New drug-detecting tool could help save lives

The landscape of the illegal drug trade changes constantly, particularly amid the current opioid crisis. Law-enforcement officers regularly find or confiscate pills, powders, and other substances and need to know their composition as quickly as possible to determine legal charges and sometimes to issue lifesaving warnings. Carfentanil is a case in point. This cousin to […]

Caitlin McDermott-Murphy | Nov. 13, 2019 | harvard
~7 mins   

Tags: health-medicine basic-research caitlin-mcdermott-murphy cambridge carfentanil chemistry christoffer-abrahamsson dea drug-analysis drug-enforcement-administration engineering-technology fas fentanyl forensic-science george-whitesides law-enforcement opioid-epidemic

Better delivery system for sending chemo to cancerous lung tissue

A new technique called ELeCt (erythrocyte-leveraged chemotherapy) can transport drug-loaded nanoparticles into cancerous lung tissue by mounting them on the body’s own red blood cells.

Lindsay Brownell | Nov. 13, 2019 | harvard
~8 mins   

Tags: science-technology basic-research biodegradable-polymer cancer chemotherapy elect engineering erythrocyte-leveraged-chemotherapy john-a-paulson-school-of-engineering-and-applied-sciences lung-cancer trojan-horse wyss-institute-for-biologically-inspired-engineering

Evolution more complex than ‘survival of the fittest’ had us believe

By re-barcoding the DNA of yeast, researchers were able to follow evolution for approximately 1,000 generations, finding surprises along the way.

Clea Simon | Nov. 13, 2019 | harvard
~4 mins   

Tags: science-technology alex-n-nguyen-ba barcoding dna evolution ivana-cvijovic michael-desai organismic-and-evolutionary-biology physics yeast


How the brain regulates variability in motor functions

Research suggests that errors resulting from variability in motor function are a feature, not a bug, of our nervous system and play a critical role in learning.

Leah Burrows | Nov. 7, 2019 | harvard
~5 mins   

Tags: science-technology basic-research motor-function nervous-system regulate-variability variability

Exercise found to block chronic inflammation in mice

A new study identifies a molecular connection between exercise and inflammation that takes place in the bone marrow and highlights a previously unappreciated role of leptin in exercise-mediated cardiovascular protection.

Harvard Gazette | Nov. 7, 2019 | harvard
~4 mins   

Tags: health-medicine artery-clogging-blockages basic-research chronic-inflammation heart-disease hematopoietic-stem hspc leptin leukocytes

Physical activity may protect those at risk for depression

After mining millions of electronic health record data points, researchers found people who were more physically active at baseline were less likely to develop depression, even after accounting for genetic risks.

Harvard Gazette | Nov. 5, 2019 | harvard
~5 mins   

Tags: health-medicine depression exercise genetic-risk harvard-th-chan-school-of-public-health massachusetts-general-hospital partners-healthcare-biobank


Gene variant may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease

A new study provides insights on why some people may be more resistant to Alzheimer’s disease than others.

Harvard Gazette | Nov. 4, 2019 | harvard
~5 mins   

Tags: health-medicine alzheimers-disease dementia gene-variants tau-pathology

First flight of RoboBee powered by soft muscles

Researchers have developed a resilient RoboBee powered by soft artificial muscles that can crash into walls, fall onto the floor, and collide with other RoboBees without being damaged.

Leah Burrows | Nov. 4, 2019 | harvard
~5 mins   

Tags: science-technology harvard-john-a-paulson-school-of-engineering-and-applied-science harvard-microrobotics-laboratory robobee soft-actuator

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