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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

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.”

WBUR

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."

GBH

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

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."

WBUR

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.

Stat

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

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.

Xinhuanet

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

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.”

NPR

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.

Time Magazine

TIME reporter Alice Park writes that in a Nature commentary, an international group of scientists has called for a temporary ban on studies using gene-editing on human embryos. “Our question is, how should nations make decisions about technologies like gene editing going forward?” says Prof. Eric Lander, director of the Broad Institute and one of the authors of the commentary.

Associated Press

Associated Press reporter Malcom Ritter writes that an international team of scientists – including a number of MIT researchers – has called for a moratorium on making babies with genetically engineered DNA. “The moratorium would allow time for discussion of technical, scientific, societal and ethical issues that must be considered,” explains Ritter.

Financial Times

Financial Times reporter Hannah Kuchler writes that researchers from MIT and a number of other institutions have called for a moratorium on editing inheritable human genes. Kuchler writes that the researchers called for the establishment of “an international framework on the conditions in which such editing could be allowed.”