Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)—the accumulation of liver fat in people who drink little or no alcohol—is increasingly common around the world, and in the United States, it affects between 30 and 40 percent of adults. Currently, there are no approved drugs for the treatment of NAFLD, which is predicted to soon become the main cause of chronic liver problems…
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Pancreas on a Chip

Harvard scientists have combined organ-on-a-chip and stem-cell technologies to make a powerful tool for diabetes research and beta-cell transplantation. By combining two powerful technologies, scientists are taking diabetes research to a whole new level. In a study led by Harvard University’s Kevin Kit Parker and published in the journal Lab on a Chip on Aug. 29, microfluidics and human, insulin-producing beta…
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Medulloblastoma is a malignant childhood cerebellar tumour type that comprises distinct molecular subgroups. Whereas genomic characteristics of these subgroups are well defined, the extent to which cellular diversity underlies their divergent biology and clinical behaviour remains largely unexplored. Here we used single-cell transcriptomics to investigate intra- and intertumoral heterogeneity in 25 medulloblastomas spanning all molecular subgroups. WNT, SHH and Group…
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Teaching a computer to behave like a zebrafish wasn’t Martin Haesemeyer’s goal. In fact, the research associate in the labs of Florian Engert, professor of molecular and cellular biology, and Alexander Schier, the Leo Erikson Life Sciences Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, was hoping to build a system that worked differently than zebrafish with an eye toward comparing how…
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The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences has received a 2019 Innovations in Research and Education Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges. The school’s submission, “Integrating Career and Professional Development in the PhD Curriculum,” tied for third place in the competition developed to highlight innovations that support the next generation of researchers. “Graduate students often delay career planning until…
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Traumatic brain injuries, as well as infectious diseases such as meningitis, can lead to brain swelling and dangerously high pressure in the brain. If untreated, patients are at risk for brain damage, and in some cases elevated pressure can be fatal. Current techniques for measuring pressure within the brain are so invasive that the measurement is only performed in the…
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Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), which has the highest mortality rate of all breast cancer, is in urgent need of a therapeutic that hinders the spread and growth of cancer cells. CRISPR genome editing holds the promise of a potential cure for many genetic diseases, including TNBC; however, its clinical translation is being challenged by the lack of safe and effective…
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More than 30 million adults in the United States suffer from debilitating pain, stiffness, and swelling in their joints caused by osteoarthritis, which results from the breakdown of cartilage, the connective and cushioning tissue between our bones. There are medications that can treat the symptoms, prevent cartilage from breaking down and, in some cases, even restore function to the joints. But getting…
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Molecules called ketone bodies may improve stem cells’ ability to regenerate new intestinal tissue. MIT biologists have discovered an unexpected effect of a ketogenic, or fat-rich, diet: They showed that high levels of ketone bodies, molecules produced by the breakdown of fat, help the intestine to maintain a large pool of adult stem cells, which are crucial for keeping the…
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The Lyme pre-exposure prophylaxis (Lyme PrEP) being developed by MassBiologics at UMass Medical School may be headed to a Phase I clinical trial as soon as next year and brought to market in 2022, according to an article in Stat. Lyme PrEP provides a monoclonal antibody that protects against the disease, said Mark Klempner, MD, executive vice chancellor for MassBiologics and professor…
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