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Archived Media

January 31, 2006

For insect cells, like mouse cells, one protein decides between life and death

Cells are given life by mitochondria, an organelle that provides them with all the energy they need. But while mitochondria giveth, they also taketh away " when a cell's time is up, they release molecules that start a cascade ending in death. At least that's how it works in humans, mice and other vertebrates. And now, new research from Rockefeller University's Hermann Steller shows for the first time that the molecules and events that trigger cell death in invertebrates can also start in the mitochondria. Read more

Aug. 26, 2005

Making eyes

Timing, as the saying goes, is everything.

By manipulating the timing of gene expression, Rockefeller researchers led by assistant professor Bertrand Mollereau, in the Strang Laboratory of Cancer Research, were able to change the development and function of cells in the fly eye in one instance even causing the flies to become colorblind. Read more

Mar. 21, 2005

Mice with defective sperm offer clues to infertility in men

For 40 percent of the estimated six million American couples battling infertility, the problem lies with the man. But help may be on the way.

New research in mice by scientists at Rockefeller University and the Population Council sheds light on the causes behind male infertility. The findings, reported in the March issue of Developmental Cell, also include potential targets for developing a reversible male contraceptive. Read more

Nov. 19, 2004

Defying death

Hermann Steller is fascinated by death. Death of cells, that is. He has dedicated his research to understanding cell suicide, has dubbed proteins that he has discovered Grim and Reaper, and speaks passionately about "undead" cells that should die, but fail to follow through with their own demise. Read more.

May 19, 2003

Sperm cells shaped by natural cell suicide mechanism

In male fruit flies, fertility requires it; Trigger for release of "beastly caspases" also identified.

Since discovering that body cells actively commit suicide over 35 years ago, scientists have come to learn that this natural process, called programmed cell death, occurs throughout human tissues, millions of times a day, to eliminate potentially harmful cells, such as those behind cancer. Read more.

June 7, 2002

Researchers Solve Killer Protein's "Crime"

A killer protein named Reaper. A protective protein in bits and pieces. And a dead cell. This is the scene of one of the body's most perfect crimes: programmed cell death. This vital process occurs throughout life as a means to, among other purposes, eliminate potentially cancerous cells.

Feb. 1, 2002

Cells on the Verge of Suicide

A developing cell in the human body sits on the edge of death. Proteins called Grim, Reaper and Hid stand poised, ready to unleash other toxic proteins. Only if a protein messenger from another cell arrives in time to call off the killing, will the cell then mature into any one of the various types of body cells, such as skin, liver and brain.