Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is now believed to affect 1 in 59 children in the U.S. Over the past five years, Boston Children’s Hospital has led a quest by ten medical centers to explore the underlying causes of ASD and intellectual disability by focusing on three rare genetic disorders with features of both: tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), Phelan-McDermid syndrome (PMS),…
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How homologous chromosomes in the body’s cells pair along their entire lengths is a century-old riddle. Now, two studies by Wyss Institute and HMS Faculty member Ting Wu, Jelena Erceg and Jumana AlHaj Abed in the Wu group, and their collaborators Leonid Mirny (MIT), Anton Goloborodko in the Mirny group, and Job Dekker (UMass, HHMI) have shed light on this question by studying cells and…
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Only about 15% of advanced pancreatic patients are alive two years after their diagnosis. Margaret Schwarzhans has now made it 2 1/2 years – and not just survived, but thrived. While it’s impossible to say why she’s been so fortunate, she partly credits her mental state. Schwarzhans, who turns 54 Friday, meditates daily, does yoga a few times a week, and…
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The microbiome is a collection of trillions of bacteria that reside in and on our bodies. Each person’s microbiome is unique — just like a fingerprint — and researchers are finding more and more ways in which it impacts our health and daily lives. One example involves an apparent link between the brain and the bacteria in the gut. This…
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In the battle against antibiotic resistance, many scientists have been trying to deploy naturally occurring viruses called bacteriophages that can infect and kill bacteria. Bacteriophages kill bacteria through different mechanisms than antibiotics, and they can target specific strains, making them an appealing option for potentially overcoming multidrug resistance. However, quickly finding and optimizing well-defined bacteriophages to use against a bacterial…
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Goldfinch Bio, a U.S.-based, clinical stage biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing precision medicines for the treatment of kidney diseases, today announced it entered into a license agreement with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (“Takeda”) for worldwide rights to a preclinical, peripherally-restricted cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) monoclonal antibody. Goldfinch Bio will assume all development and commercialization responsibilities for the treatment…
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First Video of Viruses Assembling

For the first time, researchers have captured images of the formation of individual viruses, offering a real-time view into the kinetics of viral assembly. The research provides new insights into how to fight viruses and engineer self-assembling particles. The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Structural biology has been able to resolve the structure…
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The targeted cancer drug venetoclax, first approved by the FDA in 2016, brought new hope for patients with blood cancers such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). But that enthusiasm began fading as the drug stopped working for some patients who saw their disease return and their treatment options dwindle. For Catherine Wu, a physician-scientist at the Broad Institute of MIT and…
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One of the life science industry’s leading laboratory-space providers is teaming up with MIT, the state and a Japanese drugmaker to open a new accelerator for biotech and pharmaceutical startups in Kendall Square. LabCentral will open a new 100,000-square foot accelerator at 238 Main St., the organization and its partners announced Tuesday. The site will have a particular focus on…
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A new blood test in development has shown ability to screen for numerous types of cancer with a high degree of accuracy, a trial of the test shows. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators will present the results of the multi-center trial during a session today at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2019 Congress. The test, developed by GRAIL, Inc.,…
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