GreenLight Biosciences Receives $3.3 Million Grant

GreenLight Biosciences has received a $3.3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop new mRNA-based gene therapies for Sickle Cell Disease and other global health challenges. The funding will support GreenLight’s research and testing of affordable therapies using the company’s novel messenger RNA (mRNA) approach to gene editing. mRNA technology is already being used to develop vaccine candidates for infectious diseases, including the…
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As the parents of adult children on the autism spectrum, Broadcom CEO Hock Tan and retired investment banker and philanthropist Lisa Yang have donated tens of millions of dollars to fund basic research in a quest to better understand the genetic underpinnings of the disorder. On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology McGovern Institute for Brain Research announced a $28…
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Tauopathies such as progressive supranuclear palsy, Pick’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are characterized by seeding (aggregation) of tau protein into disease-specific conformations in the brain. During the course of AD, tau can undergo a variety of modifications, including phosphorylation. In a report published in Nature Medicine, Bradley T. Hyman, MD, PhD, director of the Alzheimer’s disease research unit at the MassGeneral Institute for…
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NIH Grant Will Establish New Framingham Heart Study Brain Aging Program

Since 1976, the Framingham Heart Study (FHS)–the longest running multi-generational epidemiological study in the world–has followed participants for incident dementia. The findings have helped to analyze the differences between normal, age-related changes in thinking and disease-related pathological alterations. In addition, the inclusion of many of the original participants’ children and grandchildren (known as the second- and third-generation cohorts) has also…
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As summer turns to fall with no immediate end in sight to the coronavirus pandemic, researchers at Harvard Medical School’s affiliated teaching hospitals are working around the clock to help design and test two major COVID-19 vaccines. The pressure to produce a vaccine is mounting as the United States and other nations continue struggling to contain the pandemic, which has…
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Getting Smarter About the Mind

Daniel Dennett has inspired many people, but perhaps none more than his former student Jeff Stibel, A95, an entrepreneur and brain scientist. Now Stibel is ensuring that the influential philosopher’s legacy will continue at Tufts, with a generous gift to create a consortium at the university focused on cognitive and brain science. Stibel’s gift will launch the Stibel Dennett Consortium for Brain…
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Adoptive cell therapy with chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR-T) has become a standard treatment for patients with certain aggressive B cell malignancies and holds promise to improve the care of patients suffering from numerous other cancers in the future. However, the high manufacturing cost of CAR-T cell therapies poses a major barrier to their broader clinical application. Among the…
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BIND: Engineered Biofilms

A team at the Wyss Institute sees biofilms as a robust new platform for designer nanomaterials that could treat inflammatory bowel diseases, clean up polluted rivers, manufacture pharmaceutical products, fabricate new textiles, and more. A novel protein engineering system called BIND, which stands for Biofilm-Integrated Nanofiber Display, could be the essential ingredient in tomorrow’s probiotic therapies as well as provide…
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In mid-March, MIT closed its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Building 68 temporarily became a ghost town. Home to over 25 life science labs and three core facilities, the Department of Biology’s primary research hub usually teems with activity. But this spring, only a skeleton crew of essential workers came in and out, maintaining the equipment and running select experiments.…
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Scientists from the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project, a National Institutes of Health-funded consortium including researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, have completed a wide-ranging set of studies documenting how small changes in DNA sequence can impact gene expression across more than four dozen tissues in the human body. These studies, released in a set of 15 papers published…
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