Photo of Ankara Jain in his lab
Ankur Jain Explores RNA Aggregations in Neurodegenerative Disease
The MIT biologist studies how RNA molecules self-assemble and the role these accumulations may play in diseases such as ALS and Huntington’s.
Ankur Jain Explores RNA Aggregations in Neurodegenerative Disease
Ankur Jain Explores RNA Aggregations in Neurodegenerative Disease

The MIT biologist studies how RNA molecules self-assemble and the role these accumulations may play in diseases such as ALS and Huntington’s.

The MIT biologist studies how RNA molecules self-assemble and the role these accumulations may play in diseases such as ALS and Huntington’s.

protein aggregating
Infographic showing how neurodegenerative diseases have long been associated with aggregations of apparently toxic proteins
Infographic: Secret Lives of Neurodegeneration-Linked Proteins
Catherine Offord | Aug 1, 2022 | 5 min read
Maligned peptides such as the Alzheimer’s-associated amyloid precursor protein may have critical roles in the healthy brain.
Abstract graphene structures
Synthetic Organelles Let Researchers Control Cell Behavior
Catherine Offord | Nov 1, 2021 | 3 min read
A technique that reversibly bundles tagged cargo into artificial membraneless compartments gives scientists the ability to switch cell processes on and off.
Neurons traversing the brain with an area of red neurodegeneration
LabTalk Podcast - The New Era of Neurodegeneration Research
The Scientist Creative Services Team | 1 min read
Erdem Gültekin Tamgüney discusses the future of neurodegeneration research and his work exploring the link between stroke and Parkinson’s disease.
Illustration showing how engineered cells produce proteins that allow scientists to turn cellular processes on and off
Infographic: One Way to Flip the Cell Behavior Switch
Catherine Offord | Nov 1, 2021 | 1 min read
Engineered cells produce proteins that allow scientists to turn cellular processes on and off.
oil in water
Stress-Induced Molecular Globs Boost Bacterial Fitness
Ruth Williams | Oct 21, 2021 | 4 min read
Liquid conglomerations of molecules that form in bacterial cells in response to stress promote the cells’ survival, a study finds.
Explore how scientists determine the atomic structures of protein aggregates
Revolutionizing Neurodegeneration Research with Cryo-EM
The Scientist Creative Services Team and Thermo Fisher Scientific | 1 min read
Advancements in cryo-EM technology allow researchers to develop drugs and diagnostic tools for neurodegenerative diseases.
Illustration of neurons in white with myelin in blue
Repurposed Drug Reverses Signs of Alzheimer’s in Mice, Human Cells
Jef Akst | Oct 12, 2021 | 2 min read
Researchers say they hope to launch a clinical trial to test bumetanide, a diuretic approved in 2002, but how it might improve neural functioning is unclear.
An illustration of a yeast cell (right) and a human neuron (left) showing the processes/features that are similar in the two
Infographic: Modeling Neurodegenerative Diseases with Yeast
Mahlon Collins | Oct 1, 2021 | 5+ min read
Conservation of structures and functions between single-celled fungi and human cells allow researchers to probe the brain.
Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the unicellular yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, known as Baker's or Brewer's yeast.
Yeast Models Provide New Insights into Neurodegenerative Diseases
Mahlon Collins | Oct 1, 2021 | 5+ min read
The single-celled fungus allows researchers to study Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS and other brain diseases with unparalleled speed and scale.
“Hero” Proteins May Shield Other Proteins from Harm
Emma Yasinski | Mar 19, 2020 | 3 min read
Flexible proteins appear to protect molecules from becoming denatured in extreme conditions such as heat and from clumping up, as happens in some neurodegenerative diseases.
Image of the Day: Tau Aggregation
Emily Makowski | Oct 17, 2019 | 1 min read
Endolysosome leakiness allows tau to build up in cells.
Chemist Christopher Dobson Dies
Ashley Yeager | Sep 16, 2019 | 3 min read
The University of Cambridge scholar’s research on folding proteins advanced scientists’ understanding of illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Appendectomy May Lower Risk of Parkinson’s Disease
Ashley Yeager | Oct 31, 2018 | 2 min read
The neurodegenerative disease shares protein clumps in common with appendixes, perhaps explaining why removing the organ is protective.
Detecting Protein Clumps
Ruth Williams | Feb 1, 2018 | 3 min read
A synthetic genetic tool called yTRAP allows high-throughput detection of protein aggregates in cells.
 
Image of the Day: When Cells Stop Cleaning
The Scientist Staff | Sep 12, 2017 | 1 min read
By stifling autophagy in the motor neurons of a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), scientists stem later-stage disease progression.
Getting Back in Shape
Karen Zusi | Dec 1, 2015 | 3 min read
Contrary to years of research suggesting otherwise, most aggregated proteins regain their shape and functionality following heat shock.
Neurodegeneration’s Spread
Ashley P. Taylor | Aug 3, 2014 | 4 min read
Researchers show that pathogenic protein aggregates that accumulate within neurons and are a hallmark of Huntington’s disease can propagate from cell to cell.
Mea Culpa Retractions
Kerry Grens | Aug 30, 2013 | 2 min read
Researchers earn applause after recalling two papers containing misinterpreted findings.
Prions Involved in Learning
Edyta Zielinska | Feb 15, 2013 | 1 min read
Properly folded prions aid in normal brain development.