The holiday season is upon us, and as research begins to slow towards the end of the year, we too will be taking a short break to prepare for the new year ahead. The Science in Boston website will be dark for the remainder of the holiday season, but will return as your source for local life science news on January 4th!
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If stem cell science were bread baking, then working with pluripotent stem cells would be like starting with flour, water and yeast. Transforming those base materials into a delicious loaf of bread requires knowing which ingredients to add and how to manipulate the dough and its environment, such as by mixing in salt, garlic and olive oil and baking at a…
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Surgeons at Massachusetts Eye and Ear have replaced the ocular surface of four patients who each experienced chemical burns to one eye by using their own stem cells taken from the other healthy eye, in a technique known as “cultivated autologous limbal epithelial cell transplantation” (CALEC). The CALEC technique was developed by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Mass. Eye and…
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Harvard University and AbbVie today announced a $30 million collaborative research alliance, launching a multi-pronged effort at Harvard Medical School to study and develop therapies against emergent viral infections, with a focus on those caused by coronaviruses and by viruses that lead to hemorrhagic fever. Get more HM news here The collaboration aims to rapidly integrate fundamental biology into the…
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In the first study to comprehensively track how different types of brain cells respond to the mutation that causes Huntington’s disease (HD), MIT neuroscientists found that a significant cause of death for an especially afflicted kind of neuron may be an immune response to genetic material errantly released by mitochondria, the cellular components that provide cells with energy. In different…
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Boston-based Dewpoint Therapeutics and Merck will collaborate to develop a novel mechanism for the treatment of HIV by harnessing Dewpoint’s proprietary platform for condensate-based drug discovery. The companies have hope that the research could lead to a cure for the devastating disease. Ann Kwong, head of research and development at Dewpoint Therapeutics, said she is excited about working with Merck, a leading company in…
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Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers have developed an engineering technique to precisely control the direction that neurons grow their axons, cable-like structures that allow nerve cells to connect with each other. In a zebrafish model, researchers used the approach to correct defective neural connections and restore the neuron’s ability to cause muscle contractions. The findings, published in the journal Developmental Cell,…
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The genome of our cells is scattered with thousands and thousands of repetitive short stretches of DNA known as “endogenous transposable elements” (TEs) or “selfish genetic elements” that together make up to a mindboggling 45% of our DNA. Belonging to different families that carry mysterious names like Alu, LINE-1 and HERV, some originate from “retroviruses” or so-called mobile “transposable elements”…
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When scientists test new cancer drugs, they typically first test a molecule in a petri dish (called in vitro testing). If it kills cancer cells there, it can then be injected into a mouse or another animal with the disease (in vivo testing). In vitro tests are fast, but they can’t show how a treatment will work in a living body. Animal studies, on the other…
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Gastrostomy tubes (G-tubes) are commonly used to deliver nutrition directly to the stomach in patients who cannot eat by mouth, require supplemental nutrients, or have swallowing difficulties, including oropharyngeal dysphagia with aspiration. While the placement of G-tubes is on the rise nationally, data suggests that children with G-tubes have two to three times the number of hospitalizations as those who can be fed…
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