Browsing: Research

Researchers at Stony Brook University have discovered that dystroglycan, a muscle cell receptor whose dysfunction causes muscular dystrophy, actually has a critical role in brain development. The finding, published in the journal Developmental Cell, may help to explain why a subset of children born with a dysfunction of this muscle receptor, also have neurological problems that can include seizures, intellectual disability, autism and severe learning disabilities. In the newborn brain, one of the critical changes that occurs is that specialized pockets form that serve to house and nurture neural stem cells throughout life in discrete regions termed stem cell niches. Lead…

Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, is featured in a newly released video from The Science Coalition, an organization supporting federal funding for research institutions. Dr. Stanley is a strong advocate for federal funding of basic research and the role of university research in innovation and discovery. In the video he discusses the critical importance of young researchers, their role in discovery and ensuring that they opportunities to participate in America’s research enterprise. He previously penned an op-ed on this topic for Scientific American. The Science Coalition is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of the nation’s leading public…

Researchers at Stony Brook University have discovered that dystroglycan, a muscle cell receptor whose dysfunction causes muscular dystrophy, actually has a critical role in brain development. The finding, published in the journal Developmental Cell , may help to explain why a subset of children born with a dysfunction of this muscle receptor, also have neurological problems that can include seizures, intellectual disability, autism, and severe learning disabilities. In the newborn brain, one of the critical changes that occurs is that specialized pockets form that serve to house and nurture neural stem cells throughout life in discrete regions termed stem cell…

Stony Brook researchers Dianna Padilla and Bassem Allam have been awarded funding from NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program and the Northeast Sea Grant Programs to study the effects of ocean acidification on marine life in the Northeast. These studies will will help investigators gain a better understanding of effects of ocean changes on the region’s marine life, helping to preserve endangered species. Burning fossil fuels releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere, a part of which is absorbed by the ocean. This increase in carbon dioxide is causing a change in ocean chemistry called ocean acidification. Learning how these changes affect seafood is…

As director of a groundbreaking Simons Foundation grant, Leonardo Rastelli, a professor in the C.N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics and Department of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook University, will lead the “Collaboration on the Non-Perturbative Bootstrap,” a four-year, $10M project that includes 14 principal investigators at institutions in the United States, Canada and Europe. Quantum field theory (QFT) is a universal language for theoretical physics, describing phenomena ranging from the Standard Model of particle physics and early universe inflation to phase transitions and superconductivity in terrestrial materials. Physicists understand weakly coupled QFTs, but the challenge for the future…

It sounds like alchemy, but in reality it’s hard science aimed at addressing energy and environmental issues. Researchers from Stony Brook University led by Alexander Orlov have developed a method to produce gold nanoparticles of unprecedented purity and stability. Their discovery highlights the groundbreaking nature of SBU’s collaboration with Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) as well as scientists at the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL). Orlov’s team has produced catalytically active gold nanoparticles in an ultra-high vacuum chamber with temperatures approaching absolute zero. A paper describing the first catalyst ever produced using their new method, called Helium Nanodroplet Deposition (HND), was recently…

The phrase “it looks so good you can almost taste it” turns out to be the real deal, based on the findings of a new study by Stony Brook University researchers. A team led by Alfredo Fontanini, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, explored how the brain processes stimuli predicting taste. They discovered that the gustatory cortex, the part of the brain that mediates the conscious perception of taste, relies on all the senses to anticipate taste. The overall results, published early online in eLife, change the way neuroscientists think about the role of the…

Research Associate Professor Anurag Purwar (PI) and Professor Jeffrey Ge (co-PI) from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stony Brook received a prestigious three-year award from the National Science Foundation for their research, “A Computational Framework for Data-Driven Mechanism Design Innovation.” Purwar is director of the Computer-Aided Design Innovation Lab at Stony Brook and Ge is interim chair of the Department and directs the Computational Design Kinematics Lab. The research will bring together the diverse fields of reverse engineering, computational shape analysis and design kinematics to develop a data-driven paradigm for kinematic synthesis of mechanical motion generation devices. The goal…

Stony Brook University researchers have found disturbingly high levels of cognitive impairment (CI) among 9/11 first responders. CI is considered a leading risk factor for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Findings from a study published online in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring reveals a CI rate among 9/11 responders of nearly 13 percent, possibly reflecting symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study assessed more than 800 WTC responders cared for at the Stony Brook University WTC Wellness Program. “To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the association of PTSD and major depressive disorder…

From Riverhead to East Hampton, a toxic “rust tide” has spread through the Peconic Estuary as reported by the lab of Christopher Gobler, a professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University. Gobler is a marine biologist and leading researcher on the harmful algal blooms that have become increasingly common in Long Island’s coastal waters. In Gobler’s research lab on Stony Brook’s Southampton campus, he and his colleagues have measured densities of the rust tide algae, known as Cochlodinium, exceeding 3,000 cells per milliliter. Densities above 500 cells per milliliter can be lethal to marine life. While…

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