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Salk News


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.


Finding Suggests New Therapy For Genetic Disorder

La Jolla, CA – A home movie of toddlers will show them wobble and weave, often to the amusement of adult viewers. But for babies born with the rare genetic disease ataxia-telangiectasia, commonly known as A-T, what may seem like normal and adorable lack of polish accelerates into a progressive and pervasive loss of muscle control and early death.


Plant Enzyme Important For Nutraceuticals Deciphered By Salk Scientists

La Jolla, CA – The three-dimensional structure of a linchpin enzyme plants need to thrive – and one viewed as a key player in the growing nutraceutical market – has been revealed in atomic detail by scientists at The Salk Institute.


Flower Pattern Switch Found By Salk Scientists

La Jolla, CA – During the turbulent ’60s, the phrases “flower power” and “petal power” were counterculture slogans that invoked peace and love. Though science has yet to design flowers capable of fulfilling the wishes of a bygone era, researchers at The Salk Institute are learning more about the genetic power behind flower formation that one day could yield designer blooms.


Plant Genome Project Leader Joins The Salk Institute

La Jolla, CA – Joseph R. Ecker, one of the nation’s leading authorities on the molecular biology and genetics of plants, will be joining the faculty of The Salk Institute, effective next summer.


Gene Switches Wing To Leg, Salk Scientists Find

La Jolla, CA – A single gene can transform embryonic tissue destined to form a wing into a leg instead, Salk Institute investigators have found. Their studies were performed in chickens, and the gene, called Tbx4 , appears to be involved in limb formation in mammals as well, including humans.


Mice cured of hemophilia by Salk gene therapy protocol

La Jolla, CA – With the aid of a common virus used to ferry a clotting factor gene into liver cells, a team led by researchers at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies has cured a form of hemophilia in mice.


Computer program trained to read faces developed by Salk team

La Jolla, CA – A computer program developed by a Salk-led team has been trained to distinguish among a number of facial cues, helping to sort false from genuine expressions. What’s more, the program performs as well as a psychologist trained to read faces and markedly better than human non-experts.


Running boosts number of brain cells, according to new Salk study

La Jolla, CA – Can regular exercise strengthen the brain? According to a new Salk study, animals that get regular voluntary exercise on running wheels grow more new brain cells than sedentary counterparts.


Genetic combination that steers newborn nerve cells identified by salk scientists

La Jolla, CA – Like a sextant that helps guide ships at sea, a specific combination of genes has been identified that directs newly born nerve cells to their final destinations in developing organisms.


Zinc found to be integral part of brain communication channels

La Jolla, CA – Zinc has long been recognized as an essential trace element, and a current study led by Salk Institute investigators shows it to be an integral part of ion channels, structures that regulate communication among nerve cells.


Dissatisfied flies show link between gene and sexual behavior

La Jolla, CA – To paraphrase a classic rock anthem, flies missing a gene that affects sexual behavior “can’t get no satisfaction” no matter how hard they try.


Link between vitamin A and learning abilities established by team led by Salk researchers

La Jolla, CA – Forget something lately? If so, perhaps you should try an extra helping of sweet potatoes or other vitamin A-rich foods on the holiday table.


Slow-learning mice can improve learning speed when raised in enriched environment

La Jolla, CA – Like their human counterparts, all mice are not created equal when it comes to learning new tasks.


Human brains do sprout new cells according to new Salk study

La Jolla, CA – Like bubbles fizzing from fine champagne, it has long been assumed that our supply of brain cells steadily diminishes through our lives, never to be replenished. According to a landmark Salk study, however, new cells are born in human brains, even in mature individuals.


New steroid hormone has allure of its own

La Jolla, CA – The first steroid hormone unearthed in 30 years is a chemical cousin to the molecule that lures pigs to truffles, and like that rare and elusive fungus, it is in a class by itself.


Salk scientists identify molecular link between dietary fat and colon cancer

La Jolla, CA – Although it’s now common wisdom that dietary fat is related to some cancers, medical researchers have not understood the underlying mechanisms. In research reported in the September 1 issue of Nature Medicine, scientists at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies identify a molecular link between fat metabolism and colon cancer. The results may also be relevant to breast and prostate cancer, common cancers that are also associated with dietary fat.