Harvard University News

A Promising New Form of Immunotherapy for Cancer

October 27, 2016

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New Approach to Cancer Treatment

New research suggests a way to increase the staying power of CAR T cells, a promising form of immunotherapy for cancer. In people with chronic infections or cancer, disease-fighting T cells tend to behave like an overworked militia — wheezing, ill-prepared, tentative, in a state of “exhaustion” that allows disease to persist. In a paper […]

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Harvard Engineers Create the First Fully 3D-Printed Heart-on-a-Chip

October 25, 2016

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The First 3D-Printed Heart on a Chip

Engineers from Harvard University have made the first entirely 3D-printed organ-on-a-chip with integrated sensing. Using a fully automated, digital manufacturing procedure, the 3D-printed heart-on-a-chip can be quickly fabricated and customized, allowing researchers to easily collect reliable data for short-term and long-term studies. This new approach to manufacturing may one day allow researchers to rapidly design […]

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Memory Changes May Occur in Women Decades Earlier Than Previously Thought

September 28, 2016

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Study Shows Changes in Memory Tied to Menopausal Status

New research from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital reveals that reproductive stage, not simply chronological age, may contribute to changes in memory and brain function for women. Many women report forgetfulness and changes in memory as they transition to menopause. But studies that target participants who are 65 and older do not account for cognitive […]

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Genomic Regions That Set Humans Apart From Other Primates Carry Many Autism-Linked Mutations

September 22, 2016

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Autism and Evolution

New research from Harvard Medical School suggests that mutations in genetic regulatory elements may be important in both autism spectrum disorder and human evolution. Small regions of the genome where humans have diverged from chimpanzees contain a variety of mutations implicated in autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, report Harvard Medical School researchers at Boston Children’s […]

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SEAS Engineers 3D Print the First Autonomous, Entirely Soft Robot

September 1, 2016

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The First Autonomous Entirely Soft Robot

Using a 3D printer, Harvard engineers have demonstrated the first autonomous, untethered, entirely soft robot. The small robot — nicknamed the “octobot” — could pave the way for a new generation of such machines. Soft robotics could help revolutionize how humans interact with machines. But researchers have struggled to build entirely compliant robots. Electric power […]

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Harvard Researchers Identify a Key Instigator in Lou Gehrig’s Disease

August 26, 2016

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Scientists Identify Instigator That Ignites Nerve Cell Damage in Lou Gehrig’s Disease

A team of scientists from Harvard Medical School has identified a key instigator of nerve cell damage in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive and incurable neurodegenerative disorder. Researchers say the findings of their study, published in the journal Science, may lead to new therapies to halt the progression of the uniformly fatal disease […]

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New Study Shows ‘Smoke Waves’ Will Affect Millions in the Coming Decades

August 23, 2016

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US Counties Risk Exposure to Pollution from Wildfires

Newly published research identifies the western U.S. counties with the highest risk of exposure to pollution from wildfires. Wildfires threaten more than land and homes. The smoke they produce contains fine particles (PM2.5) that can poison the air for hundreds of miles. Air pollution from the 2016 Fort McMurray fire in northern Alberta, Canada, sent […]

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Engineers Reveal a ‘New Universe’ of Organic Molecules That Can Store Energy in Flow Batteries

July 20, 2016

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A New Battery Inspired by Vitamins

Engineers from Harvard University have identified a whole new class of high-performing organic molecules, inspired by vitamin B2, that can safely store electricity from intermittent energy sources such as solar and wind power in large batteries. The development builds on previous work in which the team developed a high-capacity flow battery that stored energy in […]

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New Evidence That Diet and Gut Microbes Can Influence Brain Inflammation

May 16, 2016

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Researchers Find Evidence That Diet and Gut Microbes Can Influence Brain Inflammation

A newly discovered link between deficits in gut flora and brain inflammation may lead researchers to learn more about its impact on multiple sclerosis. A team of investigators at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) has found evidence that suggests that bacteria living in the gut may remotely influence the activity of cells in the […]

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Harvard Research Shows For Life Expectancy, Money Matters

April 14, 2016

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Study Shows Money Matters For Life Expectancy

New research from Harvard University shows that being poor in the United States is hazardous to your health, revealing that the average life expectancy of the lowest-income classes in America is now equal to that in Sudan or Pakistan. A Harvard analysis of 1.4 billion Internal Revenue Service records on income and life expectancy that […]

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New Bioprinting Technique Shows Potential for Tissue Repair and Regenerative Medicine

March 9, 2016

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Creating 3-D Tissue

New research details how scientists are moving closer to embedding vascular networks into thick human tissues, which could result in tissue repair and regeneration — and ultimately even replacement of whole organs. A team at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and the Harvard John A. Paulson School for Engineering and […]

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Astronomers Discover Binary Star System That Produces the Longest Lasting Known Eclipse

February 18, 2016

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Binary Star System Produces the Longest Lasting Eclipses Known

Astronomers have discovered a binary star system where, every 69 years, the sun disappears in a near-total eclipse that lasts for three and a half years. The unnamed binary star system nearly 10,000 light years from Earth and is known only by its astronomical catalog number TYC 2505-672-1. It sets a new record for both […]

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Scientists Overcome Key CRISPR-Cas9 Genome Editing Hurdle

December 3, 2015

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Researchers Develop a Highly Specific Genome-Editing Tool

Using structural knowledge of Cas9, scientists have overcome a key CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing hurdle and developed a highly specific genome-editing tool. Researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT have engineered changes to the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing system that significantly cut down on “off-target” […]

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Astronomers Measure “Heartbeats” of a Distant Galaxy’s Stars

November 16, 2015

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Discovery Measures "Heartbeats" of a Distant Galaxy's Stars

Astronomers at Yale and Harvard have measured the “heartbeats” of stars within elliptical galaxy M87 and used that data to determine the galaxy’s age in a new way. M87 is located 53 million light-years from Earth. It is the first time scientists have measured the effect that pulsating, older red stars have on the light […]

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Neurons Can Be Changed from One Type Into Another from Within the Brain

November 10, 2015

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Researchers Reprogram Neurons

A newly published study from Harvard biologists shows how neurons can be dramatically changed from one type into another from within the brain and how neighboring neurons recognize the reprogrammed cells as different and adapt by changing how they communicate with them. Building on earlier work in which they disproved neurobiology dogma by “reprogramming” neurons […]

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Harvard Studies Show Improvements in U.S. Diet Lower Premature Deaths

November 4, 2015

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New Studies Shed Light on Critical Dietary Issues Facing Americans

Two newly published studies from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health shed light on critical dietary issues facing Americans. The first study showed that while recent improvements in the U.S. diet have helped reduce disease and premature death, the overall American diet is still poor. The second study, which analyzed interventions to reduce […]

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A Light-Reflecting Balloon Catheter Repairs the Heart without Surgery

October 14, 2015

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New Technique Repairs Holes in the Heart Without Surgery

Using a catheter aided by UV light, researchers have developed a new technique to repair holes in the heart without surgery. Harvard-affiliated researchers have designed a specialized catheter for fixing holes in the heart by using a biodegradable adhesive and patch. The team reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine that the catheter has been […]

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Harvard Examines the Response to Light and Temperature Shifts in Northeastern Forests

September 21, 2015

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Researchers Conduct Climate Change Test for Forests

Biologists from Harvard University are examining whether the earlier arrival of warm weather will clash with genetic programming of plants. Harvard scientists are taking a hard look at northeastern forests for evidence of a potential springtime scramble, one that could be triggered if age-old growth cues are disrupted by climate change. Researchers in the Department […]

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