Stowers News

A double ring ceremony prepares telomerase RNA to wed its protein partner

Mar 26 2012

KANSAS CITY, MO—Few molecules are more interesting than DNA—except of course RNA. After two decades of research, that “other macromolecule” is no longer considered a mere messenger between glamorous DNA and protein-synthesizing machines. We now know that RNA has been leading a secret life, regulating gene expression and partnering with proteins to form catalytic ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes.

Smell is a symphony

Mar 19 2012

Stowers researchers present a new model for how the brain is organized to process odor information

KANSAS CITY, MO - Just like a road atlas faithfully maps real-world locations, our brain maps many aspects of our physical world: Sensory inputs from our fingers are mapped next to each other in the somatosensory cortex; the auditory system is organized by sound frequency; and the various tastes are signaled in different parts of the gustatory cortex.

A surprising molecular switch

Feb 21 2012

Lipids help control the development of cell polarity.

KANSAS CITY, MO – In a standard biology textbook, cells tend to look more or less the same from all sides. But in real life cells have fronts and backs, tops and bottoms, and they orient many of their structures according to this polarity explaining, for example, why yeast cells bud at one end and not the other.

That which does not kill yeast makes it stronger

Jan 30 2012

Stress-induced genomic instability facilitates rapid cellular adaption in yeast

KANSAS CITY, MO— Cells trying to keep pace with constantly changing environmental conditions need to strike a fine balance between maintaining their genomic integrity and allowing enough genetic flexibility to adapt to inhospitable conditions. In their latest study, researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research were able to show that under stressful conditions yeast genomes become unstable, readily acquiring or losing whole chromosomes to enable rapid adaption.

Making memories last

Jan 27 2012

Stowers researchers discovered that a prion-like protein plays a key role in storing long-term memories

Flatworms’ minimalist approach to cell division reveals the molecular architecture of the human centrosome

Jan 5 2012

KANSAS CITY, MO—Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have discovered that planarians, tiny flatworms fabled for their regenerative powers, completely lack centrosomes, cellular structures that organize the network of microtubules that pulls chromosomes apart during cell division.

For every road there is a tire

Dec 22 2011

Transcriptional elongation control takes on new dimensions as Stowers researchers find gene class-specific elongation factors

KANSAS CITY, MO—Life is complicated enough, so you can forgive the pioneers of DNA biology for glossing over transcriptional elongation control by RNA polymerase II, the quick and seemingly bulletproof penultimate step in the process that copies the information encoded in our DNA into protein-making instructions carried by messenger RNA.

Lessons learned from yeast about human leukemia: the power of basic model organisms in human health

Dec 5 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO—The trifecta of biological proof is to take a discovery made in a simple model organism like baker’s yeast and track down its analogs or homologs in “higher” creatures right up the complexity scale to people, in this case, from yeast to fruit flies to humans.  In a pair of related studies, scientists at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have hit such a trifecta, closing a circle of inquiry that they opened over a decade ago.

Stowers Institute receives CEO Cancer Gold Standard accreditation

Dec 1 2011

KANSAS CITY, MOThe Stowers Institute for Medical Research has received CEO Cancer Gold Standard accreditation, recognizing the institute’s commitment to the health of their employees and their families.

How old yeast cells send off their daughter cells without the baggage of old age

Nov 23 2011

Kansas City, MO—The accumulation of damaged protein is a hallmark of aging that not even the humble baker’s yeast can escape. Yet, aged yeast cells spawn off youthful daughter cells without any of the telltale protein clumps. Now, researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research may have found an explanation for the observed asymmetrical distribution of damaged proteins between mothers and their youthful daughters.

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