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Latest Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Stories

2013-07-09 11:33:27

Knocking down cancer cell survival signals increases the effectiveness of chemotherapy Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly and intractable forms of cancer, with a 5-year survival rate of only 6%. Novel therapies are urgently needed, as conventional and targeted approaches have not been successful and drug resistance is an increasing problem. Previously it had been thought that poor penetration of the drugs into pancreas tumors was the main reason for treatment failure. But now a...

2013-06-19 14:33:47

It takes as few as 25 brain cells for a fly to characterize and distinguish among odors Behind the common expression "you can't compare apples to oranges" lies a fundamental question of neuroscience: How does the brain recognize that apples and oranges are different? A group of neuroscientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has published new research that provides some answers. In the fruit fly, the ability to distinguish smells lies in a region of the brain called the mushroom...

2013-06-07 12:51:56

In our daily lives, clutter is something that gets in our way, something that makes it harder for us to accomplish things. For doctors and scientists trying to parse mountains of raw biological data, clutter is more than a nuisance; it can stand in the way of figuring out how best to treat someone who is very sick. Using increasingly cheap and rapid methods to read the billions of "letters" that comprise human genomes — including the genomes of individual cells sampled from cancerous...

2013-06-06 20:02:51

Structural and molecular differences between human Argonaute proteins reveal essential elements for RNA-slicing Human Argonautes (hAgo), are key proteins involved in a process known as RNA interference. RNAi, as it is often called, is a mechanism that cells use to regulate gene expression. Human Argonaute-2 (hAgo2) is known as "slicer" for its unique ability among the 4 human Argonaute proteins to directly cut messenger RNA -- which carries the information coded in genomic DNA to make a...

2013-05-08 17:07:25

Smell and touch, sniffing and 'whisking,' are locked in sync When animals are on the hunt for food they likely use many senses, and scientists have wondered how the different senses work together. New research from the laboratory of CSHL neuroscientist and Assistant Professor Adam Kepecs shows that when rats actively use the senses of smell (sniffing) and touch (through their whiskers) those two processes are locked in synchronicity. The team's paper, published today in the Journal of...

2013-04-12 15:51:58

Stem cells are different from all other cells in our body because they retain the remarkable genetic plasticity to self-renew indefinitely as well as develop into cell types with more specialized functions. However, this remarkable self-renewal capacity comes with a price, as stem cells can become seeds of cancer. Identifying genetic programs that maintain self-renewing capabilities therefore is a vital step in understanding the errors that derail a normal stem cell, sending it on a path to...

2013-02-04 14:49:22

A team of plant geneticists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has successfully demonstrated what it describes as a "simple hypothesis" for making significant increases in yields for the maize plant. Called corn by most people in North America, modern variants of the Zea mays plant are among the indispensable food crops that feed billions of the planet's people. As global population soars beyond 6 billion and heads for an estimated 8 to 9 billion by mid-century, efforts to boost...

2012-11-23 10:56:34

They show how embryonic origin and timing influence cell specification and network integration The cerebral cortex of the human brain has been called "the crowning achievement of evolution." Ironically, it is so complex that even our greatest minds and most sophisticated science are only now beginning to understand how it organizes itself in early development, and how its many cell types function together as circuits. A major step toward this great goal in neuroscience has been taken by...

New Way In Which Plants Control Flower Production Discovered
2012-11-12 11:22:57

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Flowers don't just catch our eyes, they catch those of pollinators like bees as well. They have to, in order to reproduce. Because plants need to maximize the opportunity for pollinators to gain access to their seeds, variations in the timing of flowering can have profound effects on flower, fruit, and seed production, and consequently agricultural yields. We know that the major driving forces of flowering are external factors such as light and temperature....

2012-08-15 11:57:20

Targeted 'negative ASOs' cause missplicing and pathogenesis, providing unique window on disease progression A team led by scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has developed a new way of making animal models for a broad class of human genetic diseases — those with pathology caused by errors in the splicing of RNA messages copied from genes. To date, about 6,000 such RNA "editing" errors have been found in various human illnesses, ranging from neurodegenerative disorders...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'