Alejandra Rosario’s enthusiasm for research is infectious. When she talks about studying cancer cells, or the possibility of getting a PhD, her face lights up. “It’s something I’m really passionate about,” she says. As a Bernard S. and Sophie G. Gould MIT Summer Research Program in Biology (BSG-MSRP-Bio) student this past summer in the lab of Matt Vander Heiden, MIT’s…
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Researchers at the MIT Media Lab have designed a miniature antenna that can operate wirelessly inside of a living cell, opening up possibilities in medical diagnostics and treatment and other scientific processes because of the antenna’s potential for monitoring and even directing cellular activity in real-time. “The most exciting aspect of this research is we are able to create cyborgs…
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A common, spontaneous mutation in blood stem cells, which has been linked to higher risks of blood cancer and cardiovascular disease, may promote these diseases by altering the stem cells’ programming of gene activity and the mix of blood cells they produce, according to a study co-led by investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York-Presbyterian, and the New York Genome…
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As an undergraduate, Mitch Murdock was a rare science-humanities double major, specializing in both English and molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at Yale University. Today, as a doctoral student in the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, he sees obvious ways that his English education expanded his horizons as a neuroscientist. “One of my favorite parts of English was…
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Researchers at UMass Chan Medical School and North Carolina State University have developed a superfluorescence crystal nanoparticle that uses near-infrared light, a wave-length of light beyond what humans can see, to safely produce laser-quality light at room temperature. This discovery, published in Nature Photonics, has the potential to provide an easy-to-operate, nanosized light source for laser-based biomedical applications. “Our efforts are…
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Up to three-quarters of patients receiving cancer chemotherapy suffer from “chemo brain” — a side effect that makes it harder to remember things, maintain attention, and learn new information. When it strikes children, whose brains are still developing, effects are sometimes long lasting, affecting their schoolwork and self-esteem. “One of the most distressing potential side effects of chemotherapy in children…
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Genomic Sequencing Analysis Gets Boost through Nvidia, Broad Partnership

It’s an exciting time for next-generation sequencing. Multiple new companies, each with their own emerging platforms and new technologies, have entered the U.S. market in the past year. Although there is a lot of uncertainty in many aspects of this field, everyone can agree that the future will bring a lot more sequencing data. And, as the instruments produce more…
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Why do so many people get heart disease when they get older? We know that factors like high blood pressure or high cholesterol contribute to heart disease risk, but they don’t explain all cases. A first-of-its-kind study from Boston Children’s Hospital offers a new lens on heart health. It shows that the cells of our heart muscle accumulate new genetic…
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An exercise-related hormone, irisin, administered to animals with a model of Parkinson’s disease reduced nerve degeneration and symptoms associated with the progressive movement disorder, say scientists from Dana-Farber and Johns Hopkins Medicine. About one million people in the United States, and 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s, which is characterized by tremors, slowed muscular movements, and impaired balance…
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The brain is often compared to a supercomputer, so who better to help neuroscientists figure out how it’s programmed—and how to fix any bugs in the system—than a computer scientist? At the new Boston University Center for Brain Recovery, computing and data experts are joining with neurobiologists, biomedical engineers, speech therapists, and other researchers to improve our understanding of how…
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