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.

Two Caltech Researchers Receive DARPA Young Faculty Awards

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected Julia R. Greer, assistant professor of materials science, and Doris Tsao, assistant professor of biology, to participate in its Young Faculty Award (YFA) program. Greer and Tsao are among the 33 "rising stars" from 24 U.S. universities who each will receive grants of approximately $300,000 to develop and validate their research ideas over the next 24 months.

Caltech Researchers Show Efficacy of Gene Therapy in Mouse Models of Huntington's Disease

Researchers at Caltech have shown that a highly specific intrabody (an antibody fragment that works against a target inside a cell) is capable of stalling the development of Huntington's disease in a variety of mouse models. "Gene therapy in these models successfully attenuated the symptoms of Huntington's disease and increased life span," notes Paul Patterson, the Anne P. and Benjamin F. Biaggini Professor of Biological Sciences. 

Cells in developing tissue consider their signaling exposure history to determine location

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have proposed a novel model that differs from a widely held hypothesis about the mechanisms by which developing animals pattern their tissues and structures. 

Caltech Scientists Get Detailed Glimpse of Chemoreceptor Architecture in Bacterial Cells

Using state-of-the-art electron microscopy techniques, a team led by researchers from Caltech has for the first time visualized and described the precise arrangement of chemoreceptors—the receptors that sense and respond to chemical stimuli—in bacteria. In addition, they have found that this specific architecture is the same throughout a wide variety of bacterial species, which means that this is a stable, universal structure that has been conserved over evolutionary time.

Caltech Researchers Pinpoint Neurons that Control Obesity in Fruit Flies

A team of scientists from Caltech have pinpointed two groups of neurons in fruit fly brains that have the ability to sense and manipulate the fly's fat stores in much the same way as do neurons in the mammalian brain. The existence of this sort of control over fat deposition and metabolic rates makes the flies a potentially useful model for the study of human obesity, the researchers note.

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