Democratizing high-throughput single molecule force analysis

Now, a research team led by Wesley Wong has made a major advance by developing an inexpensive method that permits analysis of the force responses of thousands of similar molecules simultaneously.

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DNA breaks in nerve cells' ancestors cluster in specific genes

Study reveals new avenue for thinking about brain development, brain tumors and neurodevelopmental/psychiatric diseases

Microptosis: Programmed death for microbes?

Over the last couple of years Judy Lieberman’s lab has uncovered evidence for what could be an evolutionarily ancient form of immune defense directed against intracellular pathogens. In a 2014 Cell paper, her lab revealed that the immune system’s T-cells can kill intracellular bacteria directly by pummeling infected cells with three proteins: perforin, granulysin and granzymes

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Putting structure around the genetic basis of some immune diseases

In a recent Cell paper, a team led by Hao Wu, PhD, used electronic microscopy to reveal how RAG1 and 2 interact at a structural level, both with each other and with DNA.

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Sequence-Intrinsic Mechanisms that Target AID Mutational Outcomes on Antibody Genes

Researchers in Dr. Fred Alt's laboratory used a novel in vivo mouse model system to resolve longstanding questions regarding the influence of DNA sequences on AID targeting and mutational outcomes during antibody diversification.

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Improved cell cloning technique makes the jump from mice to humans

In a new paper in Cell Stem Cell, Dr. Yi Zhang's team report that they’ve extended their work to improve the efficiency of SCNT in human cells.

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Genomic loops keep genes and enzymes on track and out of trouble

A study, reported in Cell, of where and how an enzyme cuts DNA may have inadvertently revealed a basic principle of gene regulation. This study suggests that the cell can lock or "sandbox" genes and enzymes that act on them within loops of DNA and protein, confining their activity to minimize the risk of genetic disaster.

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A bias towards efficiency in antibody class switching

A team in Frederick Alt's laboratory, led by Junchao Dong, Rohit A. Panchakshari, and Tingting Zhang, have made important strides towards resolving a long-standing question about how different classes of antibodies are made.

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How our neutrophils might sabotage wound healing in diabetes

Delayed wound healing in people with type 1 or 2 diabetes can be caused by complications such as reduced blood flow, neuropathy and impaired signaling between cells. According to research by Denisa Wagner, PhD, a poorly understood feature of our immune system’s neutrophils may be one more ingredient in the storm.

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The Art of Endocytosis

An 880-pound digital media sculpture, "Absorption", by artist Rudolfo Quintas, is the result of discussions had with Dr. Tomas Kirchhausen, Principal Investigator in the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and Professor Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School, regarding the essential cellular process of endocytosis.

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When HIV and TB coexist: Digging into the roots of IRIS

Millions of people worldwide suffer from co-infection with tuberculosis (TB) and HIV. While prompt antibiotic and antiretroviral treatment can be a recipe for survival, over the years, physicians have noticed something: two or three weeks after starting antiretrovirals, about 30 percent of co-infected patients get worse.

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Can breast cancer cells tell each other to metastasize?

Not all cancer cells are created equal. To call a cancer a cancer, in the singular, is something of a misnomer. A patient could be said to have cancers, as every tumor is actually a mixture of cells with different mutations and capabilities. One of those capabilities is the ability to escape the main tumor and spread, or metastasize, to other sites in the body.

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A simpler way to measure complex biochemical interactions

Life teems with interactions. Proteins bind. Bonds form between atoms, and break. Enzymes cut. Drugs attach to cell receptors. DNA hybridizes. Those interactions make the processes of life work, and capturing them has led to many medical advances.

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Featured News Story

Democratizing high-throughput single molecule force analysis

Democratizing high-throughput single molecule force analysis

From the tension of contracting muscle fibers to hydrodynamic stresses within flowing blood, molecules within our bodies are subject to a wide variety of mechanical forces that directly influence their form and function. By analyzing the responses of single molecules under conditions where they experience such forces we can develop a better understanding of many biological processes, and potentially, develop more accurately acting drugs. But up until now experimental analysis of single molecule interactions under force have been expensive, tedious and difficult to perform because it requires use of sophisticated equipment, such as an atomic force microscope or optical tweezers, which only permit analysis of one molecule at a time.

Now, a research team led by Wesley Wong has made a major advance by developing an inexpensive method that permits analysis of the force responses of thousands of similar molecules simultaneously.… Read More »


Dr. Huan Chen Received the Career Development Fellowship from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Dr. Huan Chen Received the Career Development Fellowship…

During this fellowship Dr. Chen, a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Fred Alt, will elucidate the mechanistic components and physiologic function of alternative… Read More »

Fred Alt Received Willian Silen Lifetime Achivement in Mentoring Award from Harvard Medical School

Fred Alt Received Willian Silen Lifetime Achivement…

Dr. Frederick W. Alt received William Silen Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award from Harvard Medical School in recognition of Dr. Alt's impact on professional development… Read More »

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