A potential therapeutic against hookworms is being developed by scientists from UMass Medical School, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, the USDA Agricultural Research Service and the Synthetic Biomanufacturing Facility at Utah State University. Described in a study published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, the therapeutic is an engineered bacterium, containing crystal compound 5B inactivated with a food-grade oil that…
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Studies with a popular laboratory model, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, have revealed a possible therapeutic avenue for a rare but deadly condition in which children are born without the ability to make molybdenum cofactor (Moco) on their own. Though little known, Moco is essential for life and so far it has proven extremely difficult to stably isolate this compound in the…
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In the 1920s, German chemist Otto Warburg discovered that cancer cells don’t metabolize sugar the same way that healthy cells usually do. Since then, scientists have tried to figure out why cancer cells use this alternative pathway, which is much less efficient. MIT biologists have now found a possible answer to this longstanding question. In a study appearing in Molecular Cell, they…
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A new study reported in STEM CELLS reveals a unique population of skeletal stem cells (SSCs) that function during the transitional period between rapid bone growth and bone maintenance. This discovery provides an opportunity to determine whether alterations in the SSCs’ pattern might affect bone formation, as well as helps us understand the physiological factors that regulate its timing. “This is…
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While investigating the underlying causes of a rare skin disorder, a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) discovered a previously unknown mechanism in the kidneys that is important for regulating levels of magnesium and calcium in the blood. The discovery, described in the journal Cell Reports, highlights the role of a previously little-studied gene called KCTD1. The gene directs production of a…
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Atalanta Therapeutics, a biotech founded by UMass Medical School and three faculty research scientists to pioneer treatment options for neurodegenerative diseases, has launched with financing by venture capital fund F-Prime Capital and strategic collaborations with Biogen and Genentech. Atalanta’s technology, called branched siRNA and licensed from UMass Medical School, is based on more than 30 years of research at the…
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Verve Therapeutics, a biotech company pioneering gene editing medicines to treat cardiovascular disease, today announced new data demonstrating both durable and consistent lowering of blood low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels at six months after a single gene editing treatment in non-human primates. Additionally, the company has selected VERVE-101 as its lead product to be developed initially for the treatment of…
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Researchers Uncover Viral Small RNAs in Mosquito Cells

BUSM researchers are now able to provide a new genomics resource that details the small RNA transcriptomes (gene expression) of four bio-medically important mosquito species. This is the first study to provide a platform for biologists to compare the characteristics of these small RNAs between these four mosquitoes as well as the most widely used insects for genetic experiments, the…
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Patients with tuberous sclerosis complex, a genetic disorder characterized by the growth of noncancerous tumors in multiple organs of the body, have limited treatment options. A team led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has now shown that gene therapy can effectively treat mice that express one of the mutated genes that cause the disease. The research is published…
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What if scientists knew exactly what impact the SARS-CoV-2 virus had inside our lung cells, within the first few hours of being infected? Could they use that information to find drugs that would disrupt the virus’ replication process before it ever gets fully underway? The discovery that several existing FDA-approved drugs—including some originally designed to fight cancer—can stop coronavirus in…
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