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 […]

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 […]

Seeing the brain’s electrical activity

Fluorescent sensor allows imaging of neurons’ electrical communications, without electrodes. Anne Trafton | MIT News Office Neurons in the brain communicate via rapid electrical impulses that allow the brain to coordinate behavior, sensation, thoughts, and emotion. Scientists who want to study this electrical activity usually measure these signals with electrodes inserted into the brain, a […]

Engineered viruses could fight drug resistance

By tweaking bacteriophage genomes, MIT team creates a new weapon to combat infection. Anne Trafton | MIT News OfficeOctober 3, 2019 In the battle against antibiotic resistance, many scientists have been trying to deploy naturally occurring viruses called bacteriophages that can infect and kill bacteria. Bacteriophages kill bacteria through different mechanisms than antibiotics, and they […]

Technique can image individual proteins within synapses

Rapid imaging method could help reveal how conditions such as autism affect brain cells. Anne Trafton | MIT News OfficeSeptember 26, 2019 Our brains contain trillions of synapses — the connections that transmit messages from neuron to neuron. Within these synapses are hundreds of different proteins, and dysfunction of these proteins can lead to conditions […]