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December, 1-31, 2017

In brief: New clues about how cells restart stalled replication

Before a cell divides, it needs to duplicate its genetic material. And like a zipper opening a coat, the molecular machinery that copies the four-letter code of DNA can sometimes get stuck. But the consequences can be much more serious. If the cell can’t get replication moving properly, then dangerous…...

Brain research points the way to new treatments for nicotine addiction

As the worldwide death toll from tobacco use continues to climb—it’s currently six million per year and is expected to top eight million by 2030, according to the World Health Organization—efforts to unlock the secrets of nicotine addiction take on a distinct urgency. “Nicotine is one of the most difficult…...

Neuroscientist Vanessa Ruta promoted to associate professor

Animals, from flies to humans, can be fickle. Take responses to odor. A waft of a single scent can attract or repulse, all depending on the sniffer’s experience and what else is going on at the time. Neuroscientist Vanessa Ruta, who explores how brains produce such flexible responses to fixed…...

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

Scientists have long been fascinated by the sophisticated, highly structured societies found within beehives, ant colonies, and the nests of other social insects. But the same complex biology that so interests researchers also makes these bugs difficult experimental subjects. Daniel Kronauer, who has dedicated his laboratory to investigating the molecular…...

Mosquito sex protein could provide key to controlling disease

If you thought the sex lives of humans were complicated, consider the case of the female Aedes aegypti mosquito, bringer of Zika, dengue, and yellow fever: She mates but once, in seconds and on the wing, with one lucky male; spurns all further advances from other potential suitors; and stores…...

Michel C. Nussenzweig wins 2017 Sanofi-Institut Pasteur Award

Michel C. Nussenzweig, an immunologist who studies the molecular aspects of adaptive and innate immune responses, has been honored with the 2017 Sanofi-Institut Pasteur Award. The award recognizes investigators for past or ongoing work demonstrating real scientific progress in the life sciences. Nussenzweig received the international award along with Jeffrey…...

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

Michael W. Young, a biologist who studies the genetic regulation of biological clocks, accepted the Nobel medal and diploma today from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. Young was announced as a recipient of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, along with Jeffrey C. Hall and Michael Rosbash…...

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

As the very first neurons come together to form the brain, they need pointers to end up in the right places. Where do these directions come from? Rockefeller scientists have discovered that they originate from an unlikely source, revealing that the cells directing the very first steps of brain assembly…...

In brief: A close look at how HIV-fighting proteins slow the virus down

When the HIV virus attacks, it inserts a permanent copy of its genetic material into the infected person’s genome. But the body has evolved mechanisms to fight back, including a cellular process that mutates the viral DNA, slowing the disease. Now researchers from The Rockefeller University and the University of…...