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Biomedicine

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Stat

STAT reporter Alissa Ambrose spotlights the Koch Institute’s annual image awards, “which includes colorful images of micro needles, brain cells, and so-called mini livers.” Ambrose notes that the pictures are “stunning visualizations of life sciences and biomedical research being conducted to find treatments and cures for cancer.”

C&EN

In an article for C&EN, Marsha-Ann Watson explores what inspired Prof. Paula Hammond, head of MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering, to pursue a career in engineering, how her research at MIT has evolved to focus on biomedical applications and the importance of inclusivity and diversity. Hammond recalls how her first female science teacher inspired her love of chemistry: “I learned that I loved chemistry and that I could actually use that interest to perhaps create things,” she explains.

Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Peter Coy spotlights how the loss of several people close to Prof. Andrew Lo inspired him to explore how the field of finance could help advance treatments for orphan diseases. “Finance plays a huge role, sometimes way too big a role, in how drugs get developed,” says Lo. Fixing the financing model, could have a “tremendous, tremendous impact on health care.”

Health Europa

Researchers from the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology have “discovered a way to increase antimicrobial sensitivity in bacteria by exposing them to hydrogen sulphide (H2S),” reports Health Europa.

Stat

Writing for STAT, Eric Boodman highlights how Prof. Jing-Ke Weng’s lab at the Whitehead Institute has mapped the genome of a firefly in an effort to understand how fireflies acquired the ability to glow. The researchers hope their findings will eventually be used to develop “better laboratory tools for studying disease and developing treatments.”

Forbes

MIT researchers found that the effectiveness of the chemotherapy drug methotrexate increases when supplemented with a common dietary amino acid, writes Victoria Forster of Forbes. Prof. David Sabatini, a co-author on the study, “is hopeful about the prospects for supplementation improving the therapy in the future,” says Forster. 

Financial Times

Co-founded by Prof. Feng Zheng, Beam Therapeutics, which uses CRISPR to treat disease, has secured $87 million in initial funding, reports Clive Cookson for Financial Times. Beam is the first company to use base editing, which changes the chemical “letters” of genetic code without cutting it, similar to “moving from scissors-and-paste to editing text with a sharp pencil,” explains Cookson. 

Stat

STAT reporter Kate Sheridan spotlights the 2017 Koch Institute Image Awards, which aim to recognize visual images produced through life sciences and biomedical research. Sheridan notes that the competition shows “everyone how beautiful biology can be — no microscope required.”

BetaBoston

The Broad Institute is teaming up with Google to “create a simpler way to help far-flung scientists pursue their own research online,” reports Robert Weisman for BetaBoston. “Our mission is to empower the biomedical revolution that’s happening around the world,” explains Prof. Eric Lander, founding director of the Broad Institute. 

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Jack Newsham writes about a new study, co-authored by Professor Ernst Berndt, which found that “the costs of making and selling new drugs from 2005 through 2009 outstripped the revenue drug companies made from them by an average of $26 million each.”

The Wall Street Journal

Ed Silverman writes for The Wall Street Journal about a new MIT study showing that drug development costs are outweighing profitability. “There has been a lot of focus on the risk of R&D and bringing a drug to market, but not really on what happens to drugs once they are on the market,” explains Prof. Ernst Berndt. 

Boston Globe

Led by Professor Eric Alm, a team of researchers plans to analyze sewage in Cambridge to screen for data on disease and drug use, reports Michael Fitzgerald for The Boston Globe. “Sewage is really an unexploited source of rich information about human activities,” says Alm.

Boston Magazine

Andrea Timpano of Boston Magazine reports on the new biodegradable nanoscale film developed by MIT researchers. The film could be used to deliver long-lasting medication for patients suffering from chronic pain.