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Targeting DNA

Protein-based sensor could detect viral infection or kill cancer cells. Anne Trafton | MIT News Office September 21, 2015 MIT biological engineers have developed a modular system of proteins that can detect a particular DNA sequence in a cell and then trigger a specific response, such as cell death. This system can be customized to

September 21st, 2015|Categories: Cancer|Tags: , , , |

Possible new weapon against PTSD

Blocking a newly identified memory pathway could prevent the disorder. Anne Trafton | MIT News Office August 31, 2015 About 8 million Americans suffer from nightmares and flashbacks to a traumatic event. This condition, known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is particularly common among soldiers who have been in combat, though it can also be

August 31st, 2015|Categories: General News, Veteran-Related|Tags: , , |

Young brains can take on new functions

Visual cortex of blind children can be remodeled to process language. Anne Trafton | MIT News Office August 27, 2015 In 2011, MIT neuroscientist Rebecca Saxe and colleagues reported that in blind adults, brain regions normally dedicated to vision processing instead participate in language tasks such as speech and comprehension. Now, in a study of

August 27th, 2015|Categories: Blindness|Tags: , , |

Protein found to play a key role in blocking pathogen survival

Calprotectin fends off microbial invaders by limiting access to iron, an important nutrient. Helen Knight | MIT News correspondent August 24, 2015 Invading microbial pathogens must scavenge essential nutrients from their host organism in order to survive and replicate. To defend themselves from infection, hosts attempt to block pathogens’ access to these nutrients. Now researchers

August 24th, 2015|Categories: General News|Tags: , , |

Capturing cell growth in 3-D

Spinout’s microfluidics device better models how cancer and other cells interact in the body. Rob Matheson | MIT News Office August 14, 2015 Replicating how cancer and other cells interact in the body is somewhat difficult in the lab. Biologists generally culture one cell type in plastic plates, which doesn’t represent the dynamic cell interactions

August 14th, 2015|Categories: Cancer|Tags: , , |

How Chronic Inflammation Can Lead to Cancer

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 9:29am -Helen Knight, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Bogdan Fedeles (right), a research associate in the MIT Department of Biological Engineering and lead author on a new paper on the link between chronic inflammation and cancer, examines a DNA model with professor John Essigmann, who led the current research. (Photo: Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT)Chronic inflammation

August 10th, 2015|Categories: Cancer|Tags: , , |

Researchers develop basic computing elements for bacteria

The illustration depicts Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron (white) living on mammalian cells in the gut (large pink cells coated in microvilli) and being activated by exogenously added chemical signals (small green dots) to express specific genes, such as those encoding light-generating luciferase proteins (glowing bacteria). Image by: Janet Iwasa Sensors, memory switches, and circuits can be encoded in

Major step for implantable drug-delivery device

MIT spinout signs deal to commercialize microchips that release therapeutics inside the body. Rob Matheson | MIT News Office June 29, 2015 An implantable, microchip-based device may soon replace the injections and pills now needed to treat chronic diseases: Earlier this month, MIT spinout Microchips Biotech partnered with a pharmaceutical giant to commercialize its wirelessly

Researchers develop a new means of killing harmful bacteria

Engineered particles are capable of producing toxins that are deadly to targeted bacteria. Helen Knight | MIT News Office June 25, 2015 The global rise in antibiotic resistance is a growing threat to public health, damaging our ability to fight deadly infections such as tuberculosis. What’s more, efforts to develop new antibiotics are not keeping

Researchers find “lost” memories

Scientists use optogenetics to reactivate memories that could not otherwise be retrieved. Helen Knight | MIT News correspondent May 28, 2015 Illustration: Christine Daniloff/MIT Memories that have been “lost” as a result of amnesia can be recalled by activating brain cells with light. In a paper published today in the journal Science, researchers at MIT