Inside your mouth right now, there is a group of bacteria whose closest relatives can also be found in the belly of a moose, in dogs, cats, and dolphins, and in groundwater deep under the Earth’s surface. In a stunning discovery, scientists have found that these organisms have adapted to these incredibly diverse environments—without radically changing their genomes. The organisms…
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The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees has voted to approve the establishment of four newly endowed professorships and the appointment of five esteemed UMMS faculty members to new or existing endowed chairs. The newly endowed faculty are: Douglas T. Golenbock, MD, professor of medicine and microbiology & physiological systems and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology in…
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Neuronal circuit assembly requires the fine balance between synapse formation and elimination. Microglia, through the elimination of supernumerary synapses, have an established role in this process. While the microglial receptor TREM 2 and the soluble complement proteins C1q and C3 are recognized as key players, the neuronal molecular components that specify synapses to be eliminated are still undefined. Here, we…
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Increased Blood Sugar Levels May Decrease Benefits of Aerobic Exercise

Every doctor recommends regular aerobic exercise, since greater aerobic fitness is important for achieving better overall health. But Joslin Diabetes Center scientists now have discovered that some benefits of aerobic exercise may be dampened by higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, a condition known as hyperglycemia. These diminished gains are seen in mouse models and humans with chronic hyperglycemia that is in…
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Each workday morning in March, Noe Mercado drove through the desolate streets of Boston to a tall glass building on Blackfan Circle, in the heart of the city’s biotech hub. Most residents had gone into hiding from the coronavirus, but Mr. Mercado had an essential job: searching for a vaccine against this new, devastating pathogen. Parking in the underground lot, he put…
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In a new study of human ear tissues, hearing scientists at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Eye and Ear have demonstrated that age-related hearing loss, also called presbycusis, is mainly caused by damage to hair cells, the sensory cells in the inner ear that transform sound-induced vibrations into electrical signals that are relayed to the brain by the auditory nerve.…
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There are approximately 1.5 million people living with HIV in the U.S. using injection drugs, with opiods being the most popular. This combination of chronic HIV infection and persistent exposure to opiates results in exacerbated inflammation contributing to numerous HIV-associated co-morbidities such as HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) and end-stage AIDS. In response, Rahm (Suryaram) Gummuluru, PhD, professor and vice-chair of the…
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When prostate cancer progresses to a more-dangerous metastatic state, it does so by resurrecting dormant molecular mechanisms that had guided the fetal development of the prostate gland but had been subsequently switched off, say scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The study, an international collaboration with The Netherlands Cancer Institute, was published in Nature Genetics. “It shows that particular programs that were operative during…
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Bone marrow transplantation therapy relies on the life-long regenerative capacity of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs)1,2. HSCs present a complex variety of regenerative behaviours at the clonal level, but the mechanisms underlying this diversity are still undetermined3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11. Recent advances in single-cell RNA sequencing have revealed transcriptional differences among HSCs, providing a possible explanation for their functional heterogeneity12,13,14,15,16,17. However, the destructive nature…
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Using specialized nanoparticles, MIT engineers have developed a way to monitor pneumonia or other lung diseases by analyzing the breath exhaled by the patient. In a study of mice, the researchers showed that they could use this system to monitor bacterial pneumonia, as well as a genetic disorder of the lungs called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. “We envision that this technology…
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