Lily Mitosis | kat m research

A light microscope image of a cell from the endosperm of an African globe lily (Scadoxus katherinae). This is one frame of a time-lapse sequence that shows cell division in action. The lily is considered a good organism for studying cell division because its chromosomes are much thicker and easier to see than human ones. Staining shows microtubules in red and chromosomes in blue. Here, condensed chromosomes are clearly visible and lined up.

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“The country at that time had been jolted by the fact that, scientifically, it was not first rate, and there was a sudden push to train scientists not only in the physical sciences, but in the biomedical as well.  About that time, I felt there should be a unit at NIH whose mission was to support fundamental, noncategorical research,” said former NIH director James Shannon on the 10th anniversary of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The program for the March 21, 1973, ceremony included a list of NIGMS grantees who had won the Nobel Prize, laws relating to the institute’s establishment, and its achievements. Read more about the 10th anniversary on pages 5-8

X-ray laser zooms in on morphine alternative

A new kind of pain-reliever works by bonding to the same neuroreceptors that morphine does, but without physical dependence.

“If you know how the binding physically works, you can design molecules to target the specific receptor sites and generate specific responses,” says Vadim Cherezov, a professor at the University of Southern California and corresponding author of a new study in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology.

Opioid receptors throughout the brain and spinal cord exist in four major subtypes: delta, kappa, mu, and Nociceptin receptor. The body naturally releases molecules, or “ligands,” called enkephalins, endorphins, and dynorphins that bind to these receptors, regulating mood and pain.


Funding: The US National Institutes of Health, the US National Institute of General Medical Sciences, the US National institute of Drug Abuse, the US National Institute of Mental Health, the US National Science Foundation, and others funded the work.

Research Focus: HIV
Janet Iwasa University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

This 3D model of a HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) particle shows the membrane (green) surrounding the viral capsid (yellow-orange pinwheels) with the viral RNA genome (blue lines) inside. It was created as part of the “Science of HIV” project, which is funded by NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The goal of the project is to create a scientifically accurate and visually compelling 3D animation of the HIV life cycle, highlighting structural findings. Three-dimensional animation software is used to convert crystallographic and electron microcopy data into illustrations and animations.

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