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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
La Jolla, CA – Like their human counterparts, all mice are not created equal when it comes to learning new tasks.
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.
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.
La Jolla, CA – Before the engine that drives cell division goes into gear, it must receive a biological spark from its genetic machinery to set the process in motion. In the current issue of the journal Science, researchers from The Salk Institute for Biological Studies say they have identified that “ignition” point on a human chromosome. Their findings should further understanding of how cell division is normally controlled and how it might be brought back under control in cancer cells.
La Jolla, CA – In a developing organism, knowledge of right from left can often mean the difference between life and death. Certainly, the direction and ultimate destination in which an embryonic heart, lung, stomach or liver travels can be critical for the proper alignment of blood vessels and nerves so that normal life may proceed. Now, a team led by scientists at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies has discovered a molecular guide, in the form of a single gene, that helps youthful cells, tissues and organs decide in which direction to take their first fateful steps–whether to go left or right.
La Jolla, CA – Salk Institute scientists today announced two research findings related to the development of atherosclerosis. The findings involve the discovery of a genetic feedback loop that contributes to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in heart arteries and the role of a previously described fat storage gene (PPARgamma) in this process.
La Jolla, CA – Neuroscientists at The Salk Institute showed that mice lacking a specific brain molecule exhibit reduced susceptibility to epileptic-type seizures. The findings suggest that this molecule, GluR6, may be a suitable target for development of new epilepsy drugs.
La Jolla, CA – Salk investigators have discovered that aging mice living in a stimulating environment display three times the number of new brain cells as mice who live in a non-stimulating environment. The age of the mice in the study was 18 months – the human equivalent of 65 years.