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Salk News

Elastic Gateway in Ion Channel Discovered

La Jolla, CA – Salk Institute for Biological Studies scientists have identified a tiny flexible gateway that controls the rapid-fire opening and closing of a family of ion channels through which potassium ions flow in and out of cells of the body.

Prestigious HHMI appointments go to two Salk Institute Researchers

La Jolla, CA – Sascha du Lac and Joseph P. Noel, both basic research scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, were selected for the prestigious position of Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator.

‘Mistic’ Breakthrough in Membrane Science

La Jolla, CA – The elusive world of membrane proteins – the crucial gatekeepers of a body cell’s outer wall that are popular targets for scientists trying to understand the molecular origins of health and disease – has been made more accessible through a discovery published in the February 25 issue of Science.

Brain Circuitry More Precise Than Suspected

La Jolla, CA – A hallmark of brain organization is that nerve cells (neurons) with similar function are grouped together. But Salk Institute for Biological Studies research published in Nature on February 24 shows that neighboring neurons also keep secrets that they share only with trusted friends.

Plant Hormone Discovery Offers Potentially Increased Crop Yield

La Jolla, CA – Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have filled in two significant gaps in the molecular pathway that allow plant steroid hormones to stimulate plants to be larger and more fruitful. The findings may open up the prospect of larger vegetables or increased seed yield and could have a galvanizing effect on agricultural research.

Human Biological Clock Sensor Uses Fly Eye ‘Technology’

La Jolla, CA – Scientists working for the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF) and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered the chemical basis of our sixth sense – the mysterious switch that resets our biological clocks as we cross time zones. The finding brings closer to reality medications to treat so-called circadian disorders such as severe jet lag and seasonal depression, as well as improve the lives of shift workers.

Current Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines Contaminated With Potentially Dangerous Non-Human Molecule, UCSD/Salk Team Finds

La Jolla, CA – Currently available lines of human embryonic stem cells have been contaminated with a non-human molecule that compromises their potential therapeutic use in human subjects, according to research by investigators at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine and the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California.

Novel Genetic Pathway Tells Developing Body Organs to Get In Line

La Jolla, CA – Scientists at the Salk Institute have discovered a novel genetic pathway that ensures body organs develop correctly and in the right position during embryonic development. The discovery has important implications for stem cell medicine, which continues to face the challenge of inducing stem cells to form new organs.

Salk Scientist who discovered cancer ‘switch’ awarded the Wolf Prize in Medicine

La Jolla, CA – Salk Institute scientist Tony Hunter has been awarded the 2005 Wolf Prize in Medicine, Israel’s top recognition for achievements in the interest of mankind, for his key discoveries in cell regulation and cancer research.

Salk Scientists Provide Insight into Aging

La Jolla, CA – Scientists at the Salk Institute have provided a startling insight into how cells age that might lead to new approaches for treating cancer and even aging itself.

Salk Scientist Who Revolutionized Cancer Research Awarded Horwitz Prize

La Jolla, CA – Salk Institute scientist Tony Hunter has been awarded the 2004 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize, a leading national award for scientific achievement, for his pivotal discoveries about the chemical ‘switch’ that turns healthy cells into cancer cells.

Binocular Vision Discovery Provides Insights for Stem Cell Therapy

La Jolla, CA – A Salk Institute research team has discovered how nature controls the degree of binocular vision in mammals, work that could have crucial implications for human stem-cell medicine.

Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante Names Dr. Richard Murphy, CEO of The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, to Prop. 71 Oversight Committee

La Jolla, CA – Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante today named Dr. Richard Murphy, chief executive officer of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, to the Independent Citizen’s Oversight Committee overseeing the implementation of Proposition 71.

Salk Institute Scientist Tony Hunter Named to Institute of Medicine

La Jolla, CA – Salk Institute for Biological Studies scientist Tony Hunter has been named a member of the prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies of Sciences, Dr. Richard Murphy, Salk Institute President said today.

Salk Scientists Unlock Secret of Insulin Release

La Jolla, CA – A Salk Institute research team has made a discovery that provides valuable insight into a complication that is common among organ transplant patients and could eventually lead to new therapies for diabetes.

Salk Institute’s Ronald M. Evans Awarded 2004 Lasker Award For Basic Medical Research

La Jolla, CA – Ronald M. Evans, Ph.D. known for his discoveries of genetic switches that link hormones to gene control, is this year’s recipient of the highly prestigious 2004 Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation announced today.

Puzzle of “French Paradox” Natural Product Solved

La Jolla, CA – Researchers at the Salk Institute have successfully bioengineered resveratrol synthase from chalcone synthase, a biosynthetic protein enzyme found in all higher plants. Their findings appear in the September issue of Chemistry & Biology.

Marathoning Mice Could Have Olympian Effects on Obesity

La Jolla, CA – A molecular switch known to regulate fat metabolism appears to prevent obesity and turns laboratory mice into marathon runners, a Salk Institute study has found.

Francis Harry Compton Crick 1916-2004

La Jolla, CA – Francis Harry Compton Crick, co-discoverer of the double helical genetic blueprint of life known commonly as DNA, died yesterday. He was 88 years old and a resident of La Jolla, Calif.

Inflammation’s Trigger Finger

La Jolla, CA – A molecule found in nearly all cells plays a vital role in kick-starting the production of key biological molecules involved in inflammation, a group of Salk Institute scientists has discovered. The finding, published in the June 25 issue of Science, may lead to new strategies for blocking the devastating inflammation that lies at the heart of autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, lupus as well as some cancers.