New class of enzymes could lead to bespoke diets, therapeutics

Professor Emily Balskus and her team have identified an entirely new class of enzymes that degrade chemicals essential for neurological health, but also help digest foods like nuts, berries, and tea, releasing nutrients that may impact human health.

Caitlin McDermott-Murphy • harvard
Feb. 18, 2020 ~6 min

Tags:  science-technology  chemistry  diet  cancer  bacteria  parkinsons-disease  basic-research  emily-balskus  chemistry-and-chemical-biology  science  caitlin-mcdermott-murphy  microbiome  vayu-maini-rekdal  microbes  berries  bespoke-diets  chocolate  coffee  dopamine  enzymes  gut  l-dopa  microbiology  nutrition  nuts

How CRISPR technology is advancing

Fewer off-target edits and greater targeting scope bring gene editing technology closer to treating human diseases.

Caitlin McDermott-Murphy • harvard
Feb. 14, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  science-technology  dna  chemistry  crispr  genome  chemistry-and-chemical-biology  rna  gene-editing  broad-institute  caitlin-mcdermott-murphy  cas9  base-editing  base-editors  biotechnology-nature  david-liu  genetic-disease  genetic-engineering  sickle-cell-anemia

New evidence that shows how the brain makes decisions

New technology helps dissect how the brain ignores or acts on information

Caitlin McDermott-Murphy • harvard
Feb. 7, 2020 ~5 min

Tags:  science-technology  physics  chemistry  neuroscience  attention  electricity  basic-research  neurons  chemistry-and-chemical-biology  science  adam-cohen  caitlin-mcdermott-murphy  engineering-technology  optogenetics  sensory-overload

Study likens Earth’s evolution to creation of Frankenstein’s monster

The evolution of the first building blocks on Earth may have been messier than previously thought, likening it to the mishmash creation of Frankenstein’s monster.

Caitlin McDermott-Murphy • harvard
Jan. 28, 2020 ~4 min

Tags:  science-technology  engineering  dna  chemistry  genetics  basic-research  chemistry-and-chemical-biology  jack-szostak  origins-of-life  rna  science  caitlin-mcdermott-murphy  primordial-soup  prebiotic  seohyun-kim

Harvard researchers find gut microbes can lessen effectiveness of medicines

Study published in Science shows that gut microbes can chew up medications, with serious side effects.

Caitlin McDermott-Murphy • harvard
June 19, 2019 ~9 min

Tags:  science-technology  chemistry  parkinsons-disease  fas  emily-balskus  chemistry-and-chemical-biology  graduate-school-of-arts-and-sciences  science  caitlin-mcdermott-murphy  gut-bacteria  microbiome  vayu-maini-rekdal

Harvard chemist teases out why drugs work (or don’t)

Assistant Professor Brian Liau of the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department has answered the question of why some new drugs for acute myeloid leukemia don’t work by combining CRISPR gene editing with small-molecule inhibitor treatments in a technique he calls CRISPR-suppressor scanning.

Caitlin McDermott-Murphy • harvard
May 6, 2019 ~7 min

Tags:  science-technology  chemistry  crispr  chemistry-and-chemical-biology  acute-myeloid-leukemia  aml  brian-liau  leukemia  nature-chemical-biology

Inosine could be a potential route to the first RNA, Harvard study says

In a paper published in PNAS, Jack W. Szostak, professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard, along with graduate student Seohyun (Chris) Kim, suggest that RNA could have started with a different set of nucleotide bases. In place of guanine, RNA could have relied on a surrogate, inosine.

Caitlin McDermott-Murphy • harvard
Dec. 10, 2018 ~4 min

Tags:  science-technology  faculty-of-arts-and-sciences  fas  harvard  chemistry-and-chemical-biology  inosine  jack-szostak  life  origins-of-life  rna  szostak

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