People with Parkinson’s disease and their doctors confront many unknowns, including the answer to exactly how deep brain stimulation (DBS) relieves some of the motor symptoms patients experience. In a new study, scientists at Boston University and The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT present a detailed model explaining the underlying circuit dynamics, providing an explanation that, if…
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Sixteen MIT students and postdocs recently traveled to Washington to advocate for federal funding of scientific research for the 2023 fiscal year. Congressional Visit Days (CVD) are an effort organized by the MIT Science Policy Initiative (SPI), a student group that works at the intersection of policy and research. On April 5-6, students met with 34 congressional offices representing 18…
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A Better Antibiotic for Tuberculosis Treatment

Over the past few years of his PhD research, Harim Won has been laying the groundwork to develop a new type of antibiotic to treat tuberculosis (TB), addressing the long-standing problems of lengthy treatments and antibiotic resistance. Won is using a new approach to turn a normal protein system in the bacterial cell against itself. Won, who works in the lab of Eric…
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In type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune response attacks the pancreas’s insulin-producing beta cells, leading to marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Lifelong daily insulin treatments are standard for patients, but replacing lost beta cells through transplants of islets, a group of cells in the pancreas, represents an attractive option. This strategy requires that patients take lifelong immunosuppressive drugs to prevent…
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In a project jointly led by the Kunes and Engert laboratories, co-first authors Caroline Wee, Erin Song, and Maxim Nikitchenko used the larval zebrafish to take a deep dive into how social cues are represented in the brain and how those cues modulate behavior. Their results appear in a paper published this week in Nature Communications (PDF). Social interactions are an essential aspect of human experience, and the absence…
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Genetic studies have revealed many genes linked to both common and rare disease, but to understand how those genes bring about disease and use those insights to help develop therapies, scientists need to know where they are active in the body. Research on single cells can help achieve this goal, by surveying gene activity in specific cell types. Scientists need…
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About one in 20,000 infants is born with what’s called a congenital giant nevus—a huge, pigmented mole that may cover much of the face and body. Due to the mole’s appearance and its risk of later developing into skin cancer, many patients decide to have their children undergo extensive surgery to remove the entire lesion, which can cause large and…
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Growing up in Nairobi, Kenya, Patricia Kipkemoi spent years watching a young family member struggle with a neurodevelopmental disability. The family faced many challenges: finding a doctor who could pin down a diagnosis, lack of affordable education, and harsh stigma in a country where children with neurodevelopmental differences (NDDs), such as autism spectrum disorder, are often seen as stubborn or…
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MIT researchers have discovered that before cells start to divide, they do a little cleanup, tossing out molecules that they appear not to need anymore.   Using a new method they developed for measuring the dry mass of cells, the researchers found that cells lose about 4 percent of their mass as they enter cell division. The researchers believe that…
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A Phase I clinical trial of a preventive Lyme disease shot developed by MassBiologics of UMass Chan Medical School is nearing completion and the next trial phase may begin as soon as next spring, according to Mark Klempner, MD, professor of medicine and former executive vice chancellor for MassBiologics. The pre-exposure prophylaxis being tested delivers a monoclonal antibody to provide…
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