Our everyday lives rely on planned movement through the environment to achieve goals. A new study by MIT neuroscientists at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT identifies a well-connected brain region as a crucial link between circuits guiding goal-directed movement and motivated behavior. Published Sept. 19 in Current Biology, the research shows that the lateral septum (LS), a…
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Drug-eluting contact lenses, which gradually release drugs into the eye, offer a promising alternative to daily eye drops, which can be unpleasant and hard for patients to properly administer. In a 2016 pre-clinical study of glaucoma, the engineered lenses lowered eye pressure at least as well as daily eye drops. New work from Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Boston Children’s Hospital…
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Massachusetts General Hospital will soon start the first clinical trial that simultaneously tests multiple potential ALS medicines in the hopes of getting results faster at lower costs. The elite Boston teaching hospital plans to launch the first “platform trial” in early 2020 at the Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS, which was founded last year with $40 million…
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Super-Resolution Labelling with Action-PAINT

Recent advances in localization-based super-resolution microscopy have enabled researchers to visualize single molecular features down to individual molecular components (~5 nm), but do not yet allow manipulation of single-molecule targets in a user-prescribed, context-dependent manner. Here we report an ‘Action-PAINT’ (PAINT, point accumulation for imaging in nanoscale topography) strategy for super-resolution labelling on visualization on single molecules. This approach monitors and…
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A new study led by Harvard Medical School researchers at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children has found that adolescent sleep timing preferences and patterns should be considered risk factors for obesity and cardiometabolic health, and that the effects are greater in girls than in boys. Poor quality and short duration of sleep are known to increase obesity and cardiometabolic risk…
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Sepsis, an extreme immune response to infection, has no specific treatment and is a leading cause of hospital deaths. As part of their care, patients often undergo imaging procedures and surgery to pinpoint and help eliminate the infection. New preclinical findings in mice suggest that the choice of general anesthetic used for these procedures can influence sepsis outcomes. Quite separate…
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Studying refugees in the Trump era’s political climate is, as Heba Gowayed diplomatically puts it, “suboptimal.” So the first-ever longitudinal survey she plans to do, which would take years in the best of times—measuring how easily refugees master English, find a decent job, and gain a fundamental sense of security and belonging—remains an aspiration for now. Meanwhile, the College of Arts &…
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Major physical changes occurred in the human heart as people shifted from hunting and foraging to farming and modern life.  As a result, human hearts are now less “ape-like” and better suited to endurance types of activity. But that also means those who lead sedentary lives are at greater risk for heart disease. Those are the main conclusions from a…
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Study Shows Benefit of PARP Inhibitor for Some Ovarian Cancer Patients

For patients with recurrent ovarian cancer that has been brought into remission with platinum-based chemotherapy, treatment with the drug niraparib can significantly prolong the time without symptoms or toxicity (TWiST), according to a new study led by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The study, published online today by the Journal of Clinical Oncology, analyzed data from 553 participants in the phase…
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The new tool more accurately distinguishes mutations that drive cancer from ones that don’t, and could help focus future research and drug development. Researchers have generated a long list of genetic mutations linked to cancer, but sorting out which ones really drive tumors to grow uncontrollably and which ones don’t has been a challenge. A new mathematical model developed by…
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