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image: Designing Genetic Circuits

Designing Genetic Circuits

By | October 1, 2011

Near the turn of the millennium, James Collins and Stanislas Leibler independently undertook rather similar projects: design what would become synthetic biology’s seminal genetic circuits. And they came up with strikingly similar action plans.

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image: Research and Development Funding, By the Numbers

Research and Development Funding, By the Numbers

By | October 1, 2011

Government and industry are the biggest funders of research, basic and otherwise. Here is how science funding in the US and European Union has shaped up in the past two and a half decades. 

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image: Swallowing the Surgeon

Swallowing the Surgeon

By | October 1, 2011

In fewer than 15 years, nanomedicine has gone from fantasy to reality.

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image: Lost in Space

Lost in Space

By | September 1, 2011

Looking for a more realistic way to study memory, we turned to place cells­­—­a network of cells that record a rat’s memory of an environment. 

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image: Molecular Learning

Molecular Learning

By | September 1, 2011

Long-term potentiation (LTP), discovered in the 1970s, was later shown to be the molecular basis of memory. 

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image: The Seat of Memory

The Seat of Memory

By | September 1, 2011

Early on, researchers had learned that the hippocampus was the structure in the brain where long-term memories were created and stored, but it was not known whether the different cell types within this structure might be more or less susceptible to the aging process.

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image: The Cytokine Cycle

The Cytokine Cycle

By | September 1, 2011

The initiating cause of Alzheimer’s disease is still unknown. However, from our studies it’s clear that many types of neuronal damage—­­from traumatic brain injury, to epilepsy, infection, or genetic predisposition—­can activate brain immune cells—microglia and astrocytes-- promoting them to produce IL-1 and S100 inflammatory cytokines.

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image: Helpful Bacterial Metabolites

Helpful Bacterial Metabolites

By | August 1, 2011

While gut microbiota appear to have both positive and negative impacts on our  health, in the guts of healthy, lean individuals, the good outweighs the bad.  

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image: From the Ground Up

From the Ground Up

By | August 1, 2011

As the planet warms plant growth will likely increase—locking up some of that extra carbon dioxide by converting it into vegetative biomass—but that’s not the whole story. 

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image: Harmful Bacterial Metabolites

Harmful Bacterial Metabolites

By | August 1, 2011

Gut bacteria that feed on healthy food appear to amplify the nutritional benefits of those foods. However, they also appear to amplify the undesirable effects of unhealthy food. 

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