La Jolla, CA – For the first time, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have demonstrated that cell-cell contacts in the brain play an active role in processing information: called synapses, these interfaces act as precise filters that sense and amplify meaningful information, Salk researchers report in the current issue of PLoS Biology, available online.
La Jolla, CA – When Robert Burns compared his love to a red, red rose, he definitely wasn’t referring to a topless mutant. That’s because rather than being topped by a lovely, fragrant bloom, a rose mutant in the gene known as TOPLESS would be crowned by a homely second root.
La Jolla, CA – A collaboration between scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the Pasteur Institute in Paris has uncovered the molecular signals that trigger maturation of natural killer cells, an important group of immune system cells, into fully armed killing machines. Their findings will be published in a forthcoming issue of Nature Immunology.
La Jolla, CA – Neurons in the brain and spinal cord come in two flavors, excitatory neurons that transmit and amplify signals, and inhibitory neurons that inhibit and refine those signals. Although investigators have long appreciated that these two classes of neurons exist in the central nervous system, little is known about how cells decide to become inhibitory or excitatory during embryonic development. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have now uncovered a pathway that plays a central role in regulating this choice.
La Jolla, CA – It doesn’t take John Wayne’s deliberate, pigeon-toed swagger or Marilyn Monroe’s famously wiggly sway to judge a person’s gender based on the way they move. People are astonishingly accurate when asked to judge the gender of walking human figures, even when they are represented by 15 small dots of light attached to major joints of the body.
La Jolla, CA – When given extra shots of the plant steroid brassinolide, plants “pump up” like major league baseball players do on steroids. Tracing brassinolide’s signal deep into the cell’s nucleus, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have unraveled how the growth-boosting hormone accomplishes its job at the molecular level.
La Jolla, CA – The brain, that exquisite network of billions of communicating cells, starts to take form with the genesis of nerve cells. Most newborn nerve cells, also called neurons, must travel from their birthplace to the position they will occupy in the adult brain. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified a molecule expressed on the surface of certain migrating neurons that helps them find their correct position along on the way.
La Jolla, CA – Dr. Irwin Jacobs, QUALCOMM co-founder, has been named chairman-elect of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies’ Board of Trustees. Dr. Jacobs will assume his new role in November when current chairman Jerry Kohlberg retires.
La Jolla, CA – New animal studies conducted at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies show that the only human gene therapy treatment to date considered to be largely successful, is, in fact, riskier than realized.
La Jolla, CA – Salk Institute professor Joseph R. Ecker, who spearheaded the first effort to decipher a plant genome, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences. The Academy made the announcement today during its 143rd annual meeting in Washington, DC. Election to the Academy recognizes distinguished and continuing achievements in original research, and is considered one of the highest honors accorded a U.S. scientist.
La Jolla, CA – Researchers have long wondered how nuclear pores – the all-important channels that control the flow of information in and out of a cell’s nucleus – double in number to prepare for the split to come when a cell divides. Now, for the first time, scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies watched as new funnel-like pore structures formed from scratch, and inserted themselves into the nuclear membrane.
La Jolla, CA – Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered a neural circuit that is likely to play an important role in the visual perception of moving objects. Their finding, published in the April issue of the journal Neuron, forces neurobiologists to rethink the neural pathways that our brain relies on to detect motion.
La Jolla, CA – Genetically engineered mice convinced scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies that it was time to overhaul widely held beliefs about how a powerful tumor suppressor called p53 is controlled in cells. Their new model of p53 regulation has important implications for the development of anticancer drugs.
La Jolla, CA – On April 10, 2006, the Salk Institute revealed the latest version of its Master Plan Update. This long-term development plan will serve as a blueprint for the growth and development of the Institute for the next 50 years. The updated plan stays true to the original vision for the campus developed by Jonas Salk and Louis Kahn, and will allow the Institute to remain a world leader in the rapidly evolving world of basic medical research.
La Jolla, CA – Ronald M. Evans, Ph.D., professor and head of the Gene Expression Laboratory of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, has been named a 2006 winner of the prestigious Gairdner Award for his pioneering research into nuclear hormone receptors.
La Jolla, CA – Salk Institute professor Ursula Bellugi, who pioneered the study of the biological foundation of language, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences. The Academy made the announcement today during its 144th annual meeting in Washington, DC. Election to the Academy recognizes distinguished and continuing achievements in original research, and is considered one of the highest honors accorded a U.S. scientist.
La Jolla, CA – For the first time ever, researchers at the Salk Institute have pinpointed a protein specifically responsible for extending lifespan and youthfulness without disrupting an organism’s response to some forms of stress, development and fertility controlled by the insulin signaling pathway.
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.
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.
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.