RBPs (RNA-binding proteins) perform indispensable functions in the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Numerous RBPs have been implicated in cardiac development or physiology based on gene knockout studies and the identification of pathogenic RBP gene mutations in monogenic heart disorders. The discovery and characterization of additional RBPs performing indispensable functions in the heart will advance basic and translational cardiovascular research.
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Toxin B (TcdB) is a major exotoxin responsible for diseases associated with Clostridioides difficile infection. Its sequence variations among clinical isolates may contribute to the difficulty in developing effective therapeutics. Here, we investigate receptor-binding specificity of major TcdB subtypes (TcdB1 to TcdB12). We find that representative members of subtypes 2, 4, 7, 10, 11, and 12 do not recognize the established host…
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When we press our temples to soothe an aching head or rub an elbow after an unexpected blow, it often brings some relief. It is believed that pain-responsive cells in the brain quiet down when these neurons also receive touch inputs, say scientists at MIT’s McGovern Institute, who for the first time have watched this phenomenon play out in the…
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Precision medicine startup FogPharma has raised $178 million as it prepares to launch its first human trial within the next year. With the help of the Series C, FogPharma plans to launch a Phase 1 clinical trial of its lead drug in mid-2023. The drug is a protein therapeutic — specifically, a stabilized polypeptide made of alpha-helix structures — that…
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The sense of touch is essential to almost everything we do, from routine tasks at home to navigating unfamiliar terrains that may conceal dangers. Scientists have long been interested in understanding exactly how the touch information we obtain with our hands and other parts of the body makes its way to the brain to create the sensations we feel. Yet,…
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How Big Brains Are Made

Cephalopods are capable of some truly impressive behaviors. They can quickly process information to transform shape, color, and even texture, blending in with their surroundings. They can also communicate with one another, show signs of spatial learning, and use tools to solve problems. They are so smart they even get bored and start making mischief.
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It’s well-known that carrying one copy of the APOE4 gene variant increases one’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease threefold and two copies about tenfold, but the fundamental reasons why, and what can be done to help patients, remain largely unknown. A study published by an MIT-based team Nov. 16 in Nature provides some new answers as part of a broader line of research…
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Obesity Is Increasing People’s Risk of Cancer. Why?

Obesity is now a global epidemic, and it is increasing people’s risk for cancer. The National Cancer Institute lists more than a dozen cancers that are associated with overweight and obesity. But how obesity increases cancer risk hasn’t been clear. The lab of Marsha A. Moses, PhD, at Boston Children’s Hospital, now draws a direct link — one with possible implications for cancer screening…
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The immune system is adept at fighting off viral and bacterial infections, but it can also find and attack cancer in the body. Cancer cells, however, are skilled at disarming the immune system’s T cells — allowing tumors to continue growing unabated. Scientists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and beyond have been looking for ways to genetically…
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Gene therapies can treat, even potentially cure, certain genetic diseases, but it is challenging to deliver the treatments to the parts of the body where they are needed. Researchers have engineered viruses called adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) to deliver cargo — such as a functioning copy of a gene — to specific cells and organs, but they don’t always get to…
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