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Salk News


Modeling autism in a dish

LA JOLLA, CA—A collaborative effort between researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the University of California, San Diego, successfully used human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells derived from patients with Rett syndrome to replicate autism in the lab and study the molecular pathogenesis of the disease.


Fly stem cells on diet: Salk scientists discovered how stem cells respond to nutrient availability

LA JOLLA, CA–A study by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies revealed that stem cells can sense a decrease in available nutrients and respond by retaining only a small pool of active stem cells for tissue maintenance. When, or if, favorable conditions return, stem cell numbers multiply to accommodate increased demands on the tissue.


Helmsley Charitable Trust awards more than $15 million to Salk Institute-Columbia University collaborative stem cell research effort

LA JOLLA, CA–The Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Columbia University Medical Center have been awarded a $15 million grant by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, establishing a collaborative program to fast-track the use of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to gain new insight into disease mechanisms and screen for novel therapeutic drugs.


Decoding the disease that perplexes: Salk scientists discover new target for MS

LA JOLLA, CA—Scientists are closer to solving one of the many mysteries of multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating diseases, thanks to a recent study conducted at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. The research revealed a previously unknown connection between two ion channels, which, when misaligned, can cause the many bizarre symptoms that characterize the condition.


Remembering Glen Evans

He was extremely smart and forward-thinking — a technology savant whose ideas were ahead of his time.


Salk Institute Medals to be awarded to Pioneering Biologist Robert Roeder and High-Tech Innovator/Philanthropist Irwin Jacobs

LA JOLLA, CA—For the second time in its 50-year history, the Salk Institute will award its Research Excellence and Public Service Medals. Gene expression pioneer Robert G. Roeder of The Rockefeller University will be awarded the Salk Institute Medal for Research Excellence. Irwin M. Jacobs, the renowned engineer, entrepreneur and philanthropist, will be awarded the Salk Institute Medal for Public Service.


From eye to brain: Salk researchers map functional connections between retinal neurons at single-cell resolution

LA JOLLA, CA—By comparing a clearly defined visual input with the electrical output of the retina, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies were able to trace for the first time the neuronal circuitry that connects individual photoreceptors with retinal ganglion cells, the neurons that carry visuals signals from the eye to the brain.


Ticking of a cellular clock promotes seismic changes in the chromatin landscape associated with aging

LA JOLLA, CA—Like cats, human cells have a finite number of lives-once they divide a certain number of times (thankfully, more than nine) they change shape, slow their pace, and eventually stop dividing, a phenomenon called “cellular senescence”.


Biologists Discover Biochemical Link Between Biological Clock and Diabetes

LA JOLLA, CA—Biologists have found that a key protein that regulates the biological clocks of mammals also regulates glucose production in the liver and that altering the levels of this protein can improve the health of diabetic mice.


Use the common cold virus to target and disrupt cancer cells?

LA JOLLA, CA—A novel mechanism used by adenovirus to sidestep the cell’s suicide program, could go a long way to explain how tumor suppressor genes are silenced in tumor cells and pave the way for a new type of targeted cancer therapy, report researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in the Aug. 26, 2010 issue of Nature.


Language as a window into sociability

LA JOLLA, CA—People with Williams syndrome—known for their indiscriminate friendliness and ease with strangers—process spoken language differently from people with autism spectrum disorders—characterized by social withdrawal and isolation—found researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.


NIH awards $21 million grant to study early stages of HIV-1 infection

LA JOLLA, CA—A multi-institutional team headed by John Young, Ph.D., a professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and Sumit Chanda, Ph.D., an associate professor at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, has been awarded a $21 million Program Project Grant to dissect the early innate immune response to HIV infection using a systems biology approach.


Non-Resident Fellow Wurtz wins Gruber Foundation’s 2010 Neuroscience Prize

Dr. Robert H. Wurtz, an NIH distinguished investigator and Salk Institute Non-Resident Fellow, will receive the 2010 Neuroscience Prize for his pioneering work in cognitive neuroscience.


Salk colleagues remember former Salk Chairman Frederick Rentschler

LA JOLLA, CA—Frederick B. Rentschler, 70, a corporate leader and longtime Salk Trustee who served as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board, and briefly as Salk Chief Executive Officer, died July 6 in Scottsdale, AZ.


Origins of multicellularity: All in the family

LA JOLLA, CA-One of the most pivotal steps in evolution-the transition from unicellular to multicellular organisms-may not have required as much retooling as commonly believed, found a globe-spanning collaboration of scientists led by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the US Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute.


Tickets for Symphony at Salk, featuring the legendary Liza Minnelli, On Sale Now

Multi-award-winning entertainer to share the stage with the San Diego Symphony and Maestro Thomas Wilkins at annual fundraiser for the Salk Institute Aug. 28


Work-life balance: Brain stem cells need their rest, too

LA JOLLA, CA—Stem cells in the brain remain dormant until called upon to divide and make more neurons. However, little has been known about the molecular guards that keep them quiet. Now scientists from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified the signal that prevents stem cells from proliferating, protecting the brain against too much cell division and ensuring a pool of neural stem cells that lasts a lifetime.


Nomis Foundation’s $6.5 million gift supports research in Immunobiology; Salk ends fundraising year above $31-million mark

LA JOLLA, CA—A $6.5 million gift received today from the Swiss-based Nomis Foundation caps a strong fundraising season for the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, which raised more than $31 million from foundations and private philanthropists in the 2009-2010 fiscal year.


Connecting the dots: How light receptors get their message across

LA JOLLA, CA—For a plant, light is life. It drives everything from photosynthesis to growth and reproduction. Yet the chain of molecular events that enables light signals to control gene activity and ultimately a plant’s architecture had remained in the dark. Now a team of researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Duke University have identified the courier that gives the signal to revamp the plant’s gene expression pattern after photoreceptors have been activated by light.


Nuclear pores call on different assembly mechanisms at different cell cycle stages

LA JOLLA, CA—Nuclear pores are the primary gatekeepers mediating communication between a cell’s nucleus and its cytoplasm. Recently these large multiprotein transport channels have also been shown to play an essential role in developmental gene regulation. Despite the critical role in nuclear function, however, nuclear pore complexes remain somewhat shadowy figures, with many details about their formation shrouded in mystery.