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Boston 25 News

Prof. James Collins speaks with Boston 25 reporter Julianne Lima about the growing issue of antibiotic resistant bacteria and his work using AI to identify new antibiotics. Collins explains that a new platform he developed with Prof. Regina Barzilay uncovered “a host of new antibiotics including one that we call halicin that has remarkable activity against multi drug-resistant pathogens.”

The Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, Prof. Eric Lander, president and founding director of the Broad Institute, argues that the U.S. needs to take steps to ensure that "science benefits society and society trusts science…In the 2020s, the decision-making must include a much wider range of people, who will need to be prepared to grapple thoughtfully with hard choices.”

Associated Press

AP reporter Mark Pratt writes that the Broad Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital are launching a “six-month study of 10,000 people to help them better understand the prevalence of COVID-19 in the area and to help identify potential surges during the fall and winter.

The Boston Globe

The Broad Institute and Brigham and Women’s are launching a large-scale research study aimed at testing people for Covid-19 at home, reports Travis Anderson and Emily Sweeney for The Boston Globe. The initiative will “provide information on the prevalence of the virus in the area and could offer an early warning sign of a surge of new cases in the fall and winter,” Sweeney and Anderson explain.


WBUR’s Carey Goldberg chronicles how the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard is processing over 70,000 Covid-19 tests a day for Massachusetts nursing homes, hot spots and over 100 colleges. Goldberg notes that the Broad’s testing capacity, “is now allowing thousands of college students to be on campus across the region.”


A CRISPR-based diagnostic test for Covid-19 developed by researchers from MIT and the Broad Institute could produce results within an hour, reports Deborah Becker for WBUR. "Using these technologies will really allow for much more rapid testing — down from days to sometimes less than an hour," said McGovern fellow Jonathan Gootenberg. "That would enable a drastic change in how the tracing and handling of the pandemic is done."


Prof. Sinan Aral speaks with GBH’s Arun Rath about his study showing that a lack of coordination between states on their reopening plans can lead to an influx in Covid-19 cases. Rath also spotlights the Broad Institute’s work processing over 1.5 million diagnostic tests for coronavirus since March 25.

Boston Globe

On Sunday, August 30th, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard performed its one-millionth test for Covid-19, reports Jonathan Saltzman for The Boston Globe. “Six months after the nonprofit institute in Cambridge began testing for the coronavirus to help overwhelmed laboratories and hospitals, the Broad reached the landmark as technicians, many of them recently hired, work around the clock,” writes Saltzman.


WBUR’s Carey Goldberg explores how MIT researchers developed a new CRISPR-based research tool that can be used to detect Covid-19. "A lot of things that we try fail," says research scientist Jonathan Gootenberg. "And that’s OK. Because sometimes you find these things that are really, really awesome."


Reporting for WBUR, Carey Goldberg highlights how MIT researchers have developed a new RNA editing tool that could be used to tweak a gene that raises the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. As the effects of RNA editing are not permanent, “it's almost like a small, pill-like version of gene therapy,” explains research scientist and McGovern Fellow Omar Abudayyeh.


Broad Institute postdoctoral associate Joshua Weinstein has developed a DNA microscope that allows researchers to investigate the locations and identity of DNA molecules, reports Sharon Begley for STAT. “Weinstein has so far used it to image human cancer cell lines and plans to apply the technology to tumors and the immune cells that infiltrate them,” writes Begley, “which might one day guide immunotherapy.”


Axios reporter Eileen Drage O’Reilly highlights how Prof. Feng Zhang and his colleagues have developed a new system that uses “jumping genes” to improve the accuracy of gene editing. “This is filling a gap we couldn't address before, to be able to insert DNA into the genome," says Zhang of the ability to insert large genomes in a directed way.


Researchers from MIT and other institutions have developed a new model for autism research that could enable new therapies and treatments, reports the Xinhua news agency. The model could “provide a basis for a deeper understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms of autism and the development of more transformative therapeutics.”


STAT reporter Sharon Begley writes that Prof. Feng Zhang and his colleagues have turned “a jumping gene — aka a transposon, or mobile genetic element — into a mini TaskRabbit gig worker: With an assist from CRISPR enzymes, it zips over to the part of the genome whose address it is given and delivers a package of DNA, pronto.”


Dr. Sekar Kathiresan, a member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, speaks with NPR’s Richard Harris about his work on an experimental genetic scan that could identify people who are likely to become severely overweight. “This work hopefully will destigmatize obesity and make it very similar to every other disease, which is a combination of both lifestyle and genetics,” said Kathiresan.