Caltech Professor Receives McKnight Award for Brain Disease Research

PASADENA, Calif. — The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience will award $300,000 over three years to California Institute of Technology biology professor Paul H. Patterson for research he is conducting on mental illness.

Patterson is one of seven researchers nationally who are each being awarded the same amount in order to further their studies into diagnosing, preventing, and treating injuries or diseases affecting the brain and spinal cord.

Caltech Biologist Pamela BjorkmanWins Max Planck Research Prize

Pamela Bjorkman, professor of and executive officer for biology at the California Institute of Technology, has been awarded the Max Planck Research Prize by the Max Planck Society in Germany. She joins 11 other outstanding international researchers in this year's honor.

The award is presented each year to "individual foreign and German researchers who lead their respective fields with regard to outstanding, internationally recognized scientific achievements," according to the society's official Website.

Cellular choreography, not molecular prepattern, creates repeated segments of vertebrate embryo

In a study that combines state-of-the-art biological imaging with gene expression analysis, scientists at the California Institute of Technology have uncovered a fundamental insight into the way embryonic cells and tissue move about to form key structures along the vertebrate axis. The study, which could lead to a better understanding of human development, takes advantage of the accessibility of chick embryos to embryonic manipulation.

Caltech Professor Awarded Wilson Medal for Insights Into the Life Cycle of Cells

Alexander Varshavsky receives Wilson award for his research on ubiquitin.

Humans and chimps have 95 percent DNA compatibility, not 98.5 percent, research shows

Genetic studies for decades have estimated that humans and chimpanzees possess genomes that are about 98.5 percent similar. In other words, of the three billion base pairs along the DNA helix, nearly 99 of every 100 would be exactly identical.

Five Caltech Faculty Members Elected to Membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

PASADENA, Calif. — The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has announced that five members of the Caltech faculty have been elected to membership in the academy for contributions to their respective scientific fields.

The Caltech faculty members who have been elected are Richard Andersen, Boswell Professor of Neuroscience; David Anderson, professor of biology and investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI); Ronald Drever, professor of physics, emeritus; Mary Kennedy, Davis Professor of Biology; and Mark Wise, McCone Professor of High Energy Physics.

Two Caltech Professors Elected to American Philosophical Society

PASADENA, Calif. — The American Philosophical Society (APS) recently announced that Pamela J. Bjorkman, professor of biology at Caltech and investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and Peter B. Dervan, Bren Professor of Chemistry, are two of the 37 new members elected in this year.

Bjorkman is being recognized for her work with molecules needed for cell-surface recognition, and their role in the immune system.

Caltech Researcher Granted $500,000 Career Award

As a young medical student, Matthew Porteus recalls his frustration when admitting his first patient with chronic pain caused by sickle-cell anemia. There was little medicine could do to help her in a sustained and meaningful way. The experience influenced his decision to study the basic mechanisms of "gene targeting," one possible way to cure such diseases, which are caused by a single mutation in a cell. Now Porteus will be assisted in his studies thanks to a grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

Brain oscillations compress odor representations as signals pass through olfactory networks

Most natural smells are complex blends of many individual chemicals. Freshly ground coffee, for example, contains about 300 individual volatile components. A typical perfume also contains tens of ingredients, although the recipes are tightly locked in secret vaults.

The percepts that such complex blends evoke in us are, however, astonishingly singular: ground coffee smells like coffee, not like a hopeless mess of hundreds of ingredients; Gio or Allure also have unique signatures (often associated with other memories).

New Clues to the Processing of Memories

Function of a known pathway to memory in the brain is explained.

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