Harvard University News

Harvard Researchers Explain the Reason for Genetic Obesity

August 25, 2015

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Researchers Explain the Reason for Genetic Obesity

Researchers from Harvard Medical School and MIT reeval a genetic circuit that controls whether our bodies burn or store fat. Like many other conditions, obesity is caused by an interplay between genetic and environmental factors. While efforts to combat the obesity epidemic will need to include changes in diet and exercise, insights into the genes […]

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Researchers Discover Pathway That Controls Metabolism

August 20, 2015

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Researchers Discover a Switch That Controls Metabolism

By analyzing the cellular circuitry underlying the strongest genetic association with obesity, a team of researchers from MIT and Harvard Medical School have unveiled a new pathway that controls human metabolism by prompting our adipocytes, or fat cells, to store fat or burn it away. Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges of […]

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Biologists Recreate the Evolutionary Lineage of Adeno-Associated Viruses

August 19, 2015

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Researchers Recreate the Evolutionary Lineage of Adeno-Associated Viruses

A team of researchers from Harvard Medical School has recreated the evolutionary lineage of adeno-associated viruses, allowing them to better understand the intricate structure of viruses and how different properties arose throughout evolution. Harvard Medical School researchers have recreated the evolutionary lineage of adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) to reconstruct an ancient viral particle that is highly […]

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International Research Collaboration Reveals Mutations in DCHS1 Cause Mitral Valve Prolapse

August 19, 2015

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Researchers Reveal Gene for Mitral Valve Prolapse

Researchers reveal that mutations of the DCHS1 gene cause a common form of mitral valve prolapse. An international research collaboration led by Harvard Medical School investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital has identified the first gene whose mutations cause the common form of mitral valve prolapse, a heart valve disorder that affects almost 2.5 percent of […]

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Unexpected Discovery Offers Insight into Mechanisms of Asthma, Other Diseases

August 17, 2015

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New Research Offers Insight into Mechanisms of Asthma and Other Diseases

A new study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health reveals an unexpected discovery – In people with asthma, the cells that line the airways in the lungs are unusually shaped and “scramble around like there’s a fire drill going on.” The findings could also have important ramifications for research in other areas, […]

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New Biosensors Turn Bacteria Into a Source of Natural Energy

August 13, 2015

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Researchers Turn Engineered Bacteria into a Source of Natural Energy

New biosensors enable complex genetic reprogramming of common bacteria like E. coli. The process could be leveraged for sustainable biomanufacturing, using the metabolic processes of bacterial cells to generate valuable chemicals and fuels. Super-productive factories of the future could employ fleets of genetically engineered bacterial cells, such as common E. coli, to create valuable chemical […]

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Gene Therapy Gives Ovarian Cancer Patients Hope

July 28, 2015

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Gene Therapy Improves Survival Rates in Patients with Ovarian Cancer

A team of researchers from Harvard and Mass General Hospital has found a gene therapy that delivers a protein which suppresses the development of female reproductive organs, possibly improving the survival of patients with ovarian cancer that has recurred after chemotherapy. A gene therapy that delivers a protein that suppresses the development of female reproductive […]

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Harvard Reveals Quality and Quantity of Key Crops is Changing

July 23, 2015

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Study Shows Quality and Quantity of Crops is Changing

Two new studies from Harvard University reveal how changing environmental conditions around the globe could negatively impact the health of millions of people by altering the quantity and quality of key crops. Two newly published studies from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health reveal Changing environmental conditions around the globe caused by human […]

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Harvard Engineers Create a 3D Printed Autonomous Robot

July 13, 2015

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3D Printed Soft Robot

Using a 3D printer, Harvard engineers have developed one of the first soft robots that moves autonomously. Traditional industrial robots are rigid — mostly metal — as well as fast, precise, and powerful. Their speed and accuracy come at the cost of complexity and can often pose a danger to humans who get too close. […]

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Pulsed Electrical Discharge Producing Nitric Oxide, Can Save Young Lives

July 8, 2015

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New Invention Can Save Young Lives

Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a new device that produces nitric oxide from an electric spark, making treatment affordable and easy for those with persistent pulmonary hypertension. Under certain conditions, this device could replace the current technology that is both costly and cumbersome. Treatment with inhaled nitric oxide (NO) […]

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New Test Diagnoses Ebola in Minutes

July 2, 2015

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A New Test Diagnose Ebola in Minutes

Harvard Medical School researchers and their partners have shown that a new test can accurately diagnose the Ebola virus disease within minutes at the point of care, providing clinicians with on-the-spot information for treating patients and containing outbreaks. Researchers from Harvard Medical School (HMS), Partners In Health, and Boston Children’s Hospital have shown that a […]

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Researchers Create Engineered Particles that Kill Harmful Bacteria

June 25, 2015

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In this illustration, phagemid plasmids infect a targeted bacteria.

Deadly to targeted bacteria, engineered particles known as phagemids have been created to fight bacterial infections with great effectiveness while eliminating harmful side effects of more traditional treatments. 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 […]

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Study Reveals Ancient Climate of Mars Was Cold and Icy

June 16, 2015

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Early Climate of Mars Was Cold and Icy

Using a three-dimensional atmospheric circulation model to compare a water cycle on Mars under different scenarios 3 to 4 billion years ago, researchers at Harvard believe Mars was cold and icy billions of years ago – not warm, wet and Earth-like. Cambridge, Massachusetts – June 16, 2015 – The high seas of Mars may never […]

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Targeting Brain Metastases with Stem Cell Therapy

April 27, 2015

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Targeting Breast to Brain Metastatic Tumor

Researchers have developed an in vivo imageable breast-to-brain metastasis mouse model. Using real time in vivo imaging and subsequent composite fluorescence imaging, they show a widespread distribution of micro- and macro-metastasis in different stages of metastatic progression. Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have developed an “imageable” mouse model of […]

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Implantable Device Allows Doctors to Identify the Best Chemotherapy Agents

April 24, 2015

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Implantable Device Tests Cancer Drugs in Patients

A team of engineers has developed a new implantable device that will allow doctors to test the effectiveness of cancer drugs and to identify drugs that work best for each patient prior to starting systemic administration of chemotherapy. More than 100 drugs have been approved to treat cancer, but predicting which ones will help a […]

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New Study Helps Explain Increased Risk of Diabetes in Shift Workers

April 16, 2015

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New Research Helps Explain Increased Risk of Diabetes in Shift Workers

New research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital links blood sugar and the internal clock, and may help develop and improve strategies for controlling glucose levels in day-active people and night workers. A new study may help explain why glucose tolerance — the ability to regulate blood-sugar levels — is lower at dinner than at breakfast […]

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Researchers Identify a Vital Protein for Brain Development

March 16, 2015

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Researchers Identify a Vital Protein

Researchers from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute have identified a vital protein that can help determine embryonic development. A protein that is necessary for the formation of the vertebrate brain has been identified by researchers at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) and Boston Children’s Hospital, in collaboration with scientists from Oxford and Rio de […]

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New Research Shows How Early Human Ancestors Were Unique

March 10, 2015

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Researchers Show How Early Human Ancestors Were Unique

New research from Harvard University and colleagues from around the globe reveals that the teeth of early hominins grew unlike those of either modern humans or apes, suggesting that neither can serve as a useful proxy for estimating the age or developmental progression of juvenile fossils. For nearly a century, the debate has raged among […]

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