There’s a long-standing assumption in the pharmaceutical industry that when drug molecules enter a cell, they spread through it evenly — but, says biologist Rick Young, “that could not be further from the truth”. In a study published today in Science1, Young and his colleagues at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, show that cancer-drug compounds become concentrated in precise spots…
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The Broad Institute has named Fei Chen as a core institute member. In this role, Chen will continue the scientific work he has undertaken as a Schmidt Fellow at the Broad since 2017, aimed at using microscopy and spatial genomics to learn about cells in their native habitat. He also joins the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University as an assistant professor.…
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A diagnosis of glioblastoma, a fast-growing type of brain cancer, is devastating for patients and their families, as no cure is available and patients survive for only a median of 15 months. A team led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has now uncovered a mechanism used by glioblastoma cells to become aggressive and resistant to chemotherapy and radiation.…
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In an effort to improve the survival of patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms, a type of leukemia, researchers inhibited a specific protein (alpha5beta1 integrin) to decrease the number of large bone marrow cells (megakaryocytes) in an experimental model. An increase in megakaryocyte numbers is thought to be the cause of many problems observed in this disease. This type of treatment approach…
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The authors reveal how a well described anti-cancer barrier, “the replication stress response,” is overcome in cancer. They uncover that a key feature of the replication stress response is the induction of toxic single-stranded DNA gaps, and that fundamental to cancer development is suppression of these gaps. They also identify that cancer cells mitigate oncogene-induced gaps to sustain cell growth by aberrantly activating translesion synthesis.
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Imagine if scientists could stop the coronavirus infection in its tracks simply by diverting its attention away from living lung cells? A new therapeutic countermeasure, announced in a Nano Letters study by researchers from Boston University’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) and the University of California San Diego, appears to do just that in experiments that were carried out at the NEIDL in…
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The microbiome is the trillions of microorganisms that live in and on the body. Increasingly, they are found to play a significant role in numerous diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disorders to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other diseases. Researchers believe that by manipulating the microbiome, they may be able to treat those diseases. Finch Therapeutics reported positive topline results from PRISM3, its Phase II…
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The discovery of how certain key structures in the kidneys are formed could have important implications for treating renal fibrosis (or scarring), a feature of chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a new study by a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital. Interestingly, the research that led to these findings, published in the journal Developmental Cell on June 17, 2020, arose from a previous…
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Harvard Business School (HBS) has named its 2020-21 Blavatnik Fellowship in Life Science Entrepreneurship. Launched in 2013, the Blavatnik Fellowship, was part of a gift to Harvard University from the Blavatnik Family Foundation, headed by Len Blavatnik (MBA 1989). The Fellowship was established to support HBS alumni and Harvard-affiliated postdocs in their new ventures around promising life science technologies while developing…
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Approximately 20–30% of human lung adenocarcinomas (LUADs) harbor mutations in Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (KEAP1) that hyperactivate the nuclear factor, erythroid 2-like 2 (NFE2L2) antioxidant program. We previously showed that Kras-driven Keap1-mutant LUAD is highly aggressive and dependent on glutaminolysis. Here we performed a druggable genome CRISPR screen and uncovered a Keap1-mutant-specific dependency on solute carrier family 33 member 1 (Slc33a1), as well…
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