Technique identifies T cells primed for certain allergies or infections

Researchers develop a method to isolate and sequence the RNA of T cells that react to a specific target. Anne Trafton | MIT News OfficeNovember 19, 2019 When your immune system is exposed to a vaccine, an allergen, or an infectious microbe, subsets of T cells that can recognize a foreign intruder leap into action. […]

What survives, thrives and dominates over a thousand generations? The answer might be even more complex than thought

NOVEMBER 13, 2019 by Harvard University Aa team of scientists, led by Harvard researchers, has used a new method of DNA “re-barcoding” to track rapid evolution in yeast. The new approach, published in Nature, advances the field of organismic and evolutionary biology and holds promise for real-world results. The potential impact of the work can be illustrated […]

How the brain regulates variability in motor functions

“We have shown that the brain uses a sophisticated algorithm to regulate motor variability in a way that improves task performance.” NOVEMBER 8, 2019 by Leah Burrows, Harvard University Anyone who has ever tried to serve a tennis ball or flip a pancake or even play a video game knows, it is hard to perform the […]

Researchers discover how cells know their future and forget their past

NOVEMBER 7, 2019 by University of Copenhagen Stem cells all share the potential of developing into any specific cell in the body. Many researchers are therefore trying to answer the fundamental questions of what determines the cells’ developmental fate as well as when and why the cells lose the potential of developing into any cell. Now, […]

World-leading microscopes take candid snapshots of atoms in their ‘neighborhoods’

NOVEMBER 6, 2019 by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Researchers from MIT will be collaborating with colleagues at the University of Colorado at Boulder on an experiment scheduled to be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) on Nov. 2. The experiment is looking for ways to address the formation of biofilms on surfaces within the space station. These […]

Implantable cancer traps could provide earlier diagnosis, help monitor treatment

OCTOBER 29, 2019 by University of Michigan Invasive procedures to biopsy tissue from cancer-tainted organs could be replaced by simply taking samples from a tiny “decoy” implanted just beneath the skin, University of Michigan researchers have demonstrated in mice. These devices have a knack for attracting cancer cells traveling through the body. In fact, they can even pick […]

Biologists build proteins that avoid crosstalk with existing molecules

Engineered signaling pathways could offer a new way to build synthetic biology circuits. Anne Trafton | MIT News OfficeOctober 23, 2019 Inside a living cell, many important messages are communicated via interactions between proteins. For these signals to be accurately relayed, each protein must interact only with its specific partner, avoiding unwanted crosstalk with any […]

Cell stiffness may indicate whether tumors will invade

Study shows tumors with softer, larger cells at their periphery are more likely to spread; may suggest new route for cancer therapy. Jennifer Chu | MIT News OfficeOctober 21, 2019 Engineers at MIT and elsewhere have tracked the evolution of individual cells within an initially benign tumor, showing how the physical properties of those cells […]

Biological engineer Paul Blainey creates new tools to advance biomedical research

His technology platforms have benefited genomics, diagnostics, and drug screening. Anne Trafton | MIT News OfficeOctober 19, 2019 Microfluidics — the science of manipulating tiny amounts of fluid through channels — has been widely used in fields such as genomics, where it has helped to enable high-speed sequencing. Several years ago, Paul Blainey started to […]

Whitehead Institute team resolves structure of master growth regulator

New research reveals how mTORC1 docks at lysosomal surface. Nicole Davis | Whitehead InstituteOctober 18, 2019 A team of Whitehead Institute scientists has for the first time revealed the molecular structure of a critical growth regulator bound to its partner proteins, creating a fine-grained view of how they interact to sense nutrient levels and control […]