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New Scientist

Researchers at the McGovern and Broad Institutes have developed a bacterial "nanosyringe" that can inject large proteins into specific cells in the body, which could lead to safer and more effective treatments for a variety of conditions, including cancer, reports Michael Le Page for New Scientist. “The fact that this can load a diversity of different payloads of different sizes makes it unique amongst protein delivery devices,” says graduate student Joseph Kreitz.

Scientific American

Ingrid Wickelgren at Scientific American highlights a new study from researchers at the McGovern and Broad Institutes, in which they used a bacterial ‘nanosyringe’ to inject large proteins into human cells. “The syringe technology also holds promise for treating cancer because it can be engineered to attach to receptors on certain cancer cells,” writes Wickelgren.     

Fast Company

Sean Hunt PhD ’16, M. Eng ’13 and Gaurab Chakrabarti co-founded Solugen after discovering a way to make chemicals from corn syrup instead of fossil fuels, reports Adele Peters for Fast Company. “Based on a detailed analysis of current products, the company estimates that it could theoretically produce 90% of the chemicals that are now produced by fossil fuels,” writes Peters.


WCVB reporter Jessica Brown shares the story of Heather Walker, vice president of public relations for the Boston Celtics, who is currently enrolled in a MIT glioblastoma research study. The team of MIT researchers are examining “the tumor’s DNA, looking for gene mutations and abnormal proteins that make it unique,” says Brown. “With that information, the group designs a custom vaccine that trains the body’s immune system to recognize the cancerous cells and attack them.”


MIT researchers have created an app that translates proteins into music, reports Eva Amsen of Forbes. This method could potentially be used to “make it easier to process very subtle changes that would be less obvious if you looked at the data visually,” Amsen explains.

Science Friday

Prof. Markus Buehler speaks with Ira Flatow of Science Friday about his research, which attempts to better understand and create new proteins by translating them into music. Buehler explains that they were able to listen to proteins after discovering that “amino acids have a unique frequency spectrum which we could then make audible using a concept of transposition.”


Diana Cai writes for STAT about Prof. Markus Buehler’s new research to turn amino acids into music. “Buehler thinks the technology could help in understanding genetic diseases caused by misfolded proteins,” writes Cai, noting that, “AI may conceivably ‘hear’ patterns of misfolding that could distinguish dangerous mutations from harmless ones.”


In a new study, Prof. Markus Buehler converted 20 types of amino acids into a 20-tone scale to create musical compositions. “Those altered compositions were converted back into a conceptual amino acid chain, which enabled the team to generate variations of proteins that have never been seen in nature,” writes Becky Ferreira for Motherboard.

United Press International (UPI)

MIT researchers have developed a sensor capable of detecting single protein molecules, reports Brooks Hays for UPI. The sensor could be used “to aid efforts to better understand disease and develop drugs. The array could even help scientists engineer human cells to produce therapeutic proteins.”