Retrieving Lost Memories

HHMI Bulletin | November 2007

“Every morning we took a short walk to the local market for groceries. One day, on the way back, there was a thunderstorm, so we took shelter in a little shed. After the rain, I said, ‘Let’s go home now.’ I looked at my grandmother’s face and it was completely without expression. ‘Home?’ she asked. ‘Where is home?'”  read in full issue (pdf)

Outsmarting the Toughest Bacteria

HHMI Bulletin | August 2007

Superbugs, the disease-causing bacteria that are resistant to even the most high-powered antibiotics, are becoming more commonplace.  One dangerous strain called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), once restricted to hospital wards, is turning up in soccer fields and gym lockers.  read in full issue (pdf)

More Than Skin Deep

HHMI Bulletin | May 2007

Elaine Fuchs used to do crossword puzzles as a diversion from her undergraduate studies. With crosswords, every solved clue creates new hints to help solve neighboring clues. Fuchs, an HHMI investigator at The Rockefeller University, has followed a similar approach throughout her professional life. By honing each experimental finding into a new set of tools, she has probed deeper into the question that first piqued her curiosity three decades ago.  read in full issue (pdf)

Scientists Crack Code for Motor Neuron Wiring

HHMI Bulletin | February 2006

As you turn the pages of this Bulletin, motor neurons that project from your spinal cord are coordinating the precise actions of more than 50 muscles in each of your arms. Each muscle is individually controlled by its own motor neuron cluster, which has a distinct identity and pattern of connectivity.  read in full issue (pdf)

Protein-Pairing Method May Yield New Drug Targets

HHMI Bulletin | February 2006

Using robots and other high-throughput technologies, the researchers screened more than 32,000 protein combinations, identifying 2,846 unique pairwise interactions in their study. Even so, says Fields, “We’ve only scratched the surface of what’s out there.”   read in full issue (pdf)

The Fate of Brain Cells

HHMI Bulletin | December 2005

A fountain of youth springs from within the brain of every mammal, report HHMI investigator Alexandra L. Joyner and her former postdoctoral associate Sohyun Ahn in the October 6, 2005, issue of Nature. No, the two researchers haven’t unlocked the secret to immortality. But their discovery of a method to visualize an elusive population of stem cells that has the potential to regenerate nerves and other brain cells may explain how certain regions of the brain rejuvenate themselves. Moreover, the findings may allow researchers to tap the revitalizing powers of stem cells for repairing injured and diseased brain tissue.
read in full issue (pdf)

Margaret Goodell, Ph.D. Banking on Bone Marrow

MDA Quest Magazine | November 2005

“It’s a way to get at virtually all of the muscles in the body, not just the major ones that we can see. Every muscle fiber is fed by the bloodstream in one way or another, so if you can really get something delivered through the bloodstream rather than in some localized way, it’s potentially a very powerful therapy.”  read story

Tracking a Perpetrator Gene

HHMI Bulletin | September 2005

On May Day 1999, Jennifer Chamberlin,* a 43-year-old secretary in the Midwest, stayed home to recuperate from back surgery and spend time with her three daughters, on spring break from school. Walking into her kitchen, Jenn fainted and fell to the floor. She soon regained consciousness but never returned to her normal self.
read in full issue (pdf)

Also read Separated at Birth?

It all began some 30 years ago, when the two physician-scientists were 20-some-thing medical students at Duke University. Being a year apart, “we didn’t know each other at all,” Ginsburg recounts, “but we discovered just a couple of years ago that we had dated the same girl!”

Protein Disposal: Gumming Up the Works

HHMI Bulletin | September 2005

For a cell, destroying proteins is as essential as building them. The job of mincing proteins is performed by enzymatic machines called proteasomes. “Proteasomes affect almost all biological processes in the cell,” Verma says. By their deliberate destruction of regulatory proteins, they orchestrate activities from cell division to cell death. read in full issue (pdf)