For All Mass General Researchers…

Do you have an idea that you believe has commercial potential? Join B-BIC on Pitch Day. December 9, Wednesday, 2-4 pm, Massachusetts General Hospital, Simches Building, Room 3120, 185 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA.

Schedule a 20-minute session with our team of experts, including Project Managers and Coaches, who will provide industry viewpoints.

You will also learn if B-BIC funding is a good fit for your research. B-BIC is focused on research addressing heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders, conducted in collaboration
with our partner organizations.

To schedule your session, please email Pam Keddy: pkeddy@partners.org

To learn more about B-BIC, including current award recipients, and guidelines for submitting proposals, visit: www.b-bic.org

Wakefield Researcher ‘Seals’ the deal in Antarctica

Massachusetts General Hospital researcher Emmanual Buys, PhD, is part of a collaborative research team that has been working in Antarctica to study the Weddell seal, a mammal that can remain under water for longer than 70 minutes at a depth of 500 meters.

Buys and his team are taking tissue samples from seals to learn more about how adaptations to the mammals’ heart and blood vessel systems have enabled them to regulate the flow of blood throughout their bodies, making it possible to operate without oxygen for long periods of time.

Identifying the details of these strategies could help researchers develop novel therapies for cardiovascular trauma (e.g. stroke, heart attack) and diseases associated with blunted oxygen delivery to tissues (e.g. pneumonia, sepsis, or cancer).

The project is lead collaboratively by Dr. Buys, Allyson Hindle, PhD, and William Zapol, MD, all of whom are from Mass General, and Dan Costa, PhD, at the University of California Santa Cruz.

Research at Massachusetts General Hospital is interwoven throughout more than 30 departments, centers and units across the institution, and conducted with the support and guidance of the Mass General Research Institute.

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Guess what? You’re Only 10% Human

From the University of California research blog:

Is space really the final frontier or are the greatest mysteries closer to home? Researchers estimate that there are more undiscovered microbes on Earth than stars in the sky.
The microbiome is fast becoming an exciting new frontier in human health. That’s because our bodies are made up of a staggering amount of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microbes that make you, well, you. In fact,
you’re only 10 percent human; the rest is this microbial system that lives on your skin, in your mouth, nose, throat, lungs, guts….you get the picture.

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From potentially shaping our personalities to fighting obesity, our microbiomes play a much stronger role in our overall health than we once thought. And it varies from person to person based on diet, health history, ancestry, geographic location and climate. Even those you live with, including your pets, can influence your microbiome.

But there’s a lot that we don’t know about these microbes, which form the pervasive (yet practically invisible) infrastructure of life on Earth.

UC San Diego has created an interdisciplinary initiative on microbial sciences in order to understand microbiomes in a detailed way and to find methods of manipulating them for the benefit of human and environmental health.

“Getting an understanding of what microbial communities there are, how those microbial communities change naturally and how we can specifically alter them in order to benefit either the health of our own bodies or the health our planet holds tremendous potential for revolutionizing a wide range of fields,” biologist Rob Knight explains.

Tumor RNA Within Platelets May Help Diagnose and Classify Cancer, Identify Treatment Strategies

“By combining next-generation-sequencing gene expression profiles of platelet RNA with computational algorithms we developed, we were able to detect the presence of cancer with 96 percent accuracy,” says Bakhos Tannous, PhD, of the MGH Department of Neurology, co-senior author of the Cancer Cell paper along with investigators from VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam.

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Mass. General Team Generates Therapeutic Nitric Oxide From Air with an Electric Spark

“Once we’ve shown that this can safely be used in human patients with pulmonary hypertension – and we’ve got a clinical trial in progress right now – we’ll be able to conduct studies of inhaled NO delivered in ambulatory settings, including patients’ homes, to treat chronic pulmonary hypertension, right-sided heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.”

Warren Zapol, MD
Director, MGH Anesthesia Center for Clinical Care Research

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Studies Reveal How General Anesthesia’s Brain effects Differ in Older Adults and in Children

“We know even less about how anesthetic drugs influence brain activity in children, and the current standard of care for assessing the brain state of children under anesthesia calls only for monitoring vital signs like heart rate and blood pressure. This lack of knowledge is
especially troubling, given recent studies suggesting an association between early childhood surgery requiring general anesthesia and later cognitive problems.”


Patrick Purdon, PhD

Mass General Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine

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