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Immunology

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Los Angeles Times

Writing for The Boston Globe, Prof. Edward Scolnick and La Jolla Institute for Immunology Prof. Erica Ollmann Saphire share their insights on the future and potential challenges in developing a universal Covid-19 vaccine. “Success will require two principles that the world has not yet sufficiently grasped in fighting this virus: a focus on the long term over the short term, and a sustainable structure and support for collaboration,” write Scolnick and Saphire.

Nature

Nature reporter Eric Bender spotlights MIT startup Kytopen, which has developed a microfluidic platform to create induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and other forms of cell therapy. We want to do minimally invasive surgery,” says Kytopen co-founder Prof. Cullen Buie.

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.”

CBC News

MIT researchers have found that some inactive ingredients in medications could play a role in triggering irritation or allergic reactions, reports Bob McDonald for CBC Radio. The researchers hope that, “pharmaceutical companies provide more information to doctors, and that alternative drug formulas can be developed for people with allergies or sensitivities.”

Stat

Prof. Giovanni Traverso speaks with STAT reporter Shraddha Chakradhar about a study examining how the inactive substances in most medications could trigger a patient’s allergies and intolerances. “As you start taking more and more tablets, then you are also taking more and more of some of these ingredients,” says Traverso. “We want to raise awareness that these ingredients are there.”

NBC News

NBC News reporter Linda Caroll writes about a new study by MIT researchers showing that inactive ingredients in medications could lead to adverse reactions in some patients. The researchers found that some of the inactive ingredients “can worsen symptoms in people with conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS.”

Gizmodo

Gizmodo reporter Ed Cara writes about a study by MIT researchers have finds “inactive” ingredients in pills could trigger a patient’s allergies or intolerances. “We’re not saying that everyone should stop taking these medications,” explains Prof. Giovanni Traverso. “But people with an allergy or intolerance should definitely have the opportunity to find out if they have to worry about certain medications.”

NPR

MIT researchers have found that many pills contain “inactive” ingredients that could be troublesome for patients, reports Richard Harris for NPR. Prof. Giovanni Traverso explains that if a patient with lactose intolerance takes a pill containing lactose, “it's probably not going to manifest in any significant symptoms. But as the number of pills you're taking [increases], then certainly you might cross that threshold."

Associated Press

AP reporter Lauran Neergaard writes that a new study by MIT researchers finds that pills often contain “inactive” ingredients capable of causing allergic or gastrointestinal reactions. The researchers found that “it’s hard for those patients, or even their doctors, to tell if a pill contains an extra ingredient they should avoid,” Neergaard explains.

Stat

STAT reporter Orly Nadell Farber writes about a new study by MIT researchers that shows glaucoma might be caused by T-cells, an integral component of the human body’s immune system, attacking retinal cells. Farber explains that, “this discovery could unlock a critical new door for treatment options.”

United Press International (UPI)

A new study by MIT researchers provides evidence that glaucoma may be caused by an autoimmune disease, according to a HealthDay News piece published by UPI. “Further research will try to determine whether other parts of the immune system play a role in glaucoma, and whether autoimmunity is a factor in degenerative brain diseases.”

Nature

Prof. Li-Huei Tsai found that use of a small flickering light could prevent plaque-forming proteins in the brains of mice - a practice that has potential to combat Alzheimer’s disease. “The work offers the possibility of forestalling or even reversing the damage caused by such conditions without using a drug,” writes Helen Thomson for Nature.

Slate

A new study co-authored by researchers at the Broad Institute examines how exposure to microbes during childhood can impact the development of immune systems, reports Elissa Strauss for Slate. The researchers found that “while our individual habits are a factor in autoimmune disorders, they’re hardly the only cause.”

PBS NewsHour

The PBS NewsHour's Rebecca Jacobson reports on Professor Dennis Kim's work studying how worms defend themselves against bacteria. Through this work, Kim believes he can gain a better understanding of the human immune system.