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New Microscope Collects Dynamic Images of the Molecules That Animate Life

A new imaging platform developed by Eric Betzig and colleagues at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Research Campus offers another leap forward for light microscopy. The new technology collects high-resolution images rapidly and minimizes damage to cells, meaning it can image the three-dimensional activity of molecules, cells, and embryos in fine detail over longer periods than was previously possible. Betzig was one of three scientists who shared the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry earlier this month.

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Cutting the Ties That Bind

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The development of a new organism from the joining of two single cells is a carefully orchestrated endeavor. But even before sperm meets egg, an equally elaborate set of choreographed steps must occur to ensure successful sexual reproduction. Those steps, known as reproductive cell division or meiosis, split the original number of chromosomes in half so that offspring will inherit half their genetic material from one parent and half from the other.

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Thyroid Cancer Genome Analysis Finds Markers of Aggressive Tumors

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A new comprehensive analysis of thyroid cancer from The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network has identified markers of aggressive tumors, which could allow for better targeting of appropriate treatments to individual patients.

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New TSRI Studies Bring Scientists Closer to Combating Dangerous Unstable Proteins

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Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered a way to decrease deadly protein deposits in the heart, kidney and other organs associated with a group of human diseases called the systemic amyloid diseases.

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UNC Scientists Discover Hidden Subpopulation of Melanoma Cells

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UNC researchers discover a subpopulation of melanoma cancer cells in blood vessels of tumors. These cells, which mimic non-cancerous endothelial cells that normally populate blood vessels, could provide researchers with another target for cancer therapies.

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Over-Organizing Repair Cells Set the Stage for Fibrosis

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The excessive activity of repair cells in the early stages of tissue recovery sets the stage for fibrosis by priming the activation of an important growth factor, according to a study in The Journal of Cell Biology.

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New Insight That “Mega” Cells Control the Growth of Blood-Producing Cells

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While megakaryocytes are best known for producing platelets that heal wounds, these “mega” cells found in bone marrow also play a critical role in regulating stem cells according to new research from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. In fact, hematopoietic stem cells differentiate to generate megakaryocytes in bone marrow. The Stowers study is the first to show that hematopoietic stem cells (the parent cells) can be directly controlled by their own progeny (megakaryocytes).

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Misfolded Proteins Clump Together in a Surprising Place

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Scientists at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have made a surprising finding about the aggregates of misfolded cellular proteins that have been linked to aging-related disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. The researchers report their results in the October 16, 2014 online issue of the journal Cell.

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Scripps Research Institute Scientists Identify Trigger for Crucial Immune System Cell

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Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have identified the long-sought activating molecules for a rare but crucial subset of immune system cells that help rally other white blood cells to fight infection.

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Scientists Map Key Moment in Assembly of DNA-Splitting Molecular Machine

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The proteins that drive DNA replication—the force behind cellular growth and reproduction—are some of the most complex machines on Earth. The multistep replication process involves hundreds of atomic-scale moving parts that rapidly interact and transform. Mapping that dense molecular machinery is one of the most promising and challenging frontiers in medicine and biology.

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