Three Caltech Scientists Receive Ellison Medical Foundation Awards

The Ellison Medical Foundation (EMF) has awarded Senior Scholar Awards of nearly $1 million each to three California Institute of Technology (Caltech) researchers for exploratory projects in the molecular biology of aging processes and age-related diseases.

Caltech Researchers Get First Look at How Groups of Cells Coordinate Their Movements

Using novel imaging, labeling, and data-analysis techniques, scientists from Caltech have been able to visualize, for the first time, large numbers of cells moving en masse during some of the earliest stages of embryonic development. The findings not only provide insight into this stage of development--called gastrulation--but give a more general glimpse at how a living organism choreographs the motions of thousands of cells at one time.

Caltech Scientists Show Function of Helical Band in Heart

Scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have created images of the heart's muscular layer that show, for the first time, the connection between the configuration of those muscles and the way the human heart contracts. More precisely, they showed that the muscular band--which wraps around the inner chambers of the heart in a helix--is actually a sort of twisting highway along which each contraction of the heart travels.

Caltech Scientists Develop "Barcode Chip" for Cheap, Fast Blood Tests

PASADENA, Calif.-- A new "barcode chip" developed by researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) promises to revolutionize diagnostic medical testing. In less than 10 minutes, and using just a pinprick's worth of blood, the chip can measure the concentrations of dozens of proteins, including those that herald the presence of diseases like cancer and heart disease.

Caltech's David Baltimore and Fiona Harrison Named among America's Best Leaders for 2008

Two prominent researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have been named among the country's 24 top leaders by U.S. News Media Group in association with the Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard Kennedy School.

Caltech Researchers Use Electron Cryotomography to Get First 3-D Glimpse of Bacterial Cell-Wall Architecture

The bacterial cell wall that is the target of potent antibiotics such as penicillin is actually made up of a thin single layer of carbohydrate chains, linked together by peptides, which wrap around the bacterium like a belt around a person, according to research conducted by scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). This first-ever glimpse of the cell-wall structure in three dimensions was made possible by new high-tech microscopy techniques that enabled the scientists to visualize these biological structures at nanometer scales.

Caltech Biologists Spy on the Secret Inner Life of a Cell

The transportation of antibodies from a mother to her newborn child is vital for the development of that child's nascent immune system. Those antibodies, donated by transfer across the placenta before birth or via breast milk after birth, help shape a baby's response to foreign pathogens and may influence the later occurrence of autoimmune diseases. Images from biologists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have revealed for the first time the complicated process by which these antibodies are shuttled from mother's milk, through her baby's gut, and into the bloodstream, and offer new insight into the mammalian immune system.

Caltech Scientists Engineer Supersensitive Receptor, Gain Better Understanding of Brain's Dopamine System

Genetically modifying a receptor found on the neurons that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine has given California Institute of Technology (Caltech) researchers a unique glimpse into the workings of the brain's dopamine system--as well as a new target for treating diseases that result from either too much or too little of this critical neurotransmitter.

Caltech Scientists Find Cells Coordinate Gene Activity with FM Bursts

How a cell achieves the coordinated control of a number of genes at the same time, a process that's necessary for it to regulate its own behavior and development, has long puzzled scientists. Michael Elowitz, an assistant professor of biology and applied physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), along with Long Cai, a postdoctoral research scholar at Caltech, and graduate student Chiraj Dalal, have discovered a surprising answer. Just as human engineers control devices ranging from dimmer switches to retrorockets using pulsed--or frequency modulated (FM)--signals, cells tune the expression of groups of genes using discrete bursts of activation.

Bruce A. Hay, Caltech Biologist, Named NIH Pioneer Award Recipient

Bruce A. Hay, associate professor of biology at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), has been named a 2008 NIH Director's Pioneer Award recipient by National Institutes of Health Director Elias A. Zerhouni, MD.

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