Stowers News

Molecular signature of “trailblazer” neural crest cells gives insight into development and cancer

Dec 4 2017

KANSAS CITY, MOThe term “migration” may evoke grand images of birds flying south for the winter, but this phenomenon also occurs, on a smaller scale, deep within our bodies. Cells migrate whenever embryos develop, wounds heal, cancers metastasize, and immune systems respond to infection. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms that drive collections of cells as they migrate from one region to another remain unclear.

Marriage of microscopy techniques reveals 3D structure of critical protein complex

Aug 2 2017

KANSAS CITY, MOResearchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have solved the three-dimensional structure of a complex that is essential for the correct sorting of chromosomes into eggs and sperm during reproductive cell division or meiosis.

When this structure, called the synaptonemal complex, doesn't assemble properly in the cell, it can lead to chromosomal abnormalities, miscarriages, and birth defects.

Cancer cells may streamline their genomes in order to proliferate more easily

Jun 22 2017

KANSAS CITY, MOResearch from the Stowers Institute provides evidence suggesting that cancer cells might streamline their genomes in order to proliferate more easily. The study, conducted in both human and mouse cells, shows that cancer genomes lose copies of repetitive sequences known as ribosomal DNA. While downsizing might enable these cells to replicate faster, it also seems to render them less able to withstand DNA damage.

Selfish gene acts as both poison and antidote to eliminate competition

Jun 20 2017

KANSAS CITY, MOResearchers from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in collaboration with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center researchers have identified an unprecedented genetic survival strategy that would be right at home in an Agatha Christie murder mystery novel.

Genetic cross-talk key to cell balance

Jun 5 2017

KANSAS CITY, MOCompeting regulatory genes "talk" to each other to maintain balance of cell state, according to new research from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research.

Polymerases pause to help mediate the flow of genetic information

May 17 2017

KANSAS CITY, MOStop-and-go traffic is typically a source of frustration, an unneccesary hold-up on the path from point A to point B. But when it comes to the molecular machinery that copies our DNA into RNA, a stop right at the beginning of the path may actually be helpful. Recent research from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research shows that this stop prevents another machine from immediately following the first, presumably to better control the traffic and avoid later collisions.

Uncovering new relationships and organizational principles in protein interaction networks

Mar 8 2017

KANSAS CITY, MOProteins, those basic components of cells and tissues, carry out many biological functions by working with partners in networks. The dynamic nature of these networks – where proteins interact with different partners at different times and in different cellular environments – can present a challenge to scientists who study them.

Possible key to regeneration found in planaria’s origins

Feb 13 2017

KANSAS CITY, MOA new report from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research chronicles the embryonic origins of planaria, providing new insight into the animal's remarkable regenerative abilities.

New finding reveals battle behind gene expression

Dec 15 2016

KANSAS CITY, MO The complex process regulating gene expression is often compared to following a recipe. Miss a genetic ingredient, or add it in the wrong order, and you could have a disaster on your hands.

New research from Stowers Institute for Medical Research suggests the process may be more like a battle between two opposing genetic forces rather than a step-wise assembly of ingredients.

Research points to Orb2 as a physical substrate for memory strength, retention

Dec 5 2016

KANSAS CITY, MOHow do you remember what happened today in the weeks and months that follow? Researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have answered a piece of that question in a recent study.


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