Beam Therapeutics Files for IPO, Pursuing Treatments Using Base Editing

Beam Therapeutics has disclosed plans to go public, submitting plans for an initial public offering (IPO) that would raise up to $100 million for the year-old company founded by gene editing pioneers to develop new treatments based on base editing. “If existing gene editing approaches are “scissors” for the genome, our base editors are “pencils,” erasing and rewriting one letter…
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Up to a third of U.S. adults have metabolic syndrome, a constellation of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels. Now considered to be epidemic, metabolic syndrome increases people’s risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, as well as kidney and neurodegenerative disease. Metabolic syndrome is closely associated with insulin resistance,…
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Jina Ko speaks five languages, but in the lab, she’s trying to answer some big questions that being multilingual won’t help with. Why does immunotherapy work for some people and not for others? How can she create a device to detect and analyze molecules that are too small to be seen by any current technology? Learn more about Jina and…
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Our brains contain trillions of synapses — the connections that transmit messages from neuron to neuron. Within these synapses are hundreds of different proteins, and dysfunction of these proteins can lead to conditions such as schizophrenia and autism. Researchers at MIT and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT have now devised a new way to rapidly image these synaptic…
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Up Close and Personal with Neuronal Networks

How our brain cells, or neurons, use electrical signals to communicate and coordinate for higher brain function is one of the biggest questions in all of science. For decades, researchers have used electrodes to listen in on and record these signals.  The patch clamp electrode, an electrode in a thin glass tube, revolutionized neurobiology in the 1970s with its ability…
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A metabolic imbalance in some cancer patients following treatment with a checkpoint inhibitor drug, nivolumab, is associated with resistance to the immunotherapy agent and shorter survival, report scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in collaborative work with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The chemical change, which the investigators say reflects an “adaptive resistance mechanism” by cancer cells or the immune…
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Signaling Factor Seeking Gene

During embryonic development, stem cells begin to take on specific identities, becoming distinct cell types with specialized characteristics and functions, in order to form the diverse organs and systems in our bodies. Cells rely on two main classes of regulators to define and maintain their identities; the first of these are master transcription factors, keystone proteins in each cell’s regulatory…
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A new Voices of UMassMed podcast highlights the progress being made at UMass Medical School in developing gene therapy for Tay-Sachs disease. Tay-Sachs is a rare, genetic degenerative disease that destroys nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Few children with Tay-Sachs will reach their fifth birthday. There is no cure. Miguel Sena-Esteves, PhD, associate professor of neurology, has been a…
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The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering welcomed attendees from every populated continent to its 10th annual Wyss International Symposium on September 20, 2019 for an inspiring day of presentations about Next Generation Diagnostics. Co-organized by Wyss faculty members Sangeeta Bhatia, M.D., Ph.D., James Collins, Ph.D., Samir Mitragotri, Ph.D., David Walt, Ph.D., and Wyss Founding Director Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., the event hit the maximum registration…
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