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Humans can distinguish at least 1 trillion different odors

In a world perfumed by freshly popped popcorn and exhaust fumes, where sea breezes can mingle with the scents of sweet flowers or wet...

Combination of sensory signals draw mosquitoes in for a bite

It may seem like mosquitoes will bite anything with a pulse, but they’re actually quite strategic in picking their victims. A new study from...

Unusual genetic mutation linked to adolescent liver cancer

In the race for better treatments and possible cures, rare diseases are often left behind. In a collaboration of researchers at The Rockefeller University, Memorial...

Researchers ID molecular changes responsible for psoriasis skin discoloration

Itchy, painful rashes — such as those that occur with psoriasis — are uncomfortable, but at least they fade when the flare-up subsides. Mostly. Evidence...

Worry on the Brain: Researchers pinpoint neural circuitry that promotes anxiety

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 18 percent of American adults suffer from anxiety disorders, characterized as excessive worry or tension...

Discovery Could Lead to End of Sunburn Pain

The painful, red skin that comes from too much time in the sun is caused by a molecule abundant in the skin's epidermis, a...

Gene identified that prevents stem cells from turning cancerous

Stem cells, the prodigious precursors of all the tissues in our body, can make almost anything, given the right circumstances. Including, unfortunately, cancer. Now research from Rockefeller University shows that having too many stem cells, or stem ...

Link found between estrogen, changes in brain structure, and learning and...

Scientists have discovered how estrogen initiates physical changes in rodent brain cells that lead to increased learning and memory -- a finding, the researchers contend, that illustrates the likely value of the hormone to enhance brain functioning in women. Their study, published in the March 15 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, describes for the first time a chain of molecular events that is activated in the brain's primary memory center, called the hippocampus, when estrogen bathes nerve cells.

Backstage with a command performer

Some cells sing with the chorus, while others unwittingly achieve fame on their own. The immune system's B cell is a true diva that spends its early days preparing for the ultimate audition. Its repertoire of possible antibodies to invading microbes totals 50 million. For the immune system, this repertoire means the difference between destroying a potentially lethal antigen or not. Since the late 1970s, the genes for making immunoglobulin, a family of blood proteins that compose the antibodies, sufficed to explain the B cell's vast oeuvre. A B cell that is mature enough to respond to antigen does so by combining genes in a process called immunoglobulin gene rearrangement. Many possible combinations during this process allow a wide catalog of antibodies to literally take shape. Now, a biochemical phenomenon involving changes to stationary proteins in the B cell's nucleus, called histones, is known also to contribute to the cell's various solo performances.

Young plant's natural defenses amount to more than just its seed

In the presence of the plant hormone ABA, young Arabidopsis plants will hold off on growth until outside conditions become favorable (top). Mutant plants overproducing the newly identified AFP protein, on the other hand, lack this developmental arrest and blossom without delay (bottom). These and other experiments indicate that AFP helps to restore growth in normal plants by terminating the developmental arrest.

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