Same immune-system proteins may first giveth, then taketh away motor control (Brain, Behavior, and Immunity)

By Morgan Kelly, Office of Communications Princeton University researchers have found that a family of proteins with important roles in the immune system may be responsible for fine-tuning a person's motor control as they grow — and for their gradual loss of muscle function as they age. The research potentially reveals a biological cause of … Continue reading Same immune-system proteins may first giveth, then taketh away motor control (Brain, Behavior, and Immunity)

Researchers propose surveillance system for Zika virus and other infectious diseases (The Lancet)

By Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research A group of prominent researchers from seven institutions including Princeton University are calling for the establishment of a worldwide program to collect and test blood and other human bodily fluids to aid in the study and prevention of emerging infectious diseases such as the mosquito-borne Zika … Continue reading Researchers propose surveillance system for Zika virus and other infectious diseases (The Lancet)

Compressing turbulence to improve inertial confinement fusion experiments (PRL)

By John Greenwald, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Physicists have long regarded plasma turbulence as unruly behavior that can limit the performance of fusion experiments. But new findings by researchers associated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University indicate that turbulent swirls … Continue reading Compressing turbulence to improve inertial confinement fusion experiments (PRL)

Down the rabbit hole: how electrons travel through exotic new material (Science)

By Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research Researchers at Princeton University have observed a bizarre behavior in a strange new crystal that could hold the key for future electronic technologies. Unlike most materials in which electrons travel on the surface, in these new materials the electrons sink into the depths of the crystal … Continue reading Down the rabbit hole: how electrons travel through exotic new material (Science)

How an artificial protein rescues dying cells (PNAS)

By Tien Nguyen, Department of Chemistry A new study from Princeton has revealed how a synthetic protein revives E. coli cells that lack a life-sustaining gene, offering insight into how life can adapt to survive and potentially be reinvented. Researchers in the Hecht lab discovered the unexpected way in which a synthetic protein called SynSerB … Continue reading How an artificial protein rescues dying cells (PNAS)

“Kurly” protein keeps cilia moving, oriented in the right direction (Cell Reports)

By Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research A new study of a protein found in cilia – the hair-like projections on the cell surface – may help explain how genetic defects in cilia play a role in developmental abnormalities, kidney disease and a number of other disorders. The researchers at Princeton University and … Continue reading “Kurly” protein keeps cilia moving, oriented in the right direction (Cell Reports)

Study reveals mechanism behind enzyme that tags unneeded DNA (Nature Chem. Bio.)

By Tien Nguyen, Department of Chemistry Researchers have discovered the two-step process that activates an essential human enzyme, called Suv39h1, which is responsible for organizing large portions of the DNA found in every living cell. For any particular cell, such as a skin or brain cell, much of this genetic information is extraneous and must … Continue reading Study reveals mechanism behind enzyme that tags unneeded DNA (Nature Chem. Bio.)

Antibiotic’s killer strategy revealed (PNAS)

By Tien Nguyen, Department of Chemistry Using a special profiling technique, scientists at Princeton have determined the mechanism of action of a potent antibiotic, known as tropodithietic acid (TDA), leading them to uncover its hidden ability as a potential anticancer agent. TDA is produced by marine bacteria belonging to the roseobacter family, which exist in … Continue reading Antibiotic’s killer strategy revealed (PNAS)

Fruit flies adjust their courtship song based on distance (Neuron)

A fly runs on an air-supported ball. The audio traces of the fly's courtship song are shown. Article courtesy of Joseph Caputo, Cell Press Outside of humans, the ability to adjust the intensity of acoustic signals with distance has only been identified in songbirds. Research published February 3 in Neuron now demonstrates that the male … Continue reading Fruit flies adjust their courtship song based on distance (Neuron)

‘Radiolabeling’ lets scientists track the breakdown of drugs (Nature)

By Tien Nguyen, Department of Chemistry A new method for labeling molecules with radioactive elements could let chemists more easily track how drugs under development are metabolized in the body. Chemists consider thousands of compounds in the search for a new drug, and a candidate’s metabolism is a key factor that must be evaluated carefully … Continue reading ‘Radiolabeling’ lets scientists track the breakdown of drugs (Nature)