Natural resistance-associated macrophage protein (Nramp) transporters enable uptake of essential transition metal micronutrients in numerous biological contexts. These proteins are believed to function as secondary transporters that harness the electrochemical energy of proton gradients by “coupling” proton and metal transport. Here we use the Deinococcus radiodurans (Dra) Nramp homologue, for which we have determined crystal structures in multiple conformations, to investigate mechanistic…
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Decades ago, pioneering studies in cats and rodents identified regions within an ancient part of the brain, the hypothalamus, that are sufficient to increase or reduce appetite. Stimulating lateral parts of the hypothalamus was shown to promote feeding, whereas activating ventromedial regions reduced food consumption; these were described as hunger and satiety centers, respectively. In eLife this week, Caroline Wee and Erin…
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Cats are very good at hiding their health problems, a survival instinct from their wild ancestors, when showing weakness made them easier prey. One health problem they hide is heart disease, meaning it can progress to become life-threatening before it’s noticed. About 10 to 15 percent of cats have some type of heart disease, according to John Rush, a veterinary cardiologist…
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Optical Pooled Screens in Human Cells

Genetic screens are critical for the systematic identification of genes underlying cellular phenotypes. Pooling gene perturbations greatly improves scalability but is not compatible with imaging of complex and dynamic cellular phenotypes. Here, we introduce a pooled approach for optical genetic screens in mammalian cells. We use targeted in situ sequencing to demultiplex a library of genetic perturbations following image-based phenotyping. We screened…
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A multi-center randomized clinical trial evaluating a new artificial pancreas system — which automatically monitors and regulates blood glucose levels — has found that the new system was more effective than existing treatments at controlling blood glucose levels in people with type 1 diabetes. The study showed that the system improved participants’ blood glucose control throughout the day and overnight.…
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Most cases of gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), a type of soft-tissue cancer (sarcoma), are caused by mutations in genes that can be effectively targeted with drugs that inhibit the activity of rogue cancer-promoting enzymes. But an estimated 10% to 20% of GISTs have no identifiable or targetable mutations. Now, investigators in a Boston-area cancer research collaboration have clarified mechanisms that…
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The brain’s neural activity — long implicated in disorders ranging from dementia to epilepsy — also plays a role in human aging and life span, according to research led by scientists in the Blavatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School (HMS). The study, published today in Nature, is based on findings from human brains, mice, and worms and suggests that excessive activity in…
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David Felson, MD, MPH, professor of medicine and epidemiology at Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, was awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) P30 Center Grant. The five-year, $3.6 million award will allow for further clinical research in rheumatology at the Boston University Core Center for Clinical Research, and will provide broad clinical research expertise to a…
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UMass Medical School received a $365,000 grant to collaborate with the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review to examine the clinical and economic value of future therapies to treat and prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Jerry Gurwitz, MD, the Dr. John Meyers Professor of Primary Care Medicine, professor of medicine, chief of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and executive director of the Meyers Primary Care…
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CRISPR-Cas Genome Editing Applications for Disease Modeling and Cell Therapy. Click to download.><br />
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