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Latest Stowers Institute for Medical Research Stories

2012-01-30 08:05:57

Stress-induced genomic instability facilitates rapid cellular adaption in yeast Cells trying to keep pace with constantly changing environmental conditions need to strike a fine balance between maintaining their genomic integrity and allowing enough genetic flexibility to adapt to inhospitable conditions. In their latest study, researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research were able to show that under stressful conditions yeast genomes become unstable, readily acquiring or...

2012-01-27 14:17:49

Stowers researchers discovered that a prion-like protein plays a key role in storing long-term memories Memories in our brains are maintained by connections between neurons called "synapses". But how do these synapses stay strong and keep memories alive for decades? Neuroscientists at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have discovered a major clue from a study in fruit flies: Hardy, self-copying clusters or oligomers of a synapse protein are an essential ingredient for the...

2012-01-06 10:15:15

Discovery at UCSF and Stowers Institute Shows Worm Regenerates Without Centrosome, a Structure Long Thought Necessary for Cell Division A tiny, freshwater flatworm found in ponds and rivers around the world that has long intrigued scientists for its remarkable ability to regenerate has now added a new wrinkle to biology. Reporting in the journal Science today, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City,...

2012-01-06 10:11:28

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have discovered that planarians, tiny flatworms fabled for their regenerative powers, completely lack centrosomes, cellular structures that organize the network of microtubules that pulls chromosomes apart during cell division. The flatworms' unique and unexpected characteristic, detailed in the Jan. 5, 2012 issue of Science Express, not only allowed lead author Juliette Azimzadeh,...

2011-12-22 15:35:16

Transcriptional elongation control takes on new dimensions as Stowers researchers find gene class-specific elongation factors Life is complicated enough, so you can forgive the pioneers of DNA biology for glossing over transcriptional elongation control by RNA polymerase II, the quick and seemingly bulletproof penultimate step in the process that copies the information encoded in our DNA into protein-making instructions carried by messenger RNA. In a new report appearing in the Dec. 23,...

How Old Yeast Cells Send Off Their Daughter Cells Without The Baggage Of Old Age
2011-11-24 04:40:35

[ Watch the Video ] The accumulation of damaged protein is a hallmark of aging that not even the humble baker's yeast can escape. Yet, aged yeast cells spawn off youthful daughter cells without any of the telltale protein clumps. Now, researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research may have found an explanation for the observed asymmetrical distribution of damaged proteins between mothers and their youthful daughters. Reporting in the Nov. 23, 2011, issue of Cell the research...

2011-11-18 07:08:12

Stowers researchers gain new insight into the chromosome separation process Each time a cell divides -- and it takes millions of cell divisions to create a fully grown human body from a single fertilized cell -- its chromosomes have to be accurately divvied up between both daughter cells. Researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research used, ironically enough, the single-celled organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae -- commonly known as baker's yeast -- to gain new insight into the...

How Chromosomes Find Each Other
2011-11-02 09:09:55

[ Watch the Video ] After more than a century of study, mysteries still remain about the process of meiosis–a special type of cell division that helps insure genetic diversity in sexually-reproducing organisms. Now, researchers at Stowers Institute for Medical Research shed light on an early and critical step in meiosis. The research, to be published in the Nov. 8, 2011 issue of Current Biology, clarifies the role of key chromosomal regions called centromeres in the formation of a...

Scientists Successfully Expand Bone Marrow-derived Stem Cells In Culture
2011-09-16 06:54:07

  All stem cells–regardless of their source–share the remarkable capability to replenish themselves by undergoing self-renewal. Yet, so far, efforts to grow and expand scarce hematopoietic (or blood-forming) stem cells in culture for therapeutic applications have been met with limited success. Now, researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research teased apart the molecular mechanisms enabling stem cell renewal in hematopoietic stem cells isolated from mice and...

2011-08-29 12:07:09

Most cells rely on structural tethers to position chromosomes in preparation for cell division. Not so oocytes. Instead, a powerful intracellular stream pushes chromosomes far-off the center in preparation for the highly asymmetric cell division that completes oocyte maturation upon fertilization of the egg, report researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. Their findings illustrate how oocytes repurposed a dynamic cellular mechanism capable of generating considerable...


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.'