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The Rockefeller University

Study: Odd Histone Helps Suppress Jumping Genes in Stem Cells

by The Rockefeller University
A family of proteins known as histones provides support and structure to DNA, but for years, scientists have been puzzling over occasional outliers among these histones, which appear to exist for specific, but often mysterious reasons. Now, researchers have uncovered a new purpose for one such histone variant: preventing genetic mutations by keeping certain so-called “jumping genes” in place.

Virus-Cutting Enzyme Helps Bacteria Remember a Threat

by The Rockefeller University
Bacteria may not have brains, but they do have memories, at least when it comes to viruses that attack them. Many bacteria have a molecular immune system which allows these microbes to capture and retain pieces of viral DNA that they have encountered in the past, in order to recognize and destroy it when it shows up again.

Existing Drug, Riluzole, may Prevent Foggy ‘Old Age’ Brain

by The Rockefeller University
Forgetfulness, it turns out, is all in the head. Scientists have shown that fading memory and clouding judgment, the type that comes with advancing age, show up as lost and altered connections between neurons in the brain. But new experiments suggest an existing drug, known as riluzole and already on the market as a treatment for ALS, may help prevent these changes.

Discovery Reveals How Bacteria Distinguish Harmful Versus Helpful Viruses

by The Rockefeller University
When they are not busy attacking us, germs go after each other. But when viruses invade bacteria, it doesn’t always spell disaster for the infected microbes: Sometimes viruses actually carry helpful genes that a bacterium can harness to, say, expand its diet or better attack its own hosts.

Research Explains how Cellular Guardians of the Gut Develop

by The Rockefeller University
Even the most careful chosen meal can contain surprises. To defend against infectious microbes, viruses or other potential hazards that find their way to the intestines, a dedicated contingent of immune cells keeps watch within the thin layer of tissue that divides the contents of the gut from the body itself.