Harvard University News

Scientists Create the First 3D Maps of Entire Folded Genomes

December 15, 2014

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The First High-Resolution 3D Maps of Entire Folded Genomes

A team of researchers has created the first 3D maps of entire folded genomes, identifying approximately 10,000 folding loops in the human genome. In a triumph for cell biology, researchers have assembled the first high-resolution, 3-D maps of entire folded genomes and found a structural basis for gene regulation, a kind of “genomic origami” that […]

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A Pill to Shed Fat? Researchers Turn White Fat Cells Into Brown Fat Cells

December 10, 2014

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Researchers Turn White Fat Cells into Brown Fat Cells

Scientists from Harvard have created a system using human stem cells to screen for compounds that have the potential to turn white fat cells into brown fat cells. Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers have taken what they describe as “the first step toward a pill that can replace the treadmill” for the control of […]

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Injectable, Spontaneously Assembling Vaccines Could Fight Cancer

December 9, 2014

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New Injectable 3D Vaccines Could Fight Cancer

A newly published study from the Wyss Institute and Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences shows that programmable biomaterials can be delivered using needle injection to induce an immune response to fight cancer and infectious diseases. Cambridge, Massachusetts — One of the reasons cancer is so deadly is that it can evade attack from […]

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Researchers Uncover an Easily Detectable Precancerous State in Blood

December 4, 2014

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Researchers Uncovered a Detectable Precancerous State in Blood

Two newly published studies detail the discovery of a precancerous state found in blood, paving the way for research that focuses on detection and prevention of blood cancers. Researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Harvard Medical School, the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI), and Harvard-affiliated hospitals have uncovered an easily detectable, “premalignant” […]

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Greater Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet Has Impact on Aging

December 4, 2014

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Mediterranean Diet has Impact on Aging

New research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital is the first study to link women, Mediterranean diet, and biomarkers of aging, revealing that greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet correlated with longer telomeres. The Mediterranean diet consistently has been linked with an array of health benefits, including decreased risk of chronic disease and cancer. Until now, […]

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The Rapid-Fire Evolution of Green Anoles

November 13, 2014

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Native Lizards Show Rapid Fire Evolution

A newly published study from Harvard University found that in just 20 generations in 15 years green anoles evolved larger toe pads equipped with more sticky scales to allow for better climbing. Though it’s often portrayed as a process that takes place over thousands of years, under the right circumstances the evolution of enhanced traits […]

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New Gene-Editing Technique Could Prove to be an Effective Technique for Blocking HIV

November 11, 2014

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Researchers Genetically Edit Human Blood Stem Cells

Using CRISPR Cas technology, researchers genetically ‘edit’ human blood stem cells to create what could prove to be an effective technique for blocking HIV. Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers at Massachusetts General (MGH) and Boston Children’s hospitals (BCH) for the first time have used a relatively new gene-editing technique to create what could prove […]

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Scientists Come Together to Reveal Cancer’s Strategies

November 5, 2014

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Scientists Come Together to Reveal Cancer’s Strategies

In a new study, a group of scientists detail how they fused the power of statistical physics and artificial intelligence into a mathematical toolkit that can turn cancer-mutation data into multidimensional models that show how specific mutations alter the social networks of proteins in cells. While this may sound like the setup to some late-night […]

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New TLP Coating Repels Blood and Bacteria

October 24, 2014

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New Coating for Medical Devices Repels Blood and Bacteria

Using materials already approved by the FDA, Harvard engineers have developed a new surface coating for medical devices that repels blood and suppresses biofilm formation. Most any medical device implanted in the body — or one that comes into contact with flowing blood, such as a dialysis machine — may also present two critical challenges […]

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Hearing Restored in Noise-Deafened Mice

October 21, 2014

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Scientists Restore Hearing in Mice

Using advanced tools to boost the production of a key protein in the ears of mice, a team of scientists has restored the hearing of mice partly deafened by noise. By demonstrating the importance of the protein, called NT3, in maintaining communication between the ears and brain, these new findings pave the way for research […]

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New Research Reveals That Trade is a Major Driver of Biodiversity

October 7, 2014

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Lizard Study Shows Trade is a Force in Biodiversity

A newly published study shows that trade is one of the major drivers of biodiversity among lizard species in the Caribbean islands, finding that the amount of trade an island receives can explain to a large extent the number of invasive species on an island. It may be a cliché to say it, but the […]

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Study Shows Coffee Drinking Habits Shaped by DNA Variations

October 7, 2014

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Research Reveals Coffee Drinking Habits Shaped by Genetic Variations

A study by the international Coffee and Caffeine Genetics Consortium looked at DNA samples and data sets from the coffee-drinking habits of 120,000 people of European and African-American ancestry, providing insight on why caffeine affects people differently, and how these effects influence coffee-drinking behavior. An international research team has found six new genes underlying our […]

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Theorists Find a New Way to Improve Solar Cell Efficiency

September 24, 2014

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Theorists Discover a New Way to Improve Solar Cell Efficiency

Researchers at MIT and Harvard have discovered a way of rendering excitons immune to getting stuck in minuscule defects as they hop through a material, which could possibly lead to improving efficiency in photovoltaic devices. A major limitation in the performance of solar cells happens within the photovoltaic material itself: When photons strike the molecules […]

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Chimps Engage in Violent Behavior Regardless of Human Effects on Local Ecology

September 19, 2014

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Study Shows Deadly Violence a Natural Tendency in Chimps

Using data collected from 18 chimpanzee research sites, a newly published study shows that chimps engage in violent and sometimes lethal behavior regardless of human effects on local ecology. For decades, scientists studying chimpanzees in the wild have noted the ways our closest relatives are similar to humans — they form tightly knit social groups, […]

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Programmable Biofilm-Based Materials That Self-Assemble

September 18, 2014

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Researchers Use Biofilms to Create Self-Healing Materials

A newly published study details how researchers at Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University are using biofilms to create self-healing materials and other technologies. For many people, biofilms conjure up images of slippery stones in streambeds or dirty drains. A team at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University […]

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