A promising relationship in technology research advancement has been made between Harvard University and Deerfield Management, a healthcare investment firm. The alliance was established to speed the development of research-to-treatments that can help improve quality of life, specifically in the health and medical sciences. Lab1636, a newly launched company, has been created as a result of the partnership with an initial investment of $100 million. Deerfield Management has chosen Harvard University as the collaborating associate, admiring their commitment to scientific discovery in the health sciences and the encouraging environment the university provides researchers.Read More
People with progressive blindness conditions, such as retinitis pigmentosa, may see renewed hope for keeping their vision longer thanks to scientists at Harvard Medical School.Read More
Hypothalamic neurons orchestrate many essential physiological and behavioral processes via secreted neuropeptides, and are relevant to human diseases such as obesity, narcolepsy and infertility. A recent collaboration of scientists from New York, Toronto, and Tokyo, and Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers have devised two methods for using stem cells to generate the type of neurons that help regulate behavioral and basic physiological functions in the human body, such as obesity and hypertension, as well as sleep, mood, and some social disorders.Read More
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center recently announced that it will be giving $9 million in grants to Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital to update research labs. Harvard Medical School will be receiving $5 million of the money and plans to use the research funding to create a Laboratory of Systems Pharmacology, which will be multidisciplinary in nature and will help to supply better information on clinical trials while drugs are in the process of development. Boston Children's Hospital will use the $4 million it receives from the state to establish the Children’s Center for Cell Therapy, which will include renovating labs to create specialized stem cell culturing facilities.
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By now we all know that DNA is an informational molecule encoding the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms and many viruses (Wikipedia). But very recently, Harvard University bio engineers at the Wyss Institute have shown that deoxyribonucleic acid can also be used as a tool. Specifically, two teams have published eye-opening studies on using DNA creatively to:
At the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, in the Longwood medical neighborhood in Boston, researchers have reached a biotech milestone with tremendous potential for future drug testing and development. Instead of resorting to animals for testing, they may soon be using a simulated organ that lives on a chip. It has mechanical and biological (cellular) parts, and yes, it breathes, thanks to a vacuum system that pumps air through. The bio-inspired micro-device has gone through several tests recently to assess its accuracy in mimicking the human lung when bacteria or potentially toxic drugs are introduced. Results: Positive. The lung-on-a-chip replicates responses found in animal models and observations of human lung function. Indeed, because the device uses human lung and blood vessel cells, it acts may act more like a lung in a human body than lab animals.
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We've heard about the Golden Fleece Awards (vilifying seemingly-obscure science research) and the Golden Goose Awards (lauding seemingly-obscure science research) more than a little often in this year of threatened federal science budget cuts, but that's more politics than anything else. It certainly isn't half as much fun as the infamous and much-laughed-with Ig Nobel Prizes, given out yearly in honor of improbable research so absurd-sounding we can't help but love it. At this year's awards ceremony, held last Thursday night at Harvard University, 10 unlikely science research projects received their due respect (and a few guffaws) at the hands of genuinely bemused genuine Nobel laureates.
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It's getting to the point where there's less and less relevant distinction to be made between life science and physical science research. It was clearer when one lab had petri dishes and the other had circuitboards, but what happens when you have both? That's the case in the Harvard University labs of chemist Charles Lieber and his medical school colleague Daniel Kohane, where the bio research team has successfully created living tissue embedded with tiny nanowires capable of running an electrical current so subtle that it does not harm the tissue cells. These 3D bioelectronic structures could potentially both relay complex information about what's going on inside the tissue and receive signals from an outside source such as instructions for repairs. Several news outlets are calling it cyborg tissue and envision its future use in implants, prosthetics, or even some kind of therapeutic microbot. More immediately it will most likely be used for drug testing in labs, as a precursor to animal or human trials.
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"There has been a feeling in the field that exercise 'talks to' various tissues in the body, but the question has been, how?"
In yesterday's blog we referenced the findings of a study of established and emerging life science clusters in the United States. That Life Sciences Cluster Report, produced by Jones Lange LaSalle (JLL, a financial and professional services firm specializing in real estate services and investment management) was the basis of an analysis by GEN Magazine's editor that we cited. Today we're looking at the JLL report directly, which ranks the top 16 US life science regions and pinpoints the top markets for real estate expansion in such industries as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical device technology, agricultural biotechnology and biofuels.