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Salk News


New Potential Drug Target In HIV Enzyme

La Jolla, CA – A Salk Institute-led team of scientists has identified a new site on the HIV enzyme integrase for potential drug therapy. Integrase is the only HIV enzyme not targeted by current drugs; reverse transcriptase and protease are blocked by drugs such as AZT and the protease inhibitors.


Salk Scientists Find Genes That Control Limb Formation In Vertebrates

La Jolla, CA – Whether they’re wings, fins or legs, those appendages generally known as limbs play a critical role for lifting, grasping, moving and other activities needed to sustain life.


Running Boosts Brain Cell Numbers in Neurodegenerative Disease Model

La Jolla, CA – Scientists at The Salk Institute have shown that running can boost brain cell survival in animals with neurodegenerative disease.


First Plant Genome Sequenced: Salk Scientists Part Of International Effort

La Jolla, CA – The first complete genome sequence of a plant appears in the current issue of Nature. Salk Professor Joseph R. Ecker, co-director of one of six contributing sequencing groups, expects the sequence to greatly accelerate efforts to improve the yield and hardiness of crop plants.


Vitamin A Deficiency Impairs Learning Functions In Reversible Manner

La Jolla, CA – Removing Vitamin A from the diets of mice diminishes chemical changes in the brain considered the hallmarks of learning and memory. When vitamin A is added back to their diets, the impairment is reversed.


“Gene Chips” Offer First Look at Genetic Behavior In Brain

La Jolla, CA – Salk scientists have obtained the first snapshot of how gene behavior varies among mammalian brains. The study employed “gene chip” technology to simultaneously compare the activities of approximately 13,000 genes in two inbred strains of mice.


Richard A. Murphy Appointed President and CEO of The Salk Institute

La Jolla, CA – Richard A. Murphy, director of the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI), has been named president and chief executive officer of The Salk Institute, effective October 1.


Humanized Mouse To Become Basic Tool To Test Drug-Drug Interactions

La Jolla, CA – A genetically engineered mouse, equipped with a human gene that senses potentially toxic substances in the body, including drugs, has been created by scientists at The Salk Institute.


Cancer “Survival” Structure Deciphered By Salk Scientists

La Jolla, CA – It’s a molecule that endows cancer cells with their pernicious ability to persevere.


Chromosome Copying: Salk Scientists Identify Unique Mechanism

La Jolla, CA – Before the moment of conception, living organisms experience another distinct birth – the creation of healthy eggs and sperm. Salk scientists recently obtained a peek at how genetic material is copied during the process, called meiosis, that produces these sex cells.


First Genes To Control Cortex Identity Discovered By Salk Scientists

La Jolla, CA – Salk Institute neuroscientists have obtained the first evidence that specific genes control how the cortex forms functional units during development. The cortex is the most recently evolved part of the mammalian brain and, in humans, governs abstract reasoning and symbolic thought.


Single Gene Deficiency Makes Mice “Neurotic”

La Jolla, CA – Mice are not usually noted for their stalwart natures, but a new Salk Institute study shows that the loss of a single gene can render them especially anxious. The resulting “neurotic” mice approach new situations tentatively and appear to experience stress more acutely than normal mice.


We Live In The Past, Salk Scientists Discover

La Jolla, CA – If you think you?re living in the past, you’re right – and science can tell you just how far behind the times you are. According to a new Salk study, it’s at least 80 milliseconds, just slightly longer than the blink of an eye.


Potential Male Contraceptive Target Discovered by Salk Scientists

La Jolla, CA – The first gene to control male fertility without affecting sexual behavior or physical appearance has been identified by Salk researchers. The study, appearing in the current Nature Genetics, demonstrates that a certain genetic mutation eliminates sperm development in male mice. It has no effect on females.


Plant “DWARF” Gene Found By Salk Scientists

La Jolla, CA – Manicuring golf courses and the ritual mowing of suburban lawns may soon be relegated to history with the discovery of a new “dwarf” gene that limits plant stem length.


HIV Movement Visualized by Salk Scientists

La Jolla, CA – A new technique developed by Salk scientists allows the first glimpse of HIV inside a living cell and shows how the virus advances toward its ultimate target, the nucleus.


Gene That Speeds Maturation In Plants Isolated By Scientists At The Salk Institute

La Jolla, CA – A gene that speeds up the maturation process in plants, resulting in earlier development and flowering, has been isolated by a team of scientists at The Salk Institute.


Structure of Molecular Scissors Critical for the Shaping of Cells Revealed by Structural Biologists at The Salk Institute

La Jolla, CA – The living cell is the prototypical shape-shifter. At any given moment, it will reorganize itself to move, grow, replicate and even die.


Exercise Makes Mice Smarter, Salk Scientists Demonstrate

La Jolla, CA – Should you hit the treadmill before hitting the books?


Vitamin A Shown To Be Critical For Heart Location In Vertebrate Animals

La Jolla, CA – To make sure your heart’s in the right place, you need to add just the right amount of vitamin A.