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Latest Susan Lindquist Stories

2012-02-15 23:09:01

Prions, the much-maligned proteins most commonly known for causing "mad cow" disease, are commonly used in yeast to produce beneficial traits in the wild. Moreover, such traits can be passed on to subsequent generations and eventually become "hard-wired" into the genome, contributing to evolutionary change. Prions were first found to produce heritable new traits more than a decade ago in laboratory studies of simple baker's yeast. The key discovery then was that some proteins could...

2011-10-27 22:08:50

Scientists outline new methods for better understanding links between specific proteins and the risks associated with Alzheimer's disease in an article co-authored by University of Alabama researchers and publishing today in Science Express. In experiments using a series of model organisms, including yeast, microscopic roundworms and rats, the researchers show how basic mechanisms inside cells are disrupted when a specific human protein, known as the amyloid beta peptide, fails to properly...

2011-10-27 22:07:46

In a development that sheds new light on the pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD), a team of Whitehead Institute scientists has identified connections between genetic risk factors for the disease and the effects of a peptide toxic to nerve cells in the brains of AD patients. The scientists, working in and in collaboration with the lab of Whitehead Member Susan Lindquist, established these previously unknown links in an unexpected way. They used a very simple cell type–yeast...

2010-12-23 18:10:29

FINDINGS: Whitehead Institute researchers have determined that heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) can create diverse heritable traits in brewer's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) by affecting a large portion of the yeast genome. The finding has led the researchers to conclude that Hsp90 has played a key role in shaping the evolutionary history of the yeast genome, and likely others as well. RELEVANCE: Over the past several years, Whitehead Member Susan Lindquist has built the case that heat shock...

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2010-11-25 08:26:37

Obama calls celebrating their contributions "one of the most important ways to restore science to its rightful place" On November 17th, President Obama presented 10 researchers with the highest technical and scientific award given by the United States, the the National Medal of Science. "The achievements of these men and women stand as testament to their ingenuity, to their zeal for discovery and for their willingness to give of themselves and to sacrifice in order to expand the reach of...

2009-12-28 16:59:32

FINDINGS: Several structurally similar small molecules appear capable of protecting cells from alpha-synuclein toxicity, a hallmark of Parkinson's disease. RELEVANCE: Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by tremors, muscle rigidity, and slowed movements. There is currently no cure for the disease, and current Parkinson's therapies only address disease symptoms, not the disease's cellular cause. Small molecules found to protect cells in multiple models of...

2009-07-13 13:07:28

Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have turned simple baker's yeast into a virtual army of medicinal chemists capable of rapidly searching for drugs to treat Parkinson's disease.In a study published online today in Nature Chemical Biology, the researchers showed that they can rescue yeast cells from toxic levels of a protein implicated in Parkinson's disease by stimulating the cells to make very small proteins called cyclic peptides. Two of the cyclic peptides had a...

2009-04-03 08:02:07

Whitehead Institute researchers have quintupled the number of identifiable prion proteins in yeast and have further clarified the role prions play in the inheritance of both beneficial and detrimental traits."The big debate in the field is are the prions functional "“ are they evolved to be prions, or are they always a disease, as in "mad cow'" disease in mammals," says Randal Halfmann, a graduate student in Whitehead Member Susan Lindquist's lab, and co-author of the paper featured in...

2009-04-02 13:48:16

Special proteins known as prions, which are perhaps best known as the agents of mad cow and other neurodegenerative diseases, can also serve as an important source of beneficial variation in nature, confirms a new study in the April 3rd issue of the journal Cell, a Cell Press publication. After an extensive search through the genome of yeast for proteins with prion-like character, the researchers found two dozen prion-forming proteins, most of which had never been seen before."We had...

2009-03-01 09:07:56

Teams of scientists from Australia and the United States have used yeast and mammalian cells to discover a connection between genetic and environmental causes of Parkinson's disease. Yeasts are single cell organisms, used widely in biological research because their structure resembles that of cells found in animals and humans. Yeasts share many genes, or their functional equivalents, with humans and offer the ability to screen or test thousands of genes and analyzing their effects. Two genes...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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