2/10/2016 Mechanism that Unwinds DNA may Function Similar to an Oil Rig "Pumpjack"A team of scientists led by Stony Brook University biochemist Huilin Li, PhD, have proposed that DNA is unwound by a type of "pumpjack" mechanism, similar to the way one operates on an oil rig. Their finding, published in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, is based on new close-up images of the proteins that unwind DNA inside the nucleus of a yeast cell and could offer insight into ways that DNA replication can go awry and trigger disease.
2/4/2016 Study Reveals Proteins Most Associated With Aging Certain proteins known to be associated with aging and age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and cancer are also at a high risk for destabilization caused by oxidation. This finding by a team of researchers at the Laufer Center for Physical and Quantitative Biology at Stony Brook University provides an understanding of how oxidative damage, which is a natural process in aging cells, affects proteins. It could also prove to be a foundation to a better understanding of age-related diseases. The paper, titled "Highly charged proteins: the Achilles' heel of ageing proteoms," is published in the journal Structure.
2/1/2016 Novel Microscopy Helps Stony Brook Researchers Examine the Ocean Like Never BeforeThere are about one million bacteria, thousands of species and untold genetic diversity in just one drop of seawater. This amazing fact and the powerful roles played by marine microbes in shaping the health of the ocean's ecosystem and our climate has led Gordon T. Taylor, a Professor of Oceanography at Stony Brook University's School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS), to focus his research on uncovering the wonders of marine microbial life. Now, a new $800,000 grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation will enable Professor Taylor and colleagues to develop new microscopy-based technologies to probe this environment at levels not seen before.
1/20/2016 Alzheimer's Diagnosis Complicated by History of Reading ProblemsCorrectly diagnosing Alzheimer's disease remains a challenge for medical professionals. Now, a new study published in the current issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease reveals a new clue to possible misdiagnosis. The study found that older adults with a history of reading problems perform similarly on some neuropsychological tests to those who show signs of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) associated with early Alzheimer's disease. The finding, based on the results of a Stony Brook University-led research team in collaboration with Boston University School of Medicine, emphasize the need for professionals to take into account developmental history and have a broad understanding of neuropsychological testing when interpreting the meaning of low memory test scores.
1/19/2016 Stony Brook Researchers Discover Ice-like Phonons in Liquid WaterFor more than 100 years, scientists have debated what the underlying molecular structure of water is, and the common view has been that H2O molecules are either "water-like" or "ice-like." Now through computer simulation conducted at the Institute for Advanced Computational Science (IACS) at Stony Brook University, researchers can illustrate that the structure and dynamics of hydrogen bonding in liquid water is more similar to ice than previously thought. The finding, published in Nature Communications, changes the common understanding of the molecular nature of water and has relevance to many fields, such as climate science and molecular biophysics, and technologies such as desalinization and water-based energy production.
12/31/2015 Heart Attack Patients with History of Bypass Surgery Prone to Delayed TreatmentHeart attack patients who had previously undergone cardiac bypass surgery are about twice as likely to have a delay in receiving angioplasty, or another form of revascularization, compared to heart attack patients who had no history of bypass surgery or previous angioplasty. This finding, from a study led by a Stony Brook Heart Institute cardiologist Luis Gruberg, MD, and published in the journal of the American College of Cardiology Interventions, may lead to a finding new ways to improve hospital arrival to treatment times for heart attack patients with a bypass history.
12/16/2015 Study Reveals Environment, Behavior Contribute to Some 80 Percent of Cancers A team of researchers from Stony Brook University, led by Yusuf Hannun, MD, the Joel Strum Kenny Professor in Cancer Research and Director of the Stony Brook University Cancer Center, have found quantitative evidence proving that extrinsic risk factors, such as environmental exposures and behaviors weigh heavily on the development of a vast majority (approximately 70 to 90 percent) of cancers. The finding, reported in the December 16 online issue of Nature, in a paper titled "Substantial contribution of extrinsic risk factors to cancer development," may be important for strategizing cancer prevention, research and public health.
12/10/2015 Stress-Induced Loss of NG2 Glial Cells in the Brain Causes Depression A Stony Brook University-led research team has discovered that when a rare type of glial cells, called NG2 glia, are depleted from the brain in mice, depressive-like behaviors occur. This finding, published early online in the journal Neuron, helps to advance the understanding of brain changes associated with depression and suggests novel therapeutic targets for antidepressant drug development.
12/3/2015 Four Stony Brook University Professors Elected AAAS 2015 FellowsFour Stony Brook Professors - Michael Bell, David Conover, Michael Frohman, and Ellen Pikitch - have been elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for their work toward the advancement of science and/or its applications. The journal Science will formally announce the new AAAS Fellows on November 27, 2015. The fellows will be honored on February 13, 2016, at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.
11/30/2015 Home Intervention Improves Child Vaccination Rates Among Children Living in PovertyA program by Stony Brook Children's Hospital that involves the use of trained community health workers on child immunization reveals that home intervention and education improves vaccine/immunization rates in at-risk children, including those living in poverty. Overall, the intervention improved the likelihood of up-to-date immunization status by more than 15 percent for children up to 2 years of age compared to those without the intervention. The study involved more than 300 pediatric patients and is published in the journal Vaccine.
11/23/2015 Will troubleshooting a Quantum Systems-Based Computer be Easy for a Technician?A Stony Brook University research team has developed new tools to test the fundamental constituents of a quantum information processor, a device that manipulates data based on quantum mechanics rather than classical physics and therefore would have computing power well beyond the capabilities of a classic computer. Their findings are published in the journal Scientific Reports.
11/19/2015 Microbiome Technology Developed at Stony Brook May Help Combat Certain Infections Stony Brook University and Ortek Therapeutics, Inc. announced today that two patent applications were filed in the United States and internationally for nutrient based compositions utilizing an innovative microbiome technology that may help combat certain infections. Developed at Stony Brook University, these compositions have been exclusively licensed to Ortek as part of a long-standing and commercially successful collaboration with Stony Brook University and the State University of New York (SUNY) Research Foundation.
11/17/2015 Stony Brook Researchers Confirm Information Is Contagious Among Social Connections A new study using advanced computer modeling, conducted by researchers from Stony Brook University, found that the memory of one individual can indirectly influence that of another via shared social connections --- shedding light on the mechanisms that drive real-world contagious phenomena, including smoking, obesity, eyewitness testimony and even fads and fashion. The findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
11/11/2015 Single Tooth Analysis of Oldest-Known Plant-Visiting Bat Fossil Suggests it was OmnivorousA Stony Brook University-led team of evolutionary biologists has discovered that the oldest known nectar-drinking bat fossil, Palynephyllum antimaster, was probably omnivorous. They determined this by analyzing only a single molar of the fossil, which helped estimate the bat's skull length and infer its eating habits. Their findings are published in the Royal Society's journal Biology Letters.
11/5/2015 Big Data Research at Stony Brook Gets Big Boost with NSF Funding for Computer ClusterThe National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the Stony Brook University Institute for Advanced Computational Science (IACS) a $1.4 million Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant to acquire an additional high-performance computer system that will further build the University's computational capacity and big data analyses in research and education initiatives encompassing all fields. Total funding for the computer cluster will reach $2 million, based on $600,000 in matching grants from internal University sources and the Empire State Development's NYSTAR program ($300,000).
11/4/2015 Stony Brook-led Team to Evaluate Racial Differences in GI Cancer BiologyAmericans of African descent are at a significantly higher risk for developing and dying from Gastrointestinal (GI) cancers, which include colorectal and pancreatic cancers, compared to individuals who are of Caucasian descent. Because of this health disparity, researchers from Stony Brook University, SUNY Downstate, and the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), are teaming up to launch a program to assess GI cancer biology in patients.
11/2/2015 Research Team Achieves First Image of Molecular Machinery that Copies DNAThe molecular mechanisms behind DNA replication, an element essential to maintaining life, remain difficult for scientists to define or image. But now a team of researchers from Stony Brook University, the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Rockefeller University, has taken a major step to better understand the "replisome" - a block of proteins that act as molecular machinery to duplicate DNA. Their findings are published in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology.
10/27/2015 Group Living: For Baboons Intermediate Size is Optimal Living with others can offer tremendous benefits for social animals - including primates, but these benefits could come at a high costs. New research by a team of scientists led by Catherine Markham, PhD, a Stony Brook University anthropologist, reveals that intermediate-sized groups provide the most benefits to wild baboons.
10/26/2015 Study Suggests Targeting Invasive Cells Not Dividing Cells to Halt Cancer Most cancer drugs are designed to target dividing cells, but a new study by Stony Brook University researchers suggests that targeting invasive cells may be a new strategy to treat metastatic cancer.
10/22/2015 17 Siemens Competition Regional Finalists Mentored at Stony Brook Seventeen high school students mentored by faculty at Stony Brook University have been selected as regional finalists in the 2015 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology - one of the top nationwide research competitions for high school researchers.