To understand the massive capabilities and complexities of the brain, neuroscientists segment it into regions based on what they appear to do—like processing what we sense or how to move. What’s been lacking, however, is an ability to tie those functional maps precisely and consistently to matching distinctions of physical structure, especially in live animals while they are performing the…
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Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, researchers at MIT and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, along with their collaborators at the University of Washington, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Ragon Institute, have been working on a CRISPR-based diagnostic for Covid-19 that can produce results in 30 minutes to an hour, with…
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Bringing New Energy to Mitochondria Research

Tiny mitochondria in our cells turn oxygen and nutrients into usable energy in a process called respiration. This process is essential for powering our cells, and yet in spite of its importance many of the finer details of how it happens remain unknown. One long-standing mystery is how a molecule called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), which plays a big part…
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Every living cell is coated with a distinctive array of carbohydrates, which serves as a unique cellular “ID” and helps to manage the cell’s interactions with other cells. MIT chemists have now discovered that changing the length of these carbohydrates can dramatically affect their function. In a study of mycobacteria, the type of bacteria that cause tuberculosis and other diseases,…
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FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), the world’s largest private funder of food allergy research, has awarded a three-year, $15 million grant to the Food Allergy Science Initiative (FASI) at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to support a three-year project  “Untangling Neuroimmune Communications in Food Allergy.” This grant was made possible by the support of FARE board member Christine Olsen…
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Sanofi, MassBio, and Biocom today announced a collaboration to hold the first-ever bicoastal partnering day. Sanofi Partnering Day with MassBio and Biocom unifies the two organizations to provide Sanofi with a premier portal to connect with the most innovative biotech companies, entrepreneurs, academics, research institutions, accelerators, and incubators in Massachusetts, California, and across the U.S. This pioneering event builds on…
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Recent advances such immune, cellular and targeted therapies have provided new and effective means to treat a variety of cancers. But despite this considerable progress, cancer caught in its earliest stages remains the most curable. That is why Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is opening a new clinical trial to evaluate a minimally invasive blood test that will look for the earliest…
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Measuring just a few millimeters across, clusters of cultured cells that self-assemble into three-dimensional structures may look like just tiny blobs. But these tissues, called organoids, are enabling scientists to study biological processes in health and disease — and find potential new treatment strategies — in ways they couldn’t before. That’s because organoids can mimic many of the anatomical and…
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Colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) inhibition has been extensively adopted by many laboratories for the study of microglia, with the assumption that it does not cause significant effect on peripheral immune cells. The authors showed that, contrary to the accepted notion, PLX5622, a commonly used CSF1R inhibitor, does not affect only microglia but also leads to long-term changes in the myeloid and lymphoid compartments, and affects the number of tissue-resident and interstitial macrophages.
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Takeda Pharmaceutical opened a new 24,000-square-foot R&D cell therapy manufacturing facility in Boston, Massachusetts. It is at the site of the company’s R&D headquarters. It will provide end-to-end R&D capabilities and advance the company’s plans to develop next-generation cell therapies. The initial plan is to focus on oncology then expand into other areas. “We are collaborating with some of the best scientists…
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