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News » Archives » July 2011

Notre Dame research reveals brain network connections

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Brain map

Research conducted by Maria Ercsey-Ravasz and Zoltan Toroczkai of the University of Notre Dame’s Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science and Applications (iCeNSA), along with the Department of Physics and a group of neuroanatomists in France, has revealed previously unknown information about the primate brain.

The researchers published an article in the journal Cerebral Cortex showing that the brain is characterized by a highly consistent, weighted network among the functional areas of the cortex, which are responsible for such functions as vision, hearing, touch, movement control and complex associations. The study revealed that such cortical networks and their properties are reproducible from individual to individual. Read More

Researchers discover protein dynamics help regulate cell division

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Jeff Peng

A collaborative study between the laboratories of Jeff Peng at the University of Notre Dame and Felicia Etzkorn at Virginia Tech has discovered an important element of how an enzyme involved in cell division does its job. Their report, “Stereospecific gating of functional motions in Pin1,” was recently published in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Pin1 controls the proteins that start cell division by changing the shape of their peptide bonds. Consisting of two loosely-connected domains or structural modules (a catalytic domain and a Trp-Trp (WW) domain), it binds to a target peptide bond, which increases communication between the two domains. Read More