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Displaying 36 of 2863 articles.

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.

The physics behind a water bear's lumbering gait

Animals as small and soft as tardigrades seldom have legs and almost never bother walking. But a new study finds that water bears propel themselves through sediment and soil on eight stubby legs, in a manner resembling that of insects 500,000 times their size.

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.


Financial crashes, pandemics, Texas snow: How math could predict "black swan" events

Statistical modeling may one day help scientists anticipate and manage a wide range of extreme occurrences, according to a new study.

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.

Conservation of resources is hardwired into the genetic code

A study of marine microbes reveals that conservation of nutrients is a fundamental property of cells in all living organisms, from plants to humans.

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.

From the tiny testes of flies, new insight into how genes arise

A common birthplace of new genes, the male testes are a hotspot for biological innovation. Within these organs, scientists have found a trove of virgin genetic sequences—and a better understanding of how evolution moves forward.

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.

Celebrating and remembering Mitchell Feigenbaum, physicist who pioneered chaos theory

A mathematical physicist, Feigenbaum's groundbreaking work on deterministic chaos influenced fields ranging from cardiology to cartography. He died on June 30, at age 74.

Three-dimensional model illuminates key aspects of early development

Researchers have created a new 3D model of human embryonic tissue that promises to shed light on critical components of development—including processes that go awry during pregnancy complications.

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Study explores genetic differences among people’s gut microbes, and their health consequences

Scientists have found that small genetic differences can cause the same gut microbe to behave differently in different people, and affect the overall health of their human hosts.

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.

Study explains how geckos gracefully gallop on water

Geckos are amazingly agile. In addition to running across land and up trees, the animals can prance across the surface of water. A new study reveals how they do it.

Shape-shifting protein protects bacteria from invaders

Researchers have discovered how bacteria manage to destroy enemy DNA, while keeping their own genetic material safe.

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.

Scientists caution that a rare childhood liver cancer can spread to the brain

A new report details three cases of secondary brain tumors in people with fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma. The researchers say imaging tests could improve treatment for patients whose cancer spreads to the brain from the liver.

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.

New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young

Scientists have engineered a mouse model to study a rare and often-fatal form of liver cancer. They’ve used it to clarify what drives these tumors at the molecular level, and discover new drug concepts.

Scientists use algorithm to peer through opaque brains

A new algorithm allows scientists to record the activity of individual neurons within a volume of brain tissue.

Researchers create interactive touchscreen for dolphins

To learn more about dolphin cognition and communication, researchers have developed an underwater touchscreen using optical technology, the first of its kind.

Scientists identify a neural circuit that rotates a fly’s internal compass

Researchers have uncovered the neurons that spin a fly’s internal compass when the insect turns—the first such mechanism identified in any animal.

For biologists studying tiny worms, new technologies make big improvements

Two new technologies are helping scientists understand new aspects of organ and nervous system development in C. elegans. One allows them to image worms developing in a natural environment, while the other makes it possible to track single neurons as the worms grow.

New research offers clues into how the brain shapes perception to control behavior

What you see is not always what you get. And that, researchers at The Rockefeller University have discovered, is a good thing. “Every time you move your eye, the whole world moves on your retina,” says Gaby Maimon, head of the Laboratory of Integrative Brain Function. “But you don’t perce...

Researchers watch in 3D as neurons talk to each other in a living mouse brain

No single neuron produces a thought or a behavior; anything the brain accomplishes is a vast collaborative effort between cells. When at work, neurons talk rapidly to one another, forming networks as they communicate. Researchers led by Rockefeller University’s Alipasha Vaziri are developing tech...

Study uncovers how cells organize the growth of their structural filaments

To take shape, to move and to reproduce, cells need internal scaffolding composed of slender filaments known as microtubules. Before the cell can use microtubules for these and other essential functions, it must first organize them into carefully crafted bundles, which become the basis for three ...

Rockefeller’s newest faculty member studies birdsong to illuminate the origins of human language

by Katherine Fenz, media relations manager The ability to speak has allowed our species to pass knowledge between generations, articulate complex ideas, and build societies. Erich Jarvis, the newest addition to Rockefeller’s faculty, uses songbirds as a model to study the molecular mechan...

New faculty member investigates how genes are born and proliferate

It’s a central question in evolution: How does something new emerge? Li Zhao, an evolutionary biologist and the most recent addition to Rockefeller’s faculty, approaches this problem by investigating the birth of new genes. Appointed a tenure-track assistant professor and head of laboratory, Zha...

New faculty member investigates how genes are born and proliferate

by Wynne Parry, science writer It’s a central question in evolution: How does something new emerge? Li Zhao, an evolutionary biologist and the most recent addition to Rockefeller’s faculty, approaches this problem by investigating the birth of new genes. Appointed a tenure-track assistant pr...

Nathaniel Heintz and Stanislas Leibler elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Nathaniel Heintz, James and Marilyn Simons Professor and head of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, and Stanislas Leibler, Gladys T. Perkin Professor and head of the Laboratory of Living Matter, have been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. They are among 84 new national and 21 ne...

Awards, arrivals, and promotions

Congratulations to our latest award winners: Cori Bargmann has won the 2016 Edward M. Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience, an award given by the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT to recognize outstanding advances in the field. She is being honored for her work on the genetic and neural mech...

New findings suggest severe tornado outbreaks are increasingly common

One tornado alone can cause intense destruction, but the largest impact on both death rates and economic losses stems from “outbreaks,” in which six or more tornadoes occur within a limited time. New research from Joel Cohen, Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor and head of the Laboratory of Pop...

Discovery of genes involved in inner ear development hints at a way to restore hearing and balance

Loud noise, trauma, infections, plain old aging—many things can destroy hair cells, the delicate sensors of balance and sound within the inner ear. And once these sensors are gone, that’s it; the delicate hair cells don’t grow back in humans, leading to hearing loss and problems with balance. ...

New faculty member develops light-based tools to study the brain

When the brain is at work, large numbers of neurons within it interact rapidly, passing messages, sometimes across large distances. The most recent addition to Rockefeller University’s faculty, Alipasha Vaziri, devises optical tools for capturing and manipulating these interactions to create dyna...

New faculty member develops light-based tools to study the brain

by Wynne Parry, Science Writer When the brain is at work, large numbers of neurons within it interact rapidly, passing messages, sometimes across large distances. The most recent addition to Rockefeller University’s faculty, Alipasha Vaziri, devises optical tools for capturing and manipulating ...