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  • PTGS | Newswire
    a major part of the plant s immune system but viruses have devised counter attack molecules that disable this line of defense Research from Nam Hai Chua s laboratory has found a new mechanism for how a viral molecule causes the breakdown of the plant s defense system More Tags MicroRNAs Nam Hai Chua PTGS Search for Categories Science News Awards and Honors Campus News Grants Gifts Topics Video Archive

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/tag/ptgs/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Size doesn’t matter | Newswire
    Many of the fundamental processes in development are regulated by microRNAs Gaul says including body patterning morphogenesis nervous system and muscle development In particular though we found that cell survival relies very heavily on them Cell death in development is not uncommon The developing embryo makes an overabundance of many cell types like nerve cells which it then removes later in a process of fine tuning In fact the genes in flies that carry out a cell s death sentence Hid Grim and Reaper are expressed in many healthy cells poised to do their job at a moment s notice Gaul s new research shows that it is microRNAs that stand between a cell s survival and its death at the hands of Hid Grim and Reaper The microRNAs bind to the messenger RNA of the death genes and prevent their proteins from being made But when the microRNAs are blocked Hid Grim and Reaper proteins are produced causing massive cell death and killing the fly embryo The microRNAs that block cell death all belong to the largest microRNA family in the fruit fly The family is made up of 13 members which are identical in sequence at one end but different at the other There has been some debate on whether differences at this end are important but Gaul s research now shows that they are central for helping the microRNAs find the right targets Our findings show that while similar defects are seen when the different family members are blocked they are not identical Gaul says And we find that different family members interact differently with the three death genes Deciding between life and death is only one of many split second decisions that a cell may have to make By regulating which messenger RNAs are used to

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2005/07/05/size-doesnt-matter/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Ulrike Gaul | Newswire
    is essential for healthy glial cells brain cells which support nourish and protect neurons More Tags glial GPCR Ulrike Gaul July 5 2005 Science News Size doesn t matter Rockefeller scientists show that microRNAs play an essential role in many development processes including cell survival in the fruit fly embryo More Tags MicroRNAs Thomas Tuschl Ulrike Gaul Search for Categories Science News Awards and Honors Campus News Grants Gifts Topics

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/tag/ulrike-gaul/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Left-right wiring determined by neural communication in the embryonic worm | Newswire
    and named Handedness researchers are particularly interested in two olfactory neurons AWC ON and AWC OFF one each on the left and right sides of the worm s body AWC ON has one set of responsibilities while AWC OFF has a totally different set of functions Which side houses each of the nerves right or left appears to be random with the nerves positions reversed about 50 percent of the time What makes this an interesting puzzle to solve is understanding how the left and the right sides become different from each other and how they coordinate their activity so that every worm still has exactly one of each type of cell says the paper s corresponding author Cori Bargmann Torsten N Wiesel Professor head of the Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior What is it that sets up this kind of handedness in the brain Prior studies had shown that a gene involved in human migraine headaches an asymmetrical affliction was involved in this decision but something was happening earlier that researchers had yet to figure out Bargmann and postdoctoral associate Chiou Fen Chuang now an assistant professor at Cincinnati Children s Research Foundation found that the first step of left right communication is carried out by a gene that makes gap junctions broadband communication channels through which cells pass many kinds of molecules and electrical signals And yet strangely as far as worm researchers knew no gap junctions existed anywhere on adult worm AWC neurons Then Bargmann and Chuang had a flash of insight Since like handedness AWC asymmetry arises before the animal is fully developed maybe they needed to examine the nervous system of the embryonic worm Using an electron microscope they discovered that the developing worm s neural network which had not previously been mapped was

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2007/05/15/left-right-wiring-determined-by-neural-communication-in-the-embryonic-worm/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Developing neurons reverse direction in absence of Wnt protein | Newswire
    research by Cori Bargmann Torsten N Wiesel Professor and head of Rockefeller s Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior indicates that Wnts direct nerve cell growth in unexpected ways In a paper published in this month s issue of Developmental Cell Bargmann and Massimo Hilliard a postdoctoral associate in her lab use worms to show that the absence of one Wnt protein causes a neuron in the animal s tail to develop backwards When the researchers watched the development of a single nerve cell in the tails of worm embryos that lacked either the specific Wnt protein or the protein s receptor dubbed Frizzled they found that the neuron had flipped 180 degrees The long slender tendril that normally grows from the center of the nerve cell toward the head of the animal was unnaturally long the normally short posterior process which grows from the center down towards the tail was so abnormally long that sometimes it even hit the tip of the tail and began growing back toward the head In addition to this change in shape changes in the molecules within the nerve cell suggested that the whole neuron was reversed The way that people think about how nerve cells grow is that the process drives along the body like a car driving down the highway that follows the signs right turn then left turn Bargmann says But in Wnt mutants it s as if the whole car has turned around on the highway and now it s headed southbound instead of northbound As a result not only is the neuron physically reversed but information is actually flowing the wrong way It thinks the tail is the head Bargmann says A cell that s supposed to be sending information from the tail to the head is now sending

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2006/03/20/developing-neurons-reverse-direction-in-absence-of-wnt-protein/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Wnt | Newswire
    proteins in worms can alter a nerve so substantially that it grows in reverse More Tags Cori Bargmann Wnt August 3 2005 Science News Never too much of a good thing Research from the Fuchs Lab shows that different levels of Wnt proteins are able to drive a variety of outcomes in the skin Low levels can drive hair follicle stem cells to divide while higher amounts cause cell differentiation

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/tag/wnt/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Scientists teach worms to learn | Newswire
    we couldn t take advantage of their simple nervous system and ask the kinds of questions we wanted to ask says Bargmann Torsten N Wiesel Professor and head of the Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior at Rockefeller and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Bargmann explains using bacteria to train worms A roundworm s diet consists of a variety of bacteria that live in the soil Some bacteria are beneficial some cause disease and still others are poisonous We don t know if animals experience nausea but we do know that animals will reject food after a single bad experience says Bargmann We were using this very powerful very fundamental form of learning about food as a way to try and teach worms To find out if worms could learn to avoid bacteria that would make them sick Zhang Bargmann and co author Hang Lu developed a series of experiments First the researchers gave the worms two bacteria to choose from one pathogenic and one harmless After a training period the worms consistently rejected the pathogenic bacteria Specific neurons express serotonin bright areas of image in response to learning In worms that were trained to avoid poisonous bacteria top more serotonin was expressed than in worms that were not trained bottom Then to be sure that the worms had formed a memory based on their experience with the pathogenic bacteria and were not simply making lucky guesses Lu an MIT trained engineer designed an eight armed worm maze using the same techniques that engineers use to construct microelectronic devices The maze served as a type of multiple choice rather than true false test offering the worms four different bacteria each bacterium was placed in two of the maze s eight chambers After about four hours the worms started to reject the bad bacteria Interestingly Bargmann notes after a longer time the worms learned to like good bacteria although more research needs to be done to understand why At the molecular level the researchers found that the neurons of worms that ingested pathogenic bacteria produced an abundance of the neurotransmitter serotonin And serotonin production is one of the critical components of learning In all animals including humans the neurotransmitter serotonin communicates information from the internal organs to the nervous system The nausea associated with chemotherapy for example is based on serotonin release and the anti nausea drugs that doctors give to chemotherapy patients are serotonin blockers Doctors tell people who are undergoing chemotherapy not to eat any strongly flavored foods or any foods that they really love because the patients won t be able to eat them after treatment Bargmann says That s a pretty clear indication that there is a form of human learning that may be using a similar mechanism Zhang found that the serotonin producing neurons communicate with a set of neurons downstream from the simpler odor response The researchers hypothesize that this is how the worm can connect the experience I am sick with

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2005/11/10/scientists-teach-worms-to-learn/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Internationally renowned neurobiologist to join Rockefeller University; Cori Bargmann discovered “matchmaker” molecule | Newswire
    Bargmann In 2003 three other scientific leaders joined The Rockefeller University as heads of major laboratories Paul Nurse Ph D the university s new president and C David Allis Ph D and Thomas Tuschl Ph D Both Allis and Tuschl are at the forefront of research on how molecules in body cells suppress or increase the activity patterns of genes without permanently altering the DNA code of the genes Research accomplishments The one millimeter long worm C elegans engages in many basic survival behaviors that are similar to those in humans and other mammals but its relative simplicity makes these behaviors easier to analyze Bargmann s focus has been olfaction the sense of smell that is crucial to the survival of the worm which is deaf and blind and that in humans is vital to how we perceive and remember our environment and the world Despite its relatively few neurons the worm can sense hundreds of different compounds discriminate between them and behave differently in response to different odors Bargmann has found The worm s reaction is based not only on the odor it senses but the context and the animal s experiences she says Bargmann s research has clarified the specific neurons and the specific mechanisms within these neurons that allow the worm to detect thousands of different odors in its environment Bargmann also has studied how the worm discriminates between two different scents at the same time In one experiment Bargmann tried to confuse the worm by exposing it simultaneously to two equally attractive odors Placed in a closed chamber the worm senses one odor that permeates the unit as well as another odor that emanates from a single spot in the chamber We re trying to understand the logic that allows the worm to ignore the pervasive odor and pay attention to the odor that is coming from a specific source which might be informative or might predict food Bargmann says Since random odors characterize the environment and survival may depend on an animal s ability to identify one particular scent in the mix such research is relevant to understanding the basics of human and animal behavior Bargmann has studied mutant worms that could detect odors but couldn t distinguish between them to solve complex problems Pinpointing a gene that was defective in these worms she then determined what the gene did and thereby determined how discrimination works She discovered that the test odors were sensed by two olfactory neurons that have very subtle differences Being a little different these neurons can compare themselves to each other and sense overlapping but not identical odors If the odors are exactly the same then the worm can t figure out what s going on in a complex environment Bargmann says Bargmann s research has also touched on other forms of sensory biology and behavior In a recent study this year with Jeffrey Friedman M D Ph D head of a major lab at The Rockefeller University and an HHMI

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2004/01/05/internationally-renowned-neurobiologist-to-join-rockefeller-university-cori-bargmann-discovered-matchmaker-molecule/ (2016-02-13)
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