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 | Feb. 18, 2020 | harvard
~6 mins   

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

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 | Feb. 14, 2020 | harvard
~7 mins   

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


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 | Jan. 28, 2020 | harvard
~4 mins   

Tags: science-technology primordial-soup basic-research caitlin-mcdermott-murphy chemistry chemistry-and-chemical-biology dna engineering genetics jack-szostak origins-of-life prebiotic rna science 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 | June 19, 2019 | harvard
~9 mins   

Tags: science-technology caitlin-mcdermott-murphy chemistry chemistry-and-chemical-biology emily-balskus fas graduate-school-of-arts-and-sciences gut-bacteria microbiome parkinsons-disease science 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 | May 6, 2019 | harvard
~7 mins   

Tags: science-technology acute-myeloid-leukemia aml brian-liau chemistry chemistry-and-chemical-biology crispr 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 | Dec. 10, 2018 | harvard
~4 mins   

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

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 | Dec. 10, 2018 | harvard
~4 mins   

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

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