Similar to the dozens of Sherpas that guide hikers up treacherous Himalayan mountains to reach a summit, the nervous system relies on elaborate timing and location of guidance cues for neuronal axons--threadlike projections--to successfully reach their destinations in the body. Now, Salk Institute researchers discover how neurons navigate a tricky cellular environment by listening for directions, while simultaneously filtering out inappropriate instructions to avoid getting lost.
Striking colors that are seen only in the males of some species are partly explained by gene behavior, research into guppy fish suggests.
A sophisticated new analysis too incorporating advanced mathematical strategies could help revolutionize the way researchers investigate the spread and distribution of dangerous, fast-evolving disease vectors.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed medication for major depressive disorder (MDD), yet scientists still do not understand why the treatment does not work in nearly thirty percent of patients with MDD. Now, Salk Institute researchers have discovered differences in growth patterns of neurons of SSRI-resistant patients. The work has implications for depression as well as other psychiatric conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia that likely also involve abnormalities of the serotonin system in the brain.
Weeds often emerge at the same time as vulnerable crop seedlings and sneak between plants as crops grow. How do farmers kill them without harming the crops themselves? In a new University of Illinois study, researchers identify genes and metabolic pathways responsible for safener efficacy in grain sorghum.
Spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB), defined as birth before 37 weeks of gestation, and the related complications, are the largest contributors to infant death in the United States and worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have discovered that bacteria and innate immune factors in a woman's birth canal and cervix may increase the risk of spontaneous preterm birth or provide protection against such births.
A researcher in the Vera Bradley Foundation Center for Breast Cancer Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine, working in collaboration with researchers from the University of Maryland, recently reported several important findings related to triple negative breast cancer and its future treatment in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
Even when chronic myelogenous leukemia is in remission, 'sleeper cell,' quiescent leukemic stem cells are maintained in microenvironments in the bone marrow. This maintenance is poorly understood. Researchers now describe how niche-specific expression of a particular chemokine by a particular type of bone marrow cell controls quiescence of these treatment-resistant leukemic stem cells. The chemokine is CXCL12, and the particular bone marrow cells expressing it are mesenchymal stromal cells.
Scientists have harnessed powerful data analysis tools and three-dimensional studies of genomic geography to implicate new risk genes for osteoporosis, the chronic bone-weakening condition that affects millions of people. Knowing the causative genes may later open the door to more effective treatments.
The creation of new library of mutants of the single-celled photosynthetic green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii enabled a Carnegie- and Princeton University-led team of plant scientists to identify more than 300 genes that are potentially required for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants, algae, and some bacteria convert energy from sunlight into carbohydrates -- filling our planet's atmosphere with oxygen as a byproduct.