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Researchers find high-risk genes for schizophrenia

Apr. 18, 2019—Researchers who helped find high-risk genes for schizophrenia included, from left, Quan Wang, PhD, Bingshan Li, PhD, Nancy Cox, PhD, Rui Chen, PhD, Xue Zhong, PhD, Qiang Wei, PhD, and James Sutcliffe, PhD. (photo by John Russell) by Bill Snyder Using a unique computational framework they developed, a team of scientist cyber-sleuths in the Vanderbilt...

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The arrestin-GPCR connection

Apr. 18, 2019—Apr. 11, 2019, 12:00 PM by Sanjay Mishra G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the “inbox” of environmental messages in mammalian cells. Because of their central role in signaling pathways, mutations resulting in abnormal GPCR functions cause a wide variety of diseases. Therefore, GPCRs are the most intensively studied drug targets. After activation, GPCRs need to be...

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Former VU Teacher and Nobel Laureate Paul Greengard Dies

Apr. 15, 2019—Neurobiologist Paul Greengard Dies The Nobel laureate revolutionized our understanding of how brain cells communicate. Apr 15, 2019 ASHLEY YEAGER, The Scientist (the-scientist.com) Nobel laureate Paul Greengard, a neurobiologist at Rockefeller University, died Saturday (April 13). He was 93. Greengard is best known for his work showing that the brain not only communicates with electrical...

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Study reframes approach to targeted therapy resistance

Apr. 11, 2019—Apr. 11, 2019, 9:02 AM From left, Benjamin Brown, Christine Lovly, MD, PhD, Yun-Kai Zhang, PhD, Jens Meiler, PhD, and colleagues are exploring new ways to understand resistance to targeted cancer therapy drugs. (photo by Anne Rayner) by Tom Wilemon When a tumor mutates and develops resistance to a targeted therapy, researchers often focus on...

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Discovery aids search for cancer biomarkers

Apr. 11, 2019—Discovery aids search for cancer biomarkers Apr. 11, 2019, 10:39 AM Research by Robert Coffey, MD, left, Dennis Jeppesen, PhD, and colleagues has revealed a new way cells shed DNA into the bloodstream. (photo by Steve Green) by Bill Snyder A report by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center has shattered conventional wisdom about how...

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Cancer’s SOS

Apr. 4, 2019—Mar. 28, 2019, 11:30 AM by Sanjay Mishra RAS proteins regulate growth, survival and proliferation of cells in their active state. However, the uncontrolled activation of RAS causes approximately a third of all tumors and helps cancerous cells evade anti-cancer drugs. Thus RAS is an important target for effective anti-cancer treatments. RAS proteins become “active” through...

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Unraveling endocytosis

Apr. 4, 2019—Mar. 28, 2019, 10:45 AM by Niyati Vachharajani Endocytosisis a highly regulated process in which cells take up substances packaged in vesicles by internalizing the plasma membrane surrounding the cargo. In yeast, the enzyme Rsp5 regulates most endocytic events with the help of arrestin-related Rsp5 adaptor proteins called ARTs. Yet much remains to be learned about...

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Correctly copying DNA

Mar. 15, 2019—Mar. 14, 2019, 11:45 AM by Sanjay Mishra The enzyme topoisomerase II resolves topological roadblocks that form during the copying and expression of genetic material by generating double-stranded breaks in one DNA segment, transporting another DNA segment through the break, and rejoining the two ends. Tight regulation of the DNA breakage/rejoining cycle of topoisomerase II is...

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New way to stimulate learning?

Mar. 15, 2019—Mar. 14, 2019, 1:00 PM by Bill Snyder The vagus nerve connects the brain and organs throughout the body. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) implants have been used for more than 20 years to treat drug-resistant epilepsy. In a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, Teresa Sanders, PhD, and colleagues report that VNS also induces specific...

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Reprogramming cells for kidney repair

Mar. 15, 2019—Mar. 14, 2019, 10:45 AM by Kelsey Herbers Chronic kidney disease is on the rise worldwide. Approaches to develop regenerative or cellular therapies are hindered by the complex cellular structure of the kidney, which is composed of about 1 million microscopic “filters” called nephrons. Lauren Woodard, PhD, and Matthew Wilson, MD, PhD, at Vanderbilt, in collaboration...

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