Baltimore, MD--Cells in the body wear down over time and die. In many organs, like the small intestine, adult stem cells play a vital role in maintaining function by replacing old cells with new ones. Learning about the nature of tissue stem cells can help scientists understand exactly how our organs are built, and why some organs generate cancer frequently, but others only rarely. New work from Carnegie’s Alexis Marianes and Allan Spradling...
AudioBaltimore, MD—Proper tissue function and regeneration is supported by stem cells, which reside in so-called niches. New work from Carnegie’s Yixian Zheng and Haiyang Chen identifies an important component for regulating stem cell niches, with impacts on tissue building and function. The results could have implications for disease research. It is published by Cell Stem Cell.   Lamins are proteins are the major structural component of the...
Baltimore, MD—Mammalian females ovulate periodically over their reproductive lifetimes, placing significant demands on their ovaries for egg production. Whether mammals generate new eggs in adulthood using stem cells has been a source of scientific controversy. If true, these “germ-line stem cells” might allow novel treatments for infertility and other diseases. However, new research from Carnegie’s Lei Lei and Allan Spradling demonstrates that...
Baltimore, MD— Eggs take a long time to produce in the ovary, and thus are one of a body’s precious resources. It has been theorized that the body has mechanisms to help the ovary ensure that ovulated eggs enter the reproductive tract at the right time in order to maximize the chance of successful fertilization.   New research from Carnegie's Allan Spradling and Jianjun Sun has shed light on how successful ovulation and fertilization are brought...
Baltimore, MD--Recent research shows that natural experiences in childhood boost creativity, stimulate learning, and improve behavior and health. Carnegie’s BioEYES educational program, in partnership with General Motors (GM), is capitalizing on this by sponsoring some 25–30 middle-school students from Guilford Elementary/Middle School to plant native shrubs for a wildlife habitat area at the White Marsh, MD, GM operations facility on April 25,...
Baltimore, MD— The ability of embryonic stem cells to differentiate into different types of cells with different functions is regulated and maintained by a complex series of chemical interactions, which are not well understood. Learning more about this process could prove useful for stem cell-based therapies down the road. New research from a team led by Carnegie’s Yixian Zheng zeroes in on the process by which stem cells maintain their proper...
Washington, D.C.—The Carnegie Institution for Science and the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) have been granted United States Patent 8,283,329, entitled, “Genetic inhibition of double-stranded RNA.” The patent, issued on October 9, 2012, is broadly directed to the use of RNA interference (RNAi) to inhibit expression of a target gene in animal cells, including mammalian cells.   The process by which RNA, the cellular material...
Baltimore, MD —You may think you have dinner all to yourself, but you’re actually sharing it with a vast community of microbes waiting within your digestive tract. A new study from a team including Carnegie’s Steve Farber and Juliana Carten reveals that some gut microbes increase the absorption of dietary fats, allowing the host organism to extract more calories from the same amount of food.    Previous studies showed gut microbes aid in the...
Baltimore, MD—Director Emeritus Donald Brown, of Carnegie’s Department of Embryology, receives the prestigious 2012 Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science “For exceptional leadership and citizenship in biomedical science–exemplified by fundamental discoveries concerning the nature of genes; and by selfless commitment to young scientists.” Brown is honored along with Tom Maniatis of Columbia University.   Brown received his...
Baltimore, MD — The study of muscular system protein myostatin has been of great interest to researchers as a potential therapeutic target for people with muscular disorders. Although much is known about how myostatin affects muscle growth, there has been disagreement about what types of muscle cells it acts upon. New research from a team including Carnegie's Chen-Ming Fan and Christoph Lepper narrows down the field to one likely type of cell....
Baltimore, MD — In mammals, most lipids (such as fatty acids and cholesterol) are absorbed into the body via the small intestine. The complexity of the cells and fluids that inhabit this organ make it very difficult to study in a laboratory setting. New research from Carnegie’s Steven Farber, James Walters and Jennifer Anderson reveals a technique that allows scientists to watch lipid metabolism in live zebrafish. This method enabled them to...
Baltimore, MD — Insect glands are responsible for producing a host of secretions that allow bees to sting and ants to lay down trails to and from their nests. New research from Carnegie scientists focuses on secretions from glands in the reproductive tract that help sperm survive and guide the sperm on the trip to fertilize an egg. The gene that controls the development of these glands in fruit flies provides important information about gland...
Baltimore, MD—Carnegie’s educational outreach program, BioEYES, will be the recipient of the 2012 Viktor Hamburger Outstanding Educator Prize from the Society for Developmental Biology. BioEYES founders Steve Farber and Jamie Shuda (University of Pennsylvania), will accept the award at the upcoming annual meeting of the society in Montreal in July. BioEYES, with program manager Valerie Butler, is also currently featured in a video on the front...
Baltimore, MD — Scientists have long held theories about the importance of proteins called B-type lamins in the process of embryonic stem cells replicating and differentiating into different varieties of cells. New research from a team led by Carnegie’s Yixian Zheng indicates that, counter to expectations, these B-type lamins are not necessary for stem cells to renew and develop, but are necessary for proper organ development. Their work is...
Baltimore, MD—Carnegie’s educational outreach program, BioEYES, has joined forces with General Motors (GM), and Earth Force to take Walter P. Carter Elementary/Middle School students on a knee-deep watershed lesson on December 1, 2011. The group will monitor water quality, sample aquatic insects (indicators of stream health), go on a nature walk, and identify water problems in the Herring Run watershed near the school to teach students about...
Baltimore, MD—Staff associate Christoph Lepper, at Carnegie’s Department of Embryology, is one of 10 recipients of the NIH Director’s Early Independence Awards. This is the first year of the awards. Lepper will receive a prize of $250,000 per year for five years to carry out his creative research program as an independent investigator. The prize is designed to launch exceptional young scientists into independent positions directly out of...
Baltimore, MD— The human genome shares several peculiarities with the DNA of just about every other plant and animal. Our genetic blueprint contains numerous entities known as transposons, or “jumping genes,” which have the ability to move from place to place on the chromosomes within a cell. An astounding 50% of human DNA comprises both active transposon elements and the decaying remains of former transposons that were active thousands to...
Baltimore, MD — New research from a team including several Carnegie scientists demonstrates that a specific small segment of RNA could play a key role in the growth of a type of malignant childhood eye tumor called retinoblastoma. The tumor is associated with mutations of a protein called Rb, or retinoblastoma protein. Dysfunctional Rb is also involved with other types of cancers, including lung, brain, breast and bone. Their work, which will be...
Washington, D.C.—Carnegie biogeochemist Marilyn Fogel, developmental biologist Marnie Halpern, and astronomer Stella Kafka were selected from over 500 applicants to be USA Science & Engineering Festival “Nifty Fifty” lecturers. The first USA Science & Engineering Festival is being held October 10 through the 24th in Washington, D.C., to inspire Americans about science. According to the late Nobel Laureate Richard Smalley, by the end of...
Baltimore, MD—The innovative, educational, outreach program BioEYES has now been adopted by Monash University and the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute. The down-under partnership program debuts this August. BioEYES is designed to foster an interest in and a love for science in elementary, middle, and high school students. Over the course of one week, students watch the transparent zebrafish, Danio rerio, grow from a single-celled...
Baltimore, MD— Proteins called cohesins ensure that newly copied chromosomes bind together, separate correctly during cell division, and are repaired efficiently after DNA damage. Scientists at the Carnegie Institution have found for the first time that cohesins are needed in different concentrations for their different functions. This discovery helps to explain how certain developmental disorders, such as Cornelia de Lange and Roberts...
Baltimore, MD—More than 25 years ago, Dianne Williams of Baltimore was hired by Carnegie’s Department of Embryology to wash lab dishes as part of a city job program for inner city youth. Now as head technician and manager of a Drosophila research lab, and with two degrees from Johns Hopkins University under her belt, she has authored four scientific papers published in prestigious journals and has been acknowledged for technical...
Baltimore, MD—Douglas E. Koshland, staff scientist at Carnegie’s Department of Embryology, has been elected as one of 72 new members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for his excellence in original scientific research. Membership in the NAS is one of the highest honors given to a scientist or engineer in the United States. Koshland will be inducted into the academy next April during its 148th annual meeting in Washington, D.C...
Multipotent stem cells have the capacity to develop into different types of cells by reprogramming their DNA to turn on different combinations of genes, a process called “differentiation.” In a new study, researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science have found that reprogramming is imperfect in the early stages of differentiation, with some genes turned on and off at random. As cell divisions continue, the stability of the...
Baltimore, MD—Scientists working at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Embryology, with colleagues, have overturned previous research that identified critical genes for making muscle stem cells. It turns out that the genes that make muscle stem cells in the embryo are surprisingly not needed in adult muscle stem cells to regenerate muscles after injury. The finding challenges the current course of research into muscular...