Beta-amyloid plaques, the protein aggregates that form in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, disrupt many brain functions and can kill neurons. They can also damage the blood-brain barrier — the normally tight border that prevents harmful molecules in the bloodstream from entering the brain. MIT engineers have now developed a tissue model that mimics beta-amyloid’s effects on the blood-brain barrier,…
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Tubingen, Germany-based CureVac has entered a Collaboration Research Agreement with Yale University to focus on lung therapies. CureVac focuses on mRNA therapeutics. Messenger RNA (mRNA) is a family of RNA molecules that transport genetic information from DNA to the ribosome, where it specifies the amino acid sequence that creates proteins. In theory, by coding your own mRNA, it should be possible to insert it into the…
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PD-1 is a protein on our T cells that normally keeps these immune cells from running amok. A growing number of cancer drugs are designed to inhibit PD-1, enabling patients’ T-cells to attack and kill cancerous cells. PD-1 blockers such as pembrolizumab (Keytruda) have been helpful in treating several cancers including melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer,…
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Cells often create compartments to control important biological functions. The nucleus is a prime example; surrounded by a membrane, it houses the genome. Yet cells also harbor enclosures that are not membrane-bound and more transient, like oil droplets in water. Over the past two years, these droplets (called “condensates”) have become increasingly recognized as major players in controlling genes. Now,…
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Amid the worsening Ebola outbreak in the Congo, now threatening to spill into Rwanda, a new study suggests that an existing, FDA-approved drug called nitazoxanide could potentially help contain this deadly, highly contagious infection. In meticulous experiments in human cells, described today in iScience, the drug significantly amplified immune responses to the virus and inhibited Ebola replication. Led by Anne Goldfeld, MD, of the…
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Drug giant Bayer Inc. has doubled down on one of its previous investment, announcing a deal to acquire BlueRock Therapeutics that values the Cambridge startup at $1 billion. The German drugmaker said Thursday morning that it will pay $240 million upfront and $360 million in milestone payments for the cell therapy startup, which is developing treatments for Parkinson’s disease, heart…
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Here is a challenge for you: copy letter-by-letter, word-for-word a document that is 1,200,000 pages long—that’s a stack of paper higher than the Statue of Liberty. And don’t make any typos  or miss any punctuation. Are you up to the task? Yes, you are: your body has been performing this task trillions of times since you were conceived, and you…
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DNA is an emerging medium for digital data and its adoption can be accelerated by synthesis processes specialized for storage applications. Here, we describe a de novo enzymatic synthesis strategy designed for data storage which harnesses the template-independent polymerase terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) in kinetically controlled conditions. Information is stored in transitions between non-identical nucleotides of DNA strands. To produce strands…
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BEDFORD, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– NinePoint Medical, Inc., a transformative medical device company pioneering the use of a real-time optical imaging platform for gastrointestinal applications, announced today that it has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance to market the NvisionVLE® Imaging System for use in the pancreas and bile duct. These anatomical indications add to the previously existing esophageal applications for NinePoint’s…
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Stoke Therapeutics, Inc., (Nasdaq: STOK), a biotechnology company pioneering a new way to treat the underlying cause of genetic diseases by precisely upregulating protein expression, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation to its lead product candidate, STK-001, an investigational new treatment for Dravet syndrome. Dravet syndrome is a severe and progressive…
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