Catamaran Bio, Inc., a biotechnology company developing allogeneic CAR-NK cell therapies to treat cancer, today announced that the company has launched with $42 million in financing. Sofinnova Partners and Lightstone Ventures co-led the Series A round that is part of the launch financing, with participation by founding investor SV Health Investors, as well as Takeda Ventures and Astellas Venture Management.…
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Favoritism or impartiality? Do the four genomic subtypes of melanoma have a bias toward certain mutated genes and gene pathways, or do they welcome all mutations equally? Answering that question has been especially difficult because of cutaneous melanoma’s high mutation rate — the profusion of misspelled, severed, out-of-place, missing-in-action, or overabundant genes found in melanoma skin tumors. This roar of…
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Embedded throughout the gastrointestinal system is an extensive array of neurons that coordinates nearly all activities involved in digestion, gut motility, and response to noxious stimuli. These cells make up the enteric nervous system (ENS) and transmit signals from the gut to the brain, but are rare and fragile, making them difficult to isolate and study. A team led by…
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Within a single cell, thousands of molecules, such as proteins, ions, and other signaling molecules, work together to perform all kinds of functions — absorbing nutrients, storing memories, and differentiating into specific tissues, among many others. Deciphering these molecules, and all of their interactions, is a monumental task. Over the past 20 years, scientists have developed fluorescent reporters they can…
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Genetics has made huge strides over the past 20 years, from the sequencing of the human genome to a growing understanding of factors that turn genes on and off, namely transcription factors and the DNA “enhancer” sequences they bind to. New research from Boston Children’s Hospital introduces another previously unknown layer of human genetics. It finds genetic variation in a…
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Research into Alzheimer’s disease has long focused on understanding the role of two key proteins, beta amyloid and the tau protein. Found in tangles in patients’ brain tissue, a pathological form of the tau protein contributes to propagating the disease in the brain. In new research from their joint laboratory, Judith Steen, PhD, and Hanno Steen, PhD, show for the first time that…
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Antiviral Defense from the Gut

The role of the gut microbiome in disease and health has been well established. Yet, how the bacteria residing in our guts protect us from viral infections is not well understood. Now, for the first time, Harvard Medical School researchers have described how this happens in mice and have identified the specific population of gut microbes that modulates both localized…
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A Research Tool of a Different Color

Melanosomes are the organelles, or structures, inside our cells, that produce melanin, the molecule that gives our skin, hair and eyes their color. Melanosomes produce several different forms of melanin, including black/brown coloration and yellow/red coloration, and the many variations in levels at which each coloration can be produced in an individual generate the wide variety of skin, hair, and…
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Researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine have discovered a molecular mechanism that causes a “traffic jam” of enzymes traveling up and down neuronal axons, leading to the accumulation of amyloid beta – a key feature and cause of Alzheimer’s disease. The enzyme, BACE1, gets backed up, causing the axons to clog and swell because of the increased production of…
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