MacArthur Foundation Names Two New Caltech "Geniuses"

Two California Institute of Technology faculty members were named MacArthur Fellows today, each winning a five-year, $500,000 grant awarded to creative, original individuals that is often referred to as the "genius grant."

Two Nicotine Addiction Puzzles Explained

The stranglehold of nicotine addiction leads to more than four million smoking-related deaths each year. Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have now explained two roots of that addiction. The discoveries may offer new hope not just for smokers, but eventually also for sufferers of Parkinson's disease, a debilitating movement disorder that affects some 40 million people worldwide.

Caltech Scientists Create Breakthrough Sensor Capable of Detecting Individual Molecules

Applied physicists at the California Institute of Technology have figured out a way to detect single biological molecules with a microscopic optical device. The method has already proven effective for detecting the signaling proteins called cytokines that indicate the function of the immune system, and it could be used in numerous medical applications, such as the extremely early detection of cancer and other diseases, as well as in basic biological research.

Engineering Populations of Wild Insects to Fight Disease

Malaria infects more than half a billion people every year, and kills more than one million, mostly children. Despite decades of effort, no effective vaccine exists for the disease, caused by single-celled Plasmodium parasites. The parasites are transmitted to humans via the bite of infected mosquitoes.

Researchers Stimulate Growth of Neural Stem Cells in Adult Brain for Treatment of Neurological Disorders

In a development that could potentially benefit victims of degenerative neurological diseases, researchers have succeeded in stimulating the growth of adult neural stem cells. Such cells could then be directed towards repairing one's own brain.

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.

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