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January, 1-31, 2018

New tool for tracking “kiss-and-run” communication between cells could advance research in multiple fields

A new method for monitoring interactions between cells, dubbed LIPSTIC by its creators, is much more than a cosmetic improvement over existing techniques. The breakthrough, led by The Rockefeller University assistant professor Gabriel Victora, offers scientists in a wide range of disciplines a powerful new tool for studying complex biological…...

Uncovering the early origins of Huntington's disease

With new findings, scientists may be poised to break a long impasse in research on Huntington’s disease, a fatal hereditary disorder for which there is currently no treatment. One in 10,000 Americans suffer from the disease, and most begin to show symptoms in middle age as they develop jerky movements—and…...

New immunotherapy approach boosts body’s ability to destroy cancer cells

Few cancer treatments are generating more excitement these days than immunotherapy—drugs based on the principle that the immune system can be harnessed to detect and kill cancer cells, much in the same way that it goes after infectious microorganisms. Yet these treatments only benefit some patients, and remain ineffective in…...

In brief: Variation between strains may account for differences in people’s vulnerability to infection

Scientists have long sought to explain why people respond differently to bacterial infections. In the case of TB, for example, less than 10 percent of those infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis develop severe lung disease, while others remain symptom-free. In some cases, genetic defects have been shown to make the human…...

In brief: How the immune system curbs its own mistakes

When we encounter a pathogen, the immune system is usually able to respond quickly and forcefully to protect us from infection. Some of its preparedness is inherent in the process by which white blood cells called B cells make antibodies, proteins fine-tuned to recognize a specific invader. Within structures called…...

Proof of principle: Tri-I TDI drug candidates “graduate” to next phase of development

When the Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute launched just over four years ago, nothing like it existed in academia. The nonprofit academic corporation—a joint venture between Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Rockefeller University and Weill Cornell Medicine, with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. as their partner—was tasked with expediting the development…...

3D imaging of fat reveals potential targets for new obesity treatments

Stunning three-dimensional images of fat cells, the first of their kind, are the latest tactic in the ongoing fight against the global obesity epidemic. The above movie, produced by The Rockefeller University’s Laboratory of Molecular Metabolism, is part of a new report that reveals the inner workings of fat tissue…...

In brief: Immune cells surveil intestine to prevent infections

As essential as food is for the body to work, its movement through the intestine poses an infection risk. A single layer of cells is tasked with a big responsibility: to keep harmful bacteria out while also maintaining friendly ones and extracting nutrients. Immune cells called intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) that…...