop Alzheimer's disease, scientists were able to reverse the rodents' memory loss by reducing the amount of an enzyme that is crucial for the development of Alzheimer's disease.

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Exercise may reverse mental decline brought on by aging

La Jolla, CA – Perhaps you can teach an old mouse new tricks, after all. But be sure to pick an active one.

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Key regulator of blood glucose levels discovered

La Jolla, CA – In many patients with type 2 diabetes, the liver acts like a sugar factory on overtime, churning out glucose throughout the day, even when blood sugar levels are high. Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies discovered a key cellular switch that controls glucose production in liver cells.

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Unexpected features of anthrax toxin may lead to new types of therapies

La Jolla, CA – Surprising new insights about the acid pH levels required for anthrax toxin to invade the cells of the body may help accelerate development of medications for the treatment of anthrax, a disease caused by a spore-forming bacterium.

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'Fail safe' mechanism that helps keep inflammation in check

La Jolla, CA – Shutting down a master activator of the body's inflammatory response – which is the goal of several experimental drugs now in development for the treatment of arthritis – may create even more inflammation with its associated pain and swelling in the body.

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Tiny roundworm's telomeres help scientists to tease apart different types of aging

La Jolla, CA – The continual and inevitable shortening of telomeres, the protective "caps" at the end of all 46 human chromosomes, has been linked to aging and physical decline. Once they are gone, so are we. But there are more ways than one to grow old.

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Salk scientists overturn a dogma of nerve cell communication

La Jolla, CA – Every neurobiology textbook invariably states that nerve cells communicate with each other through synapses, the specialized cell-cell contacts found at the end of the cells' threadlike extensions. In this week's journal Science, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences and the University of California at San Diego report that nerve cells, or neurons, may not have to rely on traditionally defined synapses to "talk" to each other.

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Spain to send postdoctoral researchers to Salk Institute for training in science of stem cell biology

La Jolla, CA – Over the next five years, the Salk Institute will be a training ground for a total of 30 selected post-doctoral researchers from Spain, in the science of stem cell biology.

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For the first time, miniature electrode array records from hundreds of nerve cells simultaneously

La Jolla, CA – For many years, scientists tried to glean information about the nervous system by recording the electrical activity of one brain cell at a time. Because even the simplest functions of the nervous system involve many thousands of neurons, recording the activity of individual or only a handful of nerve cells does not provide a full picture.

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France's highest scientific honor to be awarded this year to Salk Institute scientist Ronald M. Evans

La Jolla, CA – Ronald M. Evans, Ph.D., professor and head of the Gene Expression Laboratory of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, will receive the 2005 Grande Médaille D'Or (Grand Gold Medal), France's highest scientific honor, for his research discovering how hormones and drugs control the body's metabolism, development and reproduction.

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