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 Syndrome...
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 assistance on...
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. Using...
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 dystrophy, muscle...
Baltimore, MD–The last step of the cell cycle is the brief but spectacularly dynamic and complicated mitosis phase, which leads to the duplication of one mother cell into two daughter cells. In mitosis, the chromosomes condense and the nucleus breaks down. Fibrous structures called spindles form, which then move the chromosomal material toward opposite ends of a cell and help partition other cell contents. If something goes wrong, diseases such...
Baltimore, MD–Biochemist, developmental biologist, and physician, Donald D. Brown of Carnegie’s Department of Embryology, will receive the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Developmental Biology. The award is given to “a senior developmental biologist in recognition of her/his outstanding and sustained contributions in the field…[and]for the individual's excellence in research and for being a superb mentor who has helped train...
Balitmore, MD—Douglas E. Koshland, staff scientist at Carnegie’s Department of Embryology, has been elected one of 72 Fellows by the American Academy of Microbiology. Fellows are annually elected “through a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology.” Using the simple, single-celled yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Koshland has become a leader...
Baltimore, MD—Stem cells are the body’s primal cells, retaining the youthful ability to develop into more specialized types of cells over many cycles of cell division. How do they do it? Scientists at the Carnegie Institution have identified a gene, named scrawny, that appears to be a key factor in keeping a variety of stem cells in their undifferentiated state. Understanding how stem cells maintain their potency has implications both for our...
Washington D.C.—Christopher B. Field, director of Carnegie’s Department of Global Ecology, and Douglas E. Koshland, staff scientist at the Department of Embryology, have been elected AAAS Fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The announcement appears in the News & Notes section of the December19, 2008 issue of Science.   The two researchers are among 486 members who have been awarded this honor for 2008, “...
Baltimore, MD—Scientists have known for decades that certain genes (called transposons) can jump around the genome in an individual cell. This activity can be dangerous, however, especially when it arises in cells that produce eggs and sperm. Such changes can threaten the offspring and the success of a species. To ensure the integrity of these cells, nature developed a mechanism to quash this genetic scrambling, but how it works has remained a...
Allan C. Spradling, director of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Embryology, has been awarded the 2008 Genetics Prize by the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation in recognition of his contributions to fruit fly genomics and for “fundamental discoveries about the earliest stages of reproduction.” The prize, which consists of a gold medal and $500,000, will be presented to Spradling at the International Congress of Genetics in Berlin on...
Carnegie cell biologist Joseph G. Gall in the Department of Embryology was chosen to receive the 2007 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize, awarded annually by Columbia University to recognize outstanding contributions to basic research in the fields of biology and biochemistry. Gall shares the 2007 award with Elizabeth H. Blackburn of the University of California, San Francisco and Carol W. Greider, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine....
Former Embryology scientist Nina Fedoroff has won the National Medal of Science and has been named science advisor to Condoleezza Rice.
Carnegie Contact: Dr. Allan Spradling, (410) 246-3021 or spradling@ciwemb.edu For a copy of the paper, please contact: AAAS Office of Public Programs; (202) 326-6440 or scipak@aaas.org Baltimore, MD – From roundworm to human, most cells in an animal’s body ultimately come from stem cells. When one of these versatile, unspecialized cells divides, the resulting “daughter” cell receives instructions to differentiate into a specific cell type. In...
The Baltimore Sun profiles high-risk research at Carnegie Institution's Department of Embryology where "Top scientists get freedom to work."