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Promising new research earns Salk scientist Career Development Award

LA JOLLA, CA—The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) has given Salk scientist Mark Huising a five-year, $750,000 Career Development Award for his proposed study on how a novel network of receptors in human islets receives and integrates molecular signals. In pre-clinical models, activation of these receptors has proven to actually prevent diabetes. Career Development Awards are highly competitive and bestowed upon only a handful of people each year.

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Insulin plays a role in mediating worms' perceptions and behaviors

LA JOLLA,CA—In the past few years, as imaging tools and techniques have improved, scientists have been working tirelessly to build a detailed map of neural connections in the human brain—with the ultimate hope of understanding how the mind works.

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Salk Scientist Tatyana Sharpee receives CAREER award from NSF

LA JOLLA, CA—Salk scientist Tatyana Sharpee has received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund upcoming research in her lab. The CAREER award supports faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

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Salk scientists and colleagues discover important mechanism underlying Alzheimer's disease

LA JOLLA, CA—Alzheimer's disease affects more than 26 million people worldwide. It is predicted to skyrocket as boomers age—nearly 106 million people are projected to have the disease by 2050. Fortunately, scientists are making progress towards therapies. A collaboration among several research entities, including the Salk Institute and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, has defined a key mechanism behind the disease's progress, giving hope that a newly modified Alzheimer's drug will be effective.

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The 'weakest link' in the aging proteome

LA JOLLA, CA—Proteins are the chief actors in cells, carrying out the duties specified by information encoded in our genes. Most proteins live only two days or less, ensuring that those damaged by inevitable chemical modifications are replaced with new functional copies.

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Salk researchers develop new model to study schizophrenia and other neurological conditions

LA JOLLA, CA—Schizophrenia is one of the most devastating neurological conditions, with only 30 percent of sufferers ever experiencing full recovery. While current medications can control most psychotic symptoms, their side effects can leave individuals so severely impaired that the disease ranks among the top ten causes of disability in developed countries.

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Drug blocks light sensors in eye that may trigger migraine attacks

LA JOLLA, CA—For many migraine sufferers, bright lights are a surefire way to exacerbate their headaches. And for some night-shift workers, just a stroll through a brightly lit parking lot during the morning commute home can be enough to throw off their body's daily rhythms and make daytime sleep nearly impossible. But a new molecule that selectively blocks specialized light-sensitive receptors in the eyes could help both these groups of people, without affecting normal vision according to a study published August 25, 2013 in Nature Chemical Biology.

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Potent mechanism helps viruses shut down body's defense system against infection

LA JOLLA, CA—Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered a powerful mechanism by which viruses such as influenza, West Nile and Dengue evade the body's immune response and infect humans with these potentially deadly diseases. The findings may provide scientists with an attractive target for novel antiviral therapies.

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Salk scientists add new bond to protein engineering toolbox

LA JOLLA, CA—Proteins are the workhorses of cells, adopting conformations that allow them to set off chemical reactions, send signals and transport materials. But when a scientist is designing a new drug, trying to visualize the processes inside cells, or probe how molecules interact with each other, they can't always find a protein that will do the job they want. Instead, they often engineer their own novel proteins to use in experiments, either from scratch or by altering existing molecules.

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Salk scientist discovers novel mechanism in spinal cord injury

LA JOLLA, CA—More than 11,000 Americans suffer spinal cord injuries each year, and since over a quarter of those injuries are due to falls, the number is likely to rise as the population ages. The reason so many of those injuries are permanently disabling is that the human body lacks the capacity to regenerate nerve fibers. The best our bodies can do is route the surviving tissue around the injury site.

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