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Phase III+: The University is open for expanded research operations; only authorized personnel will be admitted on campus. More info here.
Displaying 165 of 2743 articles.

Unlocking the mystery of how mosquitoes smell humans

Through questioning their assumptions about how mosquitoes sense and interpret odors, scientists may have discovered why efforts to throw the vectors of dengue and Zika off the human scent have not succeeded.

Ant colonies behave like neural networks when making decisions 

Colonies decide to flee rising temperatures in much the same way that neural computations give rise to decisions.

New study reveals where memory fragments are stored

The research demonstrates the distributed nature of memory processing in the brain, and reveals a dedicated pathway for memory recall, which is less understood than memory formation.

How a fly's brain calculates its position in space

New research reveals how neurons in a fly's brain signal the direction in which the body is traveling. The cells appear to literally perform vector math in order to act as a biological compass.

Dopamine’s many roles, explained

Studying fruit flies, researchers ask how a single brain chemical can orchestrate diverse functions such as learning, motivation and movement.

Study detects origins of Huntington's disease in two-week-old human embryos

The findings shed new light on the root causes of this disease, which leads to the degeneration of neurons in midlife.

New microscopy technique reveals activity of one million neurons across the mouse brain

Using light beads microscopy, researchers can now capture images of a vast number of cells across different depths in the brain at high speed, with unprecedented clarity.

Lonely flies, like many humans, eat more and sleep less

If COVID-19 lockdowns scrambled your sleep schedule and stretched your waistline, you're not alone. Fruit flies quarantined in test tubes sleep too little and eat too much after only one week of social isolation.

Study reveals how smell receptors work

The first-ever molecular images of an olfactory receptor at work answer decades-old questions about odor recognition.

When ant colonies get bigger, new foraging behavior emerges

By increasing the size of ant colonies bit by bit, scientists identified the mechanism responsible for the evolution of mass raiding behavior.

Identifying the spark of desire in fruit flies

In Drosophila’s neural circuitry for courtship, researchers discover a configuration that enables a male fruit fly to be persistent, yet flexible in his pursuit of a female.

Scientists discover a new class of neurons for remembering faces

Our brains have sensory cells, which process the faces that we see, and memory cells dedicated to storing data from person encounters. But until now, a hybrid neuron capable of linking vision to memory—and explaining how we recall familiar faces—remained elusive.

Scientists release error-free genomes of 25 animals—with another 70,000 coming up

Scientists have launched an ambitious effort to produce high-quality reference genomes for all vertebrate species, from mammals to birds and reptiles. The result could be discoveries with implications for animal conservation as well as human health and disease.

A case for simplifying gene nomenclature across different organisms

Scientists call it oxytocin in humans, isotocin in fish, mesotocin in birds, and valitocin in sharks. But according to a new study, it’s all the same hormone—and high time we settled on just one name.


Why male mosquitoes leave humans alone

Unlike their female counterparts, male mosquitoes have no desire to bite us. But the hardware for host-seeking is hidden in the male mosquito brain, locked behind a simple genetic switch. 

The blood may hold clues to some of COVID-19’s most mysterious symptoms

COVID-19 causes a host of diverse complications, from lung inflammation to blood clots, heart failure, and brain fog. A team of scientists believes these attributes may have a single culprit—and that findings from research on Alzheimer’s disease might give them a leg up in finding it.

What bats can teach us about COVID-19

Unlike most humans, bats are naturally resistant to coronavirus infection. Researchers are now searching their genomes for clues that might explain why SARS-CoV-2 can cause devastating disease in our own species.

Scientists discover mosquitoes’ unique blood-taste detectors

Female mosquitoes are armed with syringe-like stylets that begin to pump furiously only in the presence of blood. Scientists are now studying the specific neurons that line the stylet, and asking what mosquitoes taste when they bite us.

Rockefeller's Charles M. Rice honored with Nobel Prize for research that contributed to a cure for hepatitis C

Rice will receive the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for research that led to a cure for hepatitis C, a viral disease affecting 170 million people worldwide. His lab worked on the virus for three decades and became the first to produce a version of it that could be grown and studied i...

A revised map of where working memory resides in the brain

Findings from genetically diverse mice challenge long-held assumptions about how the brain is able to briefly hold onto important information.

Study uncovers the molecular events by which popular antidepressants work

Scientists have outlined a molecular program by which serotonin reuptake inhibitors reshape the brain to alleviate depression. Their findings provide clues for how to make better and faster-acting versions of these drugs.

How neurons in body fat grow to boost calorie-burning capacity

Scientists have found that a hormone tells the brain to dramatically restructure neurons embedded in fat tissue.  Their work widens our understanding of how the body regulates its energy consumption, and how obesity might be treated in the future.

Why memory-forming neurons are vulnerable to Alzheimer's

Scientists have used advanced technology to “micro-dissect” the first brain cells to perish in Alzheimer’s disease. The result is a short list of genes that could represent new drug targets.

Transparent fish reveal the subtle, cellular dance in which sensory organs take shape

How do primitive cells “know” where to go during development? Scientists studying the fish equivalent of inner-ear hair cells have shown that biochemical and mechanical cues work together to orchestrate a highly complex arrangement.

Brain study finds a molecular “off” switch for nicotine craving

In findings that might lead to better smoking-cessation tools, scientists have shown that manipulating a specific brain receptor can alter a mouse’s nicotine sensitivity.

How decisions unfold in a zebrafish brain

Tracking neuronal activity in a zebrafish brain, researchers can predict when the fish will flip its tail and to which direction, left or right.

A surprising new source of attention in the brain

Scientists find a new brain area in control of our attention skills, raising new questions in what has long been considered a settled scientific field.

Scientists develop new method that predicts vulnerability to stress

Researchers have identified a set of biological factors in mice that seem to determine one's ability to bounce back from a traumatic event, and provide preliminary evidence that a naturally-occurring substance may help boost resiliency in the face of stressful situations.

Neurodegenerative diseases may be caused by molecular transportation failures inside neurons

Protein clumps are routinely found in the brains of patients with neurodegenerative diseases. Now researchers find a link between this buildup and the intracellular movement of proteasomes, molecular machines tasked with degrading protein waste inside cells.

The pathway to Parkinson’s takes a surprising twist

A new study finds that neurons affected in Parkinson’s disease can shut down without fully dying, allowing them to also switch off neighboring cells. The findings might give scientists a better understanding of how the condition wreaks havoc in the brain, as well as ideas for new treatments.

Shapeshifting receptors may explain mysterious drug failures

Scientists have found that many receptors with high potential for drug discovery take a different configuration inside the body than in the test tube. The findings could explain why some promising drugs fail in clinical trials, and potentially open doors to new drug-development approaches.

Vanessa Ruta named a 2019 MacArthur Fellow

Ruta, who investigates how the brain is modified by experience, has received a MacArthur Fellowship, an award intended to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations.

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Study gives clues to the origin of Huntington’s disease, and a new way to find drugs

Using a new technique to study brain development, scientists were able to trace the causes of Huntington's back to early developmental stages when the brain has only just begun to form.

Fruit flies find their way by setting navigational goals

Navigating fruit flies do not have the luxury of GPS, but they do have a kind of neural compass. In a new study, researchers found that the animals decide which way to turn by comparing this internal compass needle to a fixed goal.

New research raises prospect of better anti-obesity drugs

Scientists have found a group of brain cells that influence body mass in two ways, by controlling how much we eat as well as how much energy we burn. The findings could lead to new drugs to help people shed weight.

Learning from experience is all in the timing

Animals learn the hard way which sights, sounds, and smells are relevant to survival. New research in flies shows that the timing of these cues plays an important role in how mental associations arise, and elucidates brain pathways involved in this process.

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New research shows that mosquitoes sense repellent through their legs

Scientists made the surprising discovery that the insects’ displeasure for touching DEET, the active ingredient in many repellents, helps prevent bites.

Cellular rivalry promotes healthy skin development

Scientists have discovered a curious phenomenon taking place in mouse skin: cells compete with one another for the chance to develop into mature tissue. The findings indicate that this antagonism is key to creating healthy skin.

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Researchers find genetic link to tuberculosis

Rockefeller scientists have identified a genetic condition that makes people prone to developing tuberculosis. In a British population, they found that the condition underlies one percent of cases of the disease—a finding that may ultimately lead to new treatment options.

Research on repetitive worm behavior may have implications for understanding human disease

Studying microscopic worms, Rockefeller scientists have identified a brain circuit that drives repetitive behavior—providing potential clues for understanding some human psychiatric conditions.

New microscopy technique peers deep into the brain

Using new imaging technology, researchers can now record the activity of large populations of brain cells with unprecedented speed, and at new depths.

Scientists find brain mechanism that naturally combats overeating

Studying a brain region involved in memory, researchers discovered a set of neurons that help mice control their appetite.

Scientists identify genetic factors that may cause some people to become obese

New research on leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite, reveals a previously unknown mechanism that may be responsible for at least 10 percent of obesity cases. The findings could help identify individuals with treatable forms of the condition.

Inside the brains of hungry worms, researchers find clues about how they hunt

When looking for food, the roundworm C. elegans searches the same area for up to 20 minutes before trying its luck at more distant locales. New research on the worm’s brain explains how this behavior arises at the level of molecules and cells.

New findings could make mosquitoes more satisfied—and safer to be around

Scientists have learned new tricks that could be useful in preventing mosquito-borne illnesses such as Zika and yellow fever. A new study shows that some appetite-reducing drugs can curtail the insects’ impulse to feed on warm-blooded hosts.

New method for studying gene expression could improve understanding of brain disease

By analyzing gene expression patterns, researchers have identified previously unknown distinctions between mouse and human neurons. They have also developed a new way to track cellular changes associated with brain disorders.

Mosquito genome opens new avenues for reducing bug-borne disease

Researchers have assembled a new and improved DNA catalogue for the mosquito Aedes aegypti. This tool will help researchers understand the insect’s biology, and may lead to new strategies for preventing diseases like Zika and dengue.

Gaby Maimon and Luciano Marraffini are named HHMI investigators

Maimon, who studies cognition and decision-making, and Marraffini, who studies the bacterial defense system CRISPR-Cas, are among 19 scientists nationwide to receive this designation.

What happens to a dying cell’s corpse? New findings illuminate an old problem

Scientists have discovered a curious way for cells to die. In studying it, they are learning about how remnants of diseased cells are normally chewed up and removed.

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In brief: Mutation explains why some people are more vulnerable to viral brain infection

Scientists identified mutations in a single gene that impair immunity to viruses in a region of the brain called the brain stem.

Scientists shed light on biological roots of individuality

A new study illuminates the biology that guides behavior across different stages of life in worms, and suggests how variations in specific neuromodulators in the developing nervous system may lead to occasional variations.

New images reveal how the ear’s sensory hairs take shape

Our ability to hear relies on tiny bundles of hair-like sensors inside the inner ear. Scientists have identified a key component of the machinery that makes these bundles grow in an orderly fashion.

Brain research points the way to new treatments for nicotine addiction

Scientists have discovered a group of brain cells that may play a role in keeping smokers addicted to nicotine. Their work could ultimately lead to new drugs to help people conquer their tobacco dependence.

Neuroscientist Vanessa Ruta promoted to associate professor

Ruta, who explores how brains produce such flexible responses to fixed stimuli, has been promoted to Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden associate professor.

Daniel Kronauer, who uses ants to study social behavior, is promoted

Kronauer has been promoted to associate professor. He has dedicated his laboratory to investigating the molecular basis underlying complex social behavior among insects.

Mosquito sex protein could provide key to controlling disease

A protein transferred from male to female mosquitoes during sex influences female mating behavior—a phenomenon that could be exploited to limit the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses like Zika and dengue.

Michael W. Young receives 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Young was honored for his discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm. He accepted the Nobel medal and diploma from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

Glial cells, not neurons, lead the way in brain assembly

Researchers have found that the cells directing the very first steps of brain formation are not other neurons, as scientists have long assumed. They've also uncovered previously hidden molecular pathways that attract neurons into the brain.

Mary E. Hatten honored with the Ralph W. Gerard Prize in Neuroscience

Hatten is awarded for her significant contributions to neuroscience. She studies the mechanisms of neuronal differentiation and migration during the early stages of embryonic development.  

Potential new treatment for Fragile X targets one gene to affect many

Scientists found that inhibiting a regulatory protein alters the intricate signaling chemistry that is responsible for many of the disease’s symptoms. The findings provide a path to possible therapeutics for disorders associated with Fragile X.
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