Restoring Vision

As the eye’s outer layer of protection, the cornea needs to constantly regenerate to maintain a clear surface. Losing the cornea-regenerating stem cells leads to cloudiness — like trying to see through a perpetually dirty window. Now, Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers have developed a therapy to replace cornea-generating stem cells and restore vision, and tested it in a…
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Patients with bacterial infections who are promptly diagnosed and treated with the most effective antibiotic fare better than those who wait. But current methods of identifying which drug will kill the pathogen take days to yield results, and thus patients are often prescribed broad-spectrum antibiotics while waiting for a diagnosis. The overuse of these types of antibiotics has driven the…
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Endocrinologists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have developed a non-invasive test that can help doctors keep tabs on patients’ liver health. By measuring combinations of fats, hormones, carbohydrate and sugar molecules present in patients’ blood serum, the team of scientists used machine learning to develop models that can differentiate various stages of liver disease with near-perfect accuracy. The…
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Some patients who have not responded to traditional medicines are now experiencing remarkable recoveries thanks to next-generation immunotherapies. These therapies equip a patient’s own immune cells to recognize, target, and destroy cancer cells. To do this, the patient’s cells are collected, modified, and re-introduced into their body – a complex procedure currently available to only a small number of people.…
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When the body mistakenly reacts to an environmental stimulus, the allergic response usually includes some type of inflammation. Interactions between the nervous system and the immune system appear to regulate this process, but scientists still don’t fully understand all of the cell types and mechanisms involved in maintaining a normal or inflamed state in different tissues. To learn more about…
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Committed to Reproduction

Early in mammalian embryonic development, long before the organism’s ultimate form has taken shape, a precious subset of its cells are set aside for future use in creating offspring. This task bestows on that subset of cells a special kind of immortality. While the majority of the embryo’s cells go on to construct the growing body, and their journey begins…
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Imagine a sugar that has only 38 percent of the calories of traditional table sugar, is safe for diabetics, and will not cause cavities. Now add that this dream sweetener is not an artificial substitute but a real sugar found in nature and it tastes like, well, sugar. You’d probably want to use that in your next cup of coffee,…
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Marked by acute temporary confusion, disorientation and/or agitation, postoperative delirium is the most common post-surgical complication in older adults, striking as many as half of adults older than 65 who undergo high-risk procedures such as cardiac surgery or hip replacements. Postoperative delirium is also tightly linked to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Although each can occur independently, Alzheimer’s is a leading risk…
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