Rockefeller University Articles
The earliest decisions that shape a human embryo
The factors that shape the destiny of a cell, like that of a fully formed person, remain something of a mystery. Why, for example, does one stem cell in a human embryo become a neuron rather than a muscle cell? And why does another decide to build cartilage rather than cardiac tissue? New research by a team of Rockefeller scientists under the direction of Ali H. Brivanlou and Eric D. Siggia illuminates the molecular circuitry that determines...
Could a smell test aid early detection of Alzheimer’s?
Nisha Pradhan was seven when she began to suspect she was missing out on something. Her sister seemed to have an uncanny knack for predicting what their mother was making for dinner. Pradhan, meanwhile, never had a clue. “I would just stare at her,” Pradhan said. “She’s younger than me - how does she know more than I do?” Now 21, Pradhan knows she has a limited ability to detect odour - including the smell of di...
Brain network offers clues to social cognition
Scientists call our ability to understand another person's thoughts - to intuit their desires, read their intentions, and predict their behaviour - theory of mind. It's an essential human trait, one that is crucial to effective social interaction. But where did it come from? Working with rhesus macaque monkeys, researchers in Winrich Freiwald's Laboratory of Neural Systems at The Rockefeller University have discovered tantalis...
Technique captures global activity of the brain in a snapshot
When it comes to measuring brain activity, scientists have tools that can take a precise look at a small slice of the brain (less than one cubic millimeter), or a blurred look at a larger area. Now, researchers at Rockefeller University have described a new technique that combines the best of both worlds: it captures a detailed snapshot of global activity in the mouse brain.