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Latest Salk Institute for Biological Studies Stories

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2009-11-03 09:22:27

The search for the holy grail of regenerative medicine"”the ability to "grow back" a perfect body part when one is lost to injury or disease"”has been under way for years, yet the steps involved in this seemingly magic process are still poorly understood. Now researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified an essential cellular pathway in zebrafish that paves the way for limb regeneration by unlocking gene expression patterns last seen during embryonic...

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2009-10-13 09:20:00

How stem cells yield functional regions in 'gray matter' The cerebral cortex, the largest and most complex component of the brain, is unique to mammals and alone has evolved human specializations. Although at first all stem cells in charge of building the cerebral cortex"”the outermost layer of neurons commonly referred to as gray matter"”are created equal, soon they irrevocably commit to forming specific cortical regions. But how the stem cells' destiny is determined has remained...

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2009-08-09 12:35:00

A collaborative study by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies uncovered that the tumor suppressor p53, which made its name as "guardian of the genome", not only stops cells that could become cancerous in their tracks but also controls somatic cell reprogramming.Although scientists have learned how to reprogram adult human cells such as skin cells into so-called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), the reprogramming efficiency is still woefully low. The Salk study,...

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2009-08-05 14:15:00

Rather than sticking to a single DNA script, human brain cells harbor astonishing genomic variability, according to scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. The findings, to be published in the Aug. 5, 2009, advance online edition of Nature, could help explain brain development and individuality, as well as lead to a better understanding of neurological disease.The team, led by Fred Gage, Ph.D., a professor in the Salk's Laboratory of Genetics and holder of the Vi and John...

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2009-07-15 11:35:00

Just like a conductor cuing musicians in an orchestra, Fgf10, a member of the fibroblast growth factor (Ffg) family of morphogens, lets brain stem cells know that the moment to get to work has arrived, ensuring that they hit their first developmental milestone on time, report scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in the July 16, 2009, edition of the journal Neuron.Their findings not only add new insights into brain development and a novel function for Fgfs, but also reveal a...

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2009-07-06 13:15:00

A tightly controlled system of checks and balances ensures that a powerful tumor suppressor called p53 keeps a tight lid on unchecked cell growth but doesn't wreak havoc in healthy cells. In their latest study, scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies suggest just how finely tuned the system is and how little it takes to tip the balance.When unprovoked, at least two negative regulators"”the related proteins Mdm2 and Mdmx"”prevent p53 from unleashing its power to...

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2009-06-28 13:02:41

Alcohol's inebriating effects are familiar to everyone. But the molecular details of alcohol's impact on brain activity remain a mystery. A new study by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies brings us closer to understanding how alcohol alters the way brain cells work. Their findings, published in the current advance online edition of Nature Neuroscience, reveal an alcohol trigger site located physically within an ion channel protein; their results could lead to the...

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2009-06-21 12:47:55

Obesity is probably the most important factor in the development of insulin resistance, but science's understanding of the chain of events is still spotty. Now, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have filled in the gap and identified the missing link between the two. Their findings, to be published in the June 21, 2009 advance online edition of the journal Nature, explain how obesity sets the stage for diabetes and why thin people can become insulin-resistant. The Salk...

2009-06-02 14:24:10

U.S. and Spanish scientists say they have proven, in principle, that a human genetic disease can be cured using a combination of gene and stem cell therapy. The researchers, led by the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, said their achievement has catapulted the field of regenerative medicine significantly forward. It's been 10 years since human stem cells were first cultured in a Petri dish, Professor Juan-Carlos Izpisua Belmonte of the Center of Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona, Spain,...

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2009-05-21 08:03:55

Scripps scientists find unexpected role for proteins: antioxidants Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered a family of green fluorescent proteins (GFPs) in a primitive sea animal, along with new clues about the role of the proteins that has nothing to do with their famous glow. GFPs recently gained international attention with the awarding of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, shared by UC San Diego's...


Word of the Day
caparison
  • A cloth or covering, more or less ornamented, laid over the saddle or furniture of a horse, especially of a sumpter-horse or horse of state.
  • Clothing, especially sumptuous clothing; equipment; outfit.
  • To cover with a caparison, as a horse.
  • To dress sumptuously; adorn with rich dress.
This word ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin 'cappa,' cloak.
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