Caltech Scientists Uncover Structure of Key Protein in Common HIV Subgroup

Scientists from the Caltech have provided the first-ever glimpse of the structure of a key protein—gp120—found on the surface of a specific subgroup of the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV-1. In addition, they demonstrated that a particular antibody to gp120 makes contact not only with the protein, but with the CD4 receptor that gp120 uses to gain entrance into the body's T cells.

 

Caltech-led Team Provides Proof in Humans of RNA Interference Using Targeted Nanoparticles

A Caltech-led team of researchers and clinicians has published the first proof that a targeted nanoparticle—used as an experimental therapeutic and injected directly into a patient's bloodstream—can traffic into tumors, deliver double-stranded small interfering RNAs, and turn off an important cancer gene using a mechanism known as RNA interference. Moreover, the team demonstrated that this new type of therapy can make its way to human tumors in a dose-dependent fashion.

Caltech and UCSD Scientists Establish Leech as Model for Study of Reproductive Behavior

 

Researchers at Caltech and the University of California, San Diego have discovered that injecting a simple hormone into leeches creates a novel way to study how hormones and the nervous system work together to produce species-specific reproductive behavior. A paper describing the work appears in the March 11 online edition of the journal Current Biology.

 

Caltech Receives More than $33 Million from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Research in genomic sciences, astronomy, seismology, and neuroeconomics are some of the many projects being funded at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Caltech Researchers Obtain First Brain Recordings from Behaving Fruit Flies

Researchers at Caltech have obtained the first recordings of brain-cell activity in an actively flying fruit fly. The work—by Michael Dickinson, the Esther M. and Abe M. Zarem Professor of Bioengineering, with postdoctoral scholars Gaby Maimon and Andrew Straw—suggests that at least part of the brain of the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) "is in a different and more sensitive state during flight than when the fly is quiescent," Dickinson says.

Caltech Researchers Revise Long-Held Theory of Fruit-Fly Development

For decades, science texts have told a simple and straightforward story about a particular protein—a transcription factor—that helps the embryo of the fruit fly pattern tissues in a manner that depends on the levels of this factor within individual cells. Now Angelike Stathopoulos and her Caltech colleagues have called that paradigm into question.

Caltech, UCLA Launch Joint Center for Translational Medicine

Caltech and UCLA have announced the establishment of the Joint Center for Translational Medicine (JCTM), which will advance experimental research into clinical applications, including the diagnosis and therapy of diseases such as cancer.

Caltech Scientists Discover Aggression-Promoting Pheromone in Flies

Have you ever found yourself struggling to get your order taken at a crowded bar or lunch counter, only to walk away in disgust as more aggressive customers elbow their way to the front? It turns out that flies do much the same thing, according to biologists from Caltech.

Caltech Scientists Show How Ubiquitin Chains are Added to Cell-Cycle Proteins

Researchers from Caltech have been able to view in detail, and for the first time, the previously mysterious process by which long chains of a protein called ubiquitin are added by enzymes called ubiquitin ligases to proteins that control the cell cycle. Ubiquitin chains tag target proteins for destruction by protein-degrading complexes in the cell. Their findings, and the innovative process by which they were obtained, are described in this week's issue of Nature.

Caltech Scientists Find Emotion-like Behaviors, Regulated by Dopamine, in Fruit Flies

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have uncovered evidence of a primitive emotion-like behavior in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Their findings, which may be relevant to the relationship between the neurotransmitter dopamine and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), are described in the December issue of the journal Neuron.

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