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Learning synapses

By | June 1, 2008

Credit: Courtesy of Meyer Instruments Inc / www.meyerinst.com" /> Credit: Courtesy of Meyer Instruments Inc / www.meyerinst.com The paper: J.R. Whitlock et al., "Learning induces long-term potentiation in the hippocampus," Science, 313:1093-7. (Cited in 91 papers) The finding: In 2006, Mark Bear's group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology w

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Predicting distribution

By | June 1, 2008

Credit: Courtesy of Jane Elith" /> Credit: Courtesy of Jane Elith The paper: J. Elith et al., "Novel methods improve predictions of species' distributions from occurrence data," Ecography, 29:129-51, 2006. (Cited in 128 papers) The finding: Jane Elith of the University of Melbourne and Catherine Graham of SUNY Stony Brook led the te

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Bacteria killers

By | May 1, 2008

Credit: Courtesy of Dan Barouch" /> Credit: Courtesy of Dan Barouch The paper: J. Wang et al., "Platensimycin is a selective FabF inhibitor with potent antibiotic properties," Nature, 441:358-61, 2006. (Cited in 91 papers) The discovery: Sifting through South African soil samples, scientists at Merck Research Laboratories found a new compound called

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Bacteria's bare necessities

By | May 1, 2008

Credit: Courtesy of the J. Craig Venter Institute" /> Credit: Courtesy of the J. Craig Venter Institute The paper: J. Glass et al., "Essential genes of a minimal bacterium," Proc Natl Acad Sci, 103:425-30, 2006. (Cited in 65 papers) The finding: To identify the essential genes of Mycoplasma genitalium, the smallest free-living bacterium, John Glass an

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Evading immunity

By | May 1, 2008

Credit: Courtesy of Dan Barouch" /> Credit: Courtesy of Dan Barouch The paper: D.M. Roberts et al., "Hexon-chimaeric adenovirus serotype 5 vectors circumvent preexisting antivector immunity," Nature, 441:239-243, 2006. (Cited in 52 papers) The finding: In 2006, Dan Barouch wanted to develop a vaccine vector that would not be suppressed by preexisting immunity. His gro

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A diabetes variant

By | February 1, 2008

Credit: Rade Pavlovic" /> Credit: Rade Pavlovic The paper: S.F. Grant et al., "Variant of transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2) gene confers risk of type 2 diabetes," Nat Gen, 38:320-3, 2006. (Cited in 177 papers) The finding: As part of a genome-wide association study, Kári Stefánsson of deCODE Genetics and colleagues associated variants of the gene transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2) with type 2 diabetes. TCF7L2 plays a role in Wnt

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Broken break repair

By | February 1, 2008

Credit: James King-Holmes / Photo Researchers, Inc" /> Credit: James King-Holmes / Photo Researchers, Inc The paper: P. Ahnesorg et al., "XLF interacts with the XRCC4-DNA ligase IV complex to promote DNA nonhomologous end-joining," Cell, 124:301-13, 2006. (Cited in 76 papers) The finding: When Stephen Jackson at Cambridge University read a 2003 PNAS paper describing a patient's defective DNA repair that didn't involve any known repair proteins, he

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Inflammasome activator

By | February 1, 2008

Credit: Nevit Dilmen / Wikimedia Commons" /> Credit: Nevit Dilmen / Wikimedia Commons The paper: S. Mariathasan et al., "Cryopyrin activates the inflammasome in response to toxins and ATP," Nature, 440:228-32, 2006. (Cited in 121 papers) The finding: By observing mice deficient in the adaptor protein cryopyrin, Vishva Dixit of Genentech and his colleagues discovered cryopyrin's role in activating the inflammasome, a complex of proteins essential for the innate

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Bifunctional signaling proteins

By | January 1, 2008

Credit: Kenneth Eward / Photo Researchers, Inc" /> Credit: Kenneth Eward / Photo Researchers, Inc The paper: S. Shenoy et al., "β-Arrestin-dependent, G protein-independent ERK1/2 activation by the β2 adrenergic receptor," J Biol Chem, 281:1261-73, 2006. (Cited in 50 papers) The finding: In 2005, while screening for G protein-independent arrestin signaling on the widely studied ERK pathway, Robert Lefkowitz's group at Duke University

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The drought receptor

By | January 1, 2008

Credit: Courtesy of Fawzi Razem" /> Credit: Courtesy of Fawzi Razem The paper: F.A. Razem et al., "The RNA-binding protein FCA is an abscisic acid receptor," Nature, 439:290-4, 2006. (Cited in 82 papers) The finding: Scientists searched for the receptor for abscisic acid hormone in plants for almost 45 years until Robert Hill at the University of Manitoba and colleagues used antibodies to find it. They identified a candidate protein called

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