A new source of energy expending brown fat cells has been uncovered by researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center, which they say points towards potential new therapeutic options for obesity. According to the new report, published in Nature Metabolism  on 12 March 2021, the key lies in the expression of a receptor called Trpv1 (temperature-sensitive ion channel transient receptor potential cation…
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Najah Walton, a Ph.D. student at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, is already mentoring younger students interested in careers in science. Though Najah Walton is a first-generation college and graduate student, her family always encouraged her to explore the world and pursue higher education. Najah is working with a pre-clinical model based on chronic stress to understand what changes…
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Every time Cigall Kadoch walks into her office at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, she’s inspired by a poster of her hometown orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony. The range of musicians and instruments that together create harmonious sounds reminds her everyday how a lab needs people with various skill sets to gain new insights that can lead to transformational discoveries—a philosophy…
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Every movement in the human body—from lifting our arms to our beating hearts—is regulated in some way by signals from our brains. Until recently, scientists often tracked and understood that brain-body communication only after the fact, sort of like listening to a voicemail as opposed to being on a call. But researchers at Northeastern have developed a new type of…
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Exercise training may slow tumor growth and improve outcomes for females with breast cancer – especially those treated with immunotherapy drugs – by stimulating naturally occurring immune mechanisms, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) have found. Tumors in mouse models of human breast cancer grew more slowly in mice put through their paces in a…
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Tiny Brains Grown in 3D-Printed Bioreactor

Scientists from The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras have grown small amounts of self-organizing brain tissue, known as organoids, in a tiny 3D-printed system that allows observation while they grow and develop. The work is reported in Biomicrofluidics, by AIP Publishing. Current technology for real-time observation of growing organoids involves the…
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Caroline Uhler’s research blends machine learning and statistics with biology to better understand gene regulation, health, and disease. Despite this lofty mission, Uhler remains dedicated to her original career passion: teaching. “The students at MIT are amazing,” says Uhler. “That’s what makes it so fun to work here.” Uhler recently received tenure in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer…
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An On-Off Switch for Gene Editing

Over the past decade, the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system has revolutionized genetic engineering, allowing scientists to make targeted changes to organisms’ DNA. While the system could potentially be useful in treating a variety of diseases, CRISPR-Cas9 editing involves cutting DNA strands, leading to permanent changes to the cell’s genetic material. Now, in a paper published online in Cell on April 9, researchers describe…
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Six UMass Medical School scientists are among the members of the National Institutes of Health’s Somatic Cell Genome Editing Consortium to publish a paper in Nature outlining the program’s goals to accelerate and benchmark the development of safer, more effective methods to edit the genomes of disease-relevant somatic cells in patients. Their research—comprising new genome editors, delivery technologies, methods for tracking edited cells…
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Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified thousands of genetic variants that are associated with a wide range of diseases. But these studies often fall short of establishing what a genetic variant does to bring about a particular trait or disease. “The challenge has been that many of these variants are difficult to interpret,” said Jesse Engreitz, a former postdoctoral fellow…
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