Scientists discover new rules about “runaway” transcription

Findings related to bacterial gene expression overturn fundamental assumptions about basic biological pathways.

Raleigh McElvery | Department of Biology • mit
Sept. 2, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: dna physics genetics bacteria biology rna research school-of-science

The COVID-19 virus can spread through the air – here's what it'll take to detect the airborne particles

Miniaturized laboratory equipment is making it easier to identify airborne pathogens in the field, but there's still work ahead to be able to instantly determine if a room is safe or contaminated.

Shantanu Sur, Associate Professor of Biology, Clarkson University • conversation
Aug. 14, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: dna covid-19 coronavirus pandemic rna sars-cov-2 viruses pathogens star-trek airborne-virus metagenomics next-generation-sequencing pcr

Bringing RNA into genomics

ENCODE consortium identifies RNA sequences that are involved in regulating gene expression.

Anne Trafton | MIT News Office • mit
July 29, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: genetics biology rna research school-of-science

Neural vulnerability in Huntington’s disease tied to release of mitochondrial RNA

Unique survey of gene expression by cell type in humans and mice reveals several deficits affecting the most vulnerable neurons.

David Orenstein | Picower Institute for Learning and Memory • mit
July 21, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: neuroscience rna immunology broad-institute research cells school-of-science brain-and-cognitive-sciences computer-science-and-artificial-intelligence-laboratory-csail picower-institute huntingtons

Team creates vesicles without any lipids

Scientists have created hollow, spherical sacks called vesicles by using protein and RNA, not lipids.

Charlotte Hsu-Buffalo • futurity
July 21, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: physics rna cells proteins science-and-technology


Rapid home-based coronavirus tests are coming together in research labs — we’re working on analyzing spit using advanced CRISPR gene editing techniques

Testing for coronavirus has been a fiasco in the US. But now companies are developing super fast tests, including ones that might eventually be as simple as at home pregnancy tests.

Piyush K. Jain, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, UF Health Cancer Center, University of Florida • conversation
May 20, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: covid-19 coronavirus pandemic rna sars-cov-2 covid-19-testing antibody-testing rt-pcr

Nature-inspired CRISPR enzymes for expansive genome editing

Applied computational biology discoveries vastly expand the range of CRISPR’s access to DNA sequences.

Media Lab • mit
May 19, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: dna crispr covid-19 rna research computational-biology media-lab school-of-architecture-and-planning alumniae genome-editing center-for-bits-and-atoms

SMART researchers receive grant to develop rapid tests for Covid-19

Using engineered binder proteins to detect viral proteins or antibodies rather than RNA, new tests may overcome current challenges in testing for SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology • mit
May 19, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: health public-health covid-19 pandemic rna disease research proteins school-of-engineering grants singapore-mit-alliance-for-research-and-technology-smart

MicroRNAs: the 'junk' genetic material with huge potential to fight cancer and dementia

Tiny parts of our genome once thought useless are being turned into ways to diagnose and treat disease.

Alice Godden, PhD Candidate in Developmental Biology, University of East Anglia • conversation
May 18, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: alzheimers-disease cancer dementia rna

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