Beta-amyloid plaques, the protein aggregates that form in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, disrupt many brain functions and can kill neurons. They can also damage the blood-brain barrier — the normally tight border that prevents harmful molecules in the bloodstream from entering the brain. MIT engineers have now developed a tissue model that mimics beta-amyloid’s effects on the blood-brain barrier,…
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Sanae ElShourbagy Ferreira, PhD, BUSM’18 has been awarded the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) & Technology Policy Fellowship for 2019-20. Last year she was a “featured force” for science by the AAAS and this year Dr. Ferreira will be a part of 278 highly trained scientists and engineers who will spend their fellowship as part of federal…
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Tubingen, Germany-based CureVac has entered a Collaboration Research Agreement with Yale University to focus on lung therapies. CureVac focuses on mRNA therapeutics. Messenger RNA (mRNA) is a family of RNA molecules that transport genetic information from DNA to the ribosome, where it specifies the amino acid sequence that creates proteins. In theory, by coding your own mRNA, it should be possible to insert it into the…
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PD-1 is a protein on our T cells that normally keeps these immune cells from running amok. A growing number of cancer drugs are designed to inhibit PD-1, enabling patients’ T-cells to attack and kill cancerous cells. PD-1 blockers such as pembrolizumab (Keytruda) have been helpful in treating several cancers including melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer,…
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Cells often create compartments to control important biological functions. The nucleus is a prime example; surrounded by a membrane, it houses the genome. Yet cells also harbor enclosures that are not membrane-bound and more transient, like oil droplets in water. Over the past two years, these droplets (called “condensates”) have become increasingly recognized as major players in controlling genes. Now,…
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Tina Liu Wins Women World Award

Tina Liu, M.B.A. has been honored as a Gold Winner of the Women World Awards in the category of Female Executive of the Year for her contributions to developing a novel technology to make gene therapies safer and more effective. The Women World Awards are the world’s premier business awards for female entrepreneurs, executives, employees, and the organizations they run. Its annual…
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Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is an aggressive cancer with limited treatment options1. Approximately 10% of cases exhibit familial predisposition, but causative genes are not known in most families2. We perform whole-genome sequence analysis in a family with multiple cases of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and identify a germline truncating mutation in the member of the RAS oncogene family-like 3 (RABL3) gene. Heterozygous rabl3 mutant…
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Amid the worsening Ebola outbreak in the Congo, now threatening to spill into Rwanda, a new study suggests that an existing, FDA-approved drug called nitazoxanide could potentially help contain this deadly, highly contagious infection. In meticulous experiments in human cells, described today in iScience, the drug significantly amplified immune responses to the virus and inhibited Ebola replication. Led by Anne Goldfeld, MD, of the…
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Drug giant Bayer Inc. has doubled down on one of its previous investment, announcing a deal to acquire BlueRock Therapeutics that values the Cambridge startup at $1 billion. The German drugmaker said Thursday morning that it will pay $240 million upfront and $360 million in milestone payments for the cell therapy startup, which is developing treatments for Parkinson’s disease, heart…
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Here is a challenge for you: copy letter-by-letter, word-for-word a document that is 1,200,000 pages long—that’s a stack of paper higher than the Statue of Liberty. And don’t make any typos  or miss any punctuation. Are you up to the task? Yes, you are: your body has been performing this task trillions of times since you were conceived, and you…
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