California Purple Sea-Urchin Genome Sequenced by International Team

A group of 240 researchers from more than 70 institutions has announced the sequencing of the male California purple sea urchin. An animal frequently used in experiments, its genome has been studied intensely for years at Caltech's Kerckhoff Marine Biological Laboratory (KML), and will contribute significantly to biomedical advances of the future.

Caltech, UC Berkeley to Investigate How Brain Activity Controls Complex Behavior

A new $4.4-million grant from the National Science Foundation will allow researchers at the California Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley, to develop techniques to turn brain cells on and off in animals as they go about their daily activities, allowing the scientists to understand the details of how brain activity leads to complex behaviors.

Caltech Gets $18 Million from NHGRI to Map Vertebrate Development

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has awarded an $18-million grant for creation of a Center of Excellence in Genomic Science at the California Institute of Technology.

Meyerowitz and Lange Awarded Balzan Prize

California Institute of Technology faculty Andrew Lange and Elliot Meyerowitz have been named Balzan Prizewinners for 2006 by the International Balzan Foundation.

Structural Biologists Get First Picture of Complete Bacterial Flagellar Motor

When it comes to tiny motors, the flagella used by bacteria to get around their microscopic worlds are hard to beat. Composed of several tens of different types of protein, a flagellum (that's the singular) rotates about in much the same way that a rope would spin if mounted in the chuck of an electric drill, but at much higher speeds-about 300 revolutions per second.

Moore Foundation Gives $5.6 Million to Caltech for New Center to Study Cell Regulation

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has awarded $5.6 million to the California Institute of Technology for the creation of the Center for Integrative Study of Cell Regulation. The goal of the center is to develop new computational methods for understanding how the many genes and proteins that make up individual cells work together to carry out specialized functions of different cell types, including neurons, plant cells, and bacteria.

New Drugs for Smoking Cessation to Be the Target of Grant-Funded Partnership

The California Institute of Technology has been awarded a five-year grant for $4.6 million from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to develop a program for discovering medications aimed either at helping people avoid nicotine addiction or at helping smokers to quit. The project will include researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder and from Targacept, a North Carolina-based biopharmaceutical company whose scientists are leaders in research focused on a class of receptors known as neuronal nicotinic receptors.

Caltech and UC San Diego School of Medicine Create Program to Train Academic Physicians

High-school seniors looking for a futuristic way of studying medicine may want to take note. Beginning next year, six newly admitted freshmen at the California Institute of Technology will also be offered early admission to the University of California, San Diego, (UCSD) School of Medicine, pending completion of their Caltech degrees as "medical scholars."

Study of embryonic sea lampreys provides new insight into the evolution of vertebrates

Among the sea beasts commonly displayed at public aquariums is a rather odd-looking fellow known as a lamprey. Possessing a circular mouth that looks like a suction cup with teeth, lampreys have the distinction of being the most primitive of all creatures with backbones.

Biologists Uncover New Details of How Neural Crest Forms in the Early Embryonic Stages

There's a time soon after conception when the stem cells in a tiny area of the embryo called the neural crest are working overtime to build such structures as the dorsal root ganglia, various neurons of the nervous system, and the bones and cartilage of the skull. If things go wrong at this stage, deformities such as cleft palates can occur.

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