Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have identified a key mechanism in X chromosome inactivation, a phenomenon that may hold clues that lead to treatments for certain rare congenital disorders. Their findings, published in the journal Developmental Cell on June 11, 2020, may also aid in the creation of novel medicines for certain cancers. Female humans and other mammals have two copies of…
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Moderna Inc. on Thursday unveiled large-scale, expedited plans to begin the final stage of testing on its Covid-19 vaccine. Cambridge-based Moderna (Nasdaq: MRNA) plans to enroll 30,000 people in the U.S. in the Phase 3 test of its Covid-19 vaccine, according to a press release. The company also plans to begin testing in July — months sooner than the fall 2020…
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A genomic test of bone marrow tissue can determine whether people with a common precursor of multiple myeloma have a high risk of developing the full-blown form of the disease, a study led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers shows. Individuals found to be at an increased risk could benefit from close monitoring of their condition or from clinical trials of…
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Standing by its commitment to provide equitable and open access to scholarship, MIT has ended negotiations with Elsevier for a new journals contract. Elsevier was not able to present a proposal that aligned with the principles of the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts. Developed by the MIT Libraries in collaboration with the Ad Hoc Task Force on Open Access to MIT’s Research and…
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It was during a cruise in Alaska that Linda Zhong realized that the world didn’t have to be full of plastic. “I grew up in cities, so you’re very used to seeing all kinds of trash everywhere,” says the graduate student in microbiology. Zhong, who is Canadian and lived in Ottawa growing up and in Toronto during college, routinely saw…
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Genomic imprinting and X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) are classic epigenetic phenomena that involve transcriptional silencing of one parental allele. Germline-derived differential DNA methylation is the best-studied epigenetic mark that initiates imprinting, but evidence indicates that other mechanisms exist. Recent studies have revealed that maternal trimethylation of H3 on lysine 27 (H3K27me3) mediates autosomal maternal allele-specific gene silencing and has an important role…
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The dream of suspended animation has long captivated the human imagination, reflected in countless works of mythology and fiction, from King Arthur and Sleeping Beauty to Captain America and Han Solo. By effectively pausing time itself for an individual, a state of stasis promises to enable the repair of lethal injuries, prolong life and allow for travel to distant stars.…
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A drug already in use for several cancers was found effective in a study of leptomeningeal dissemination of cancer (LMD). LMD affects the lining of the brain and spinal cord, called the meninges. About 5-10% of patients with solid tumors eventually develop cancers in these parts of the central nervous system. Breast cancer is the most common malignancy to metastasize…
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By developing a lab-engineered model of the human blood-brain barrier (BBB), neuroscientists at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have discovered how the most common Alzheimer’s disease risk gene causes amyloid protein plaques to disrupt the brain’s vasculature and showed they could prevent the damage with medications already approved for human use. About 25 percent of people have the…
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Throughout the past decade, consumer biology tests have been all the rage. Companies such as 23andMe and Ancestry DNA have made their test kits accessible to every day Americans. One can screen for anomalies in their genetic code or identify their lineage. With recent advances in stem cell research, a new opportunity within the consumer biology market has appeared.  Nabeel…
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