When you see brown spots on otherwise healthy green leaves, you may be witnessing a plant’s immune response as it tries to keep a bacterial infection from spreading. Some plants are more resistant to such infections than others. To explore why, Salk scientists Joanne Chory and co–first authors Marco Bürger and Björn Willige studied a plant protein called SOBER1, which had previously been probed in relation to infection, and discovered that, counterintuitively, SOBER1 rendered plants less resistant to infection. The work, which appeared in Nature Communications on December 29, 2017, sheds light on plant resistance generally and could lead to strategies to boost plants’ natural immunity or to better contain infections that threaten to destroy an entire agricultural crop.
- Taking on the Big FiveCancer is not like other diseases. Most conditions have external causes—bacteria, viruses, injury—but cancer comes from inside us. Cells go rogue, divide recklessly, invade other tissues and spread throughout the body. They do things normal cells cannot do.
- Dan Lewis – Intense ConnectionFew trustees have had a connection as intensely personal as new Board Chair Dan Lewis, who knows firsthand that cures, indeed, begin with Salk. Thanks to the research of Salk Professor Tony Hunter, the drug Gleevec was born. And thanks to Gleevec, Lewis survived leukemia.
- Jared SmithNeuroscientist and self-described history geek Jared Smith wants to boldly go where no one has gone before. “If this were the 1400s,” asks Smith, “and we were Europeans exploring the world, where is the new world?” For Smith and colleagues in Xin Jin’s lab, the answer is simple: the brain.