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05/04/2006

Aerospace Engineers and Biologists Solve Long-Standing Heart Development Mystery

Robert Tindol
An engineer comparing the human adult heart and the embryo heart might never guess that the former developed from the latter. While the adult heart is a fist-shaped organ with chambers and valves, the embryo heart looks more like tube attached to smaller tubes. Physicians and researchers have assumed for years, in fact, that the embryonic heart pumps through peristaltic movements, much as material flows through the digestive system.
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05/02/2006

Two from Caltech Faculty Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Robert Tindol

Two faculty members at the California Institute of Technology are among this year's newly elected fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. They join 173 other Americans and 20 foreign honorees as the 2006 class of fellows of the prestigious institution that was cofounded in 1780 by John Adams.

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04/28/2006

Benzer Receives $500,000 Albany Medical Center Prize

Jill Perry
Seymour Benzer, a California Institute of Technology neuroscientist, molecular biologist, and physicist who uncovered genetic links to behavior in fruit flies that today serve as the foundation for the study and treatment of human neurological diseases, has been named the recipient of the $500,000 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research.
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04/13/2006

McDonnell Foundation Grant Will Be Used to Study Neurons Involved in Snap Decisions

Jill Perry
Where do you get your "gut feelings," that intuition that leads you to distrust someone who appears trustworthy? It could be your Von Economo brain cells in action, and a neurobiologist at the California Institute of Technology intends to find out for sure.
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04/10/2006

Caltech Receives $2.3 Million for Stem Cell Research

Jill Perry
The California Institute of Technology has been awarded $2.3 million from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to support 10 postdoctoral scholars in the Caltech Stem Cell Biology Training Program.
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04/03/2006

Researchers Determine How Plants Decide Where to Position Their Leaves and Flowers

Robert Tindol
One of the quests of modern biologists is to understand how cells talk to each other in order to determine where to form major organs. An international team of biologists has solved a part of this puzzle by combining state-of-the-art imaging and mathematical modeling to reveal how plants go about positioning their leaves and flowers.
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03/29/2006

Neuroscientists Discover the Neurons That Act As Novelty Detectors in the Human Brain

Robert Tindol
By studying epileptic patients awaiting brain surgery, neuroscientists for the first time have located single neurons that are involved in recognizing whether a stimulus is new or old. The discovery demonstrates that the human brain not only has neurons for processing new information never seen before, but also neurons to recognize old information that has been seen just once.
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03/15/2006

Caltech Scientists Discover the Part of the Brain That Causes Some People to Be Lousy in Math

Robert Tindol
Most everyone knows that the term "dyslexia" refers to people who can't keep words and letters straight. A rarer term is "dyscalculia," which describes someone who is virtually unable to deal with numbers, much less do complicated math.
Caltech logo on dark blue green background
03/09/2006

Caltech Scientists Gain Fundamental Insight into How Cells Protect Genetic Blueprints

Robert Tindol
Molecular biologists have known for some time that there is a so-called checkpoint control mechanism that keeps our cells from dividing until they have copied all the DNA in their genetic code. Similar mechanisms prevent cells from dividing with damaged DNA, which forms, for example, in one's skin after a sunburn. Without such genetic fidelity mechanisms, cells would divide with missing or defective genes.
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03/09/2006

Researchers Create New "Matchmaking Service" Computer System to Study Gene Interactions

Robert Tindol
Biologists in recent years have identified every individual gene in the genomes of several organisms. While this has been quite an accomplishment in itself, the further goal of figuring out how these genes interact is truly daunting.
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