Though accumulation of a protein called TDP-43 appears to be a signature of almost all cases of the terminal neurodegenerative disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), scientists don’t yet know exactly how that may contribute to the devastating damage to neurons that characterizes both ALS and the related condition, frontotemporal lobar degeneration with motor neuron disease (FTLD/MND). With a Transformative Research Award from…
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Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and MIT have developed a new way to determine whether individual patients will respond to a specific cancer drug or not. This kind of test could help doctors to choose alternative therapies for patients who don’t respond to the therapies normally used to treat their cancer. The new study, which appears today in Cell Reports, focused…
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Accurate DNA sequencing is crucial in biomedicine. Underlying the most accurate methods is the assumption that a mutation is true if altered bases are present on both strands of the DNA duplex. We now show that this assumption can be wrong. We establish that current methods to prepare DNA for sequencing, via ‘End Repair/dA-Tailing,’ may substantially resynthesize strands, leading amplifiable…
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Megakaryocytes (MKs), the largest of the hematopoietic cells, are responsible for producing platelets by extending and depositing long proplatelet extensions into the bloodstream. The traditional view of megakaryopoiesis describes the cellular journey from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) along the myeloid branch of hematopoiesis. However, recent studies suggest that MKs can be generated from multiple pathways, some of which do not…
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Celia A. Schiffer, PhD, has accepted the position of chair of the newly renamed Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology, effective Oct. 1. Formerly the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, the new name reflects the expanded role of cutting-edge technologies such as cryo-electron microscopy and computational biology, as well as the science of pharmacology in bringing a molecular perspective…
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As tumors grow within an organ, they also release cells that enter the bloodstream. These cells can travel to other organs, seeding new tumors called metastases.   MIT engineers have now developed a technique that, for the first time, allows them to measure the generation rate of these circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in mice. Their approach, which also reveals how…
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What if current treatment of insulin resistance was only perpetuating the disease and causing disease to get worse? According to BUSM researchers type 2 diabetes patients are often prescribed drugs that increase insulin release into the blood, which lowers blood glucose but may in fact increase the insulin resistance with long-term use. Many of these patients have elevated insulin even…
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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers are recipients of a new Movember – Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) Challenge Award. The $1 million award aims to support ambitious team science with the potential to develop new treatments for metastatic prostate cancer. Dana-Farber’s Matthew Freedman, MD, is principal investigator. Other Dana-Farber team members include Mark Pomerantz, MD, and Sylvan Baca, MD, PhD.   There are currently no curative treatment…
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A promise of precision cancer medicine is for oncologists to tailor treatment based on a patient’s unique molecular profile. In practice, however, interpreting the vast array of data points which make up a person and their cancer is challenging, and only made more difficult as oncologists begin to consider additional complex features. Databases and analytical tools that oncologists might use…
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Some time in Earth’s early history, the planet took a turn toward habitability when a group of enterprising microbes known as cyanobacteria evolved oxygenic photosynthesis — the ability to turn light and water into energy, releasing oxygen in the process. This evolutionary moment made it possible for oxygen to eventually accumulate in the atmosphere and oceans, setting off a domino…
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