Latest Stowers Institute for Medical Research Stories
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.
Memories in our brains are maintained by connections between neurons called "synapses".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most cells rely on structural tethers to position chromosomes in preparation for cell division.
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