Oct 26, 2020

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How Stem Cells Choose their Careers

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" is a question it seems like every child gets asked. A few precocious ones might answer "a doctor" or "an astronaut," but most will probably smile and shrug their shoulders. But well before a child could comprehend the question or the concept of choosing one’s own path in life—while they were an embryo, in fact—the child’s own stem cells were asking themselves the same thing. Stem cells are cells that have not yet chosen a specialized fate, such as to become a neuron, or white blood cell. At some point, each stem cell decides what it will be when it […]Read full article >

A New Tool for the Genomic Era

As early as 1975, biologists discovered that the protein-coding parts of the chimpanzee and human genomes are more than 99 percent identical. Yet, chimpanzees and humans are clearly different in significant ways. Why?The answer lies in the fact that how DNA is used is as important as what it says. That is, the genes that make up a genome are not always being used; they can be turned on or off or dialed up or down over time, and they interact with one another in complex ways. Some genes encode instructions for producing specific proteins and others encode information about regulating other genes.Now, researchers in the laboratory of Rob […]Read full article >

LIGO Hanford Breaks Ground for New Exploration Center

LIGO Hanford, one of two detectors making up the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, or LIGO, has created a video to commemorate the groundbreaking of its new, modern educational center, located in Richland, Washington. Funded by a $7.7-million grant from the State of Washington, the LIGO Exploration Center will include 50 interactive exhibits and other educational display items, including a gold-plated 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. Three key members of LIGO were awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics for their contributions to the observatory’s historic 2015 detection of gravitational waves, or ripples in space and […]Read full article >

What is Motherhood? It’s Complicated

When Julia Hori talks about the concept of motherhood, she takes the conversation far beyond the biological relationship between mother and child. As students in her online fall course, Literary Constructions of Motherhood, quickly began to notice, the term "mother" crops up widely in our language and culture, from "Mother Earth" to "mother tongue" to "motherland."Hori, who joined Caltech in 2020 as the Fletcher Jones Foundation Postdoctoral Instructor in Contemporary Literature, focuses much of her research on empire and slavery and how those institutions manifest in the present."Thinking about […]Read full article >

A Focus on Mental Health

The remote interactions and physical distancing necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19 can lead to feelings of isolation, anxiety, and more.That is why, as part of the Caltech Together campaign, the Institute aims to ensure that students, staff, and faculty are aware of the support systems available to the Caltech community.Counseling Through Student Wellness ServicesCounseling and occupational therapy are available to undergraduate and graduate students no matter where they reside. Although services and coverage differ depending on whether a student is currently in California or elsewhere, all students should reach out to Caltech […]Read full article >

Caltech Joins Lawsuit to Block New Visa Rules

Caltech and five other research institutions and public universities, along with the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, and business, manufacturing, trade, and labor organizations, have filed suit in federal court to block the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing and enforcing interim final rules that were published October 8. The institutions and organizations filing the lawsuit allege that these rules were "designed to substantially restrict, if not outright eliminate the H-1B visa category."Read the lawsuit here.The H-1B program allows […]Read full article >