Why are children largely spared from COVID-19 — and why do a tiny handful become extremely sick? To find out, Boston Children’s Hospital has launched a national study to perform real-time surveillance at more than 35 U.S. children’s hospitals. Called Overcoming COVID-19, the study has $2.1 million in funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It will capture real-time data on…
Read More
Today, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Cytosurge AG, a company manufacturing unique high-precision nanotechnology instruments, announced that they will collaboratively investigate CRISPR-based approaches to more effectively introduce multiple edits into the genome of single cells, while minimizing CRISPR-related toxicity. This capability could become instrumental in driving forward diverse large-scale efforts such as the engineering of…
Read More

Optogenetics with SOUL

Optogenetics has revolutionized neurobiology, allowing researchers to use light to activate or deactivate neurons that are genetically modified to express a light-sensitive channel. This ability to manipulate neuron activity has allowed causal testing of the function of specific neurons, and also has therapeutic potential to reduce symptoms in brain disorders. However, activating neurons deep within a given brain, especially a large…
Read More
Researchers have developed a new technology that flexibly scales up CRISPR-based molecular diagnostics, using microfluidics chips that can run thousands of tests simultaneously. A single chip’s capacity ranges from detecting a single type of virus in more than 1,000 samples at a time to searching a small number of samples for more than 160 different viruses, including the Covid-19 virus.…
Read More
Long before multiple myeloma becomes a malignant disease, the collection of immune system cells and signal carriers amid the tumor cells undergoes dramatic shifts, with alterations in both the number and type of immune cells, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) report in a new study. The findings, published…
Read More
Macrophages are immune cells that patrol the body looking for potential threats like viruses, bacteria, and cancer cells, and engulf and destroy them. However, cancerous tumors have a nasty trick up their sleeves: they secrete substances that “switch” arriving macrophages from their tumor-killing state to a tumor-promoting state, in which they suppress the body’s immune response, drive the growth of…
Read More
The COVID-19 pandemic demands action on many fronts, from prevention to testing to treatment. Not content to focus its research efforts on just one, the laboratory of George Church, Ph.D., in the Blavatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School (HMS), and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University is tackling the problem from seven different angles. Partnering with various colleagues,…
Read More
In its first clinical trial in patients with a hard-to-treat form of uterine cancer, a targeted drug that subjects tumor cells to staggering levels of DNA damage caused tumors to shrink in nearly one-third of patients, investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute report. The preliminary results, to be presented online at Thursday’s virtual session of the Society for Gynecologic Oncology (SGO)…
Read More
In 2018, Rosana Kapeller left Nimbus Therapeutics, the company she built from the ground up, “to do something different.” Two years and a stint at GV later, she’s unveiling that something: Rome Therapeutics, a new biotech startup looking to drug parts of the human genome previously spurned as “junk DNA.” The company starts life with $50 million in series A…
Read More
MIT engineers have devised a way to speed up the development of new drugs by rapidly testing how well they are absorbed in the small intestine. This approach could also be used to find new ways to improve the absorption of existing drugs so that they can be taken orally. Developing drugs that can be easily absorbed in the gastrointestinal…
Read More