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Tiny organoids on a thumb

Weekend Links

We’ve hand-picked a mix of Massachusetts General Hospital and other research-related news and stories for your weekend reading enjoyment: Tiny Marvels – Miniature versions of organs help scientists understand disease and fine-tune treatments in ways that work in mice can’t match. Global C-Section Rates on the Rise – Caesarean section rates have increased in most countries during the past ...

Could the Microbiome be the Key to Ending Chemotherapy-Induced Pain?

Most of us have experienced the odd sensation of “pins and needles” in our hands or feet. While annoying and painful, the sensation usually goes away quickly. But for many people with peripheral neuropathy, a disorder involving increased sensitivity of nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord, this experience may linger for months to ...

Faherty Hopes to Stop Shigella from Wreaking Havoc in the Digestive System

A research team at Massachusetts General Hospital is hoping to create new treatments for shigellosis, a potentially fatal digestive disorder, by factoring in genetic changes that occur in Shigella bacteria during the journey through the human digestive system. From a human perspective, there is a lot to dislike about Shigella. The more you learn about these infection-causing microbes, ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Quote from Dr. Szostak, 2009 Nobel Laureate

It’s important to recognize that despite all the problems we have, this is still a great time to be doing science. There are unbelievable advances being made, and incredible new technologies that allow us to make discoveries that we couldn’t even dream about 20 years ago. So it may be harder in some respects, but ...

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Newly Identified Gene Variants that Modify the Onset of Huntington’s Disease Could Lead to New Therapeutics

Researchers from the Mass General Research Institute have used an innovative approach to pinpoint two locations on the human genome that influence the rate at which Huntington’s disease (HD), a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder, develops in those carrying the HD gene defect. By studying the samples from more than 4,000 HD patients, researchers were able to identify two genetic variants in ...