Dissecting cancer complexity across space and time

by Jackson Weirfigures by Jasmin Joseph-Chazan Why is cancer so difficult to cure? Why do available treatments only help a subset of patients? Why are some cancers more aggressive than others? These are questions that clinicians, scientists, and the public have pondered for generations. As it turns out, the answers are complicated because cancer biology is complicated. Luckily, new tools and technologies are helping us … Continue reading Dissecting cancer complexity across space and time

Solving Scientific Problems by Asking Diverse Questions

by Piyush Nandafigures by Shreya Mantri Gravity has been apparent for thousands of years: Aristotle, for example, proposed that objects fall to settle into their natural place in 4th century BC. But it was not until around 1900, when Issac Newton explained gravity using mathematical equations, that we really understood the phenomenon. Why didn’t thinkers before Newton think about gravity the way he did? Scientific … Continue reading Solving Scientific Problems by Asking Diverse Questions

Viral Fossil Records: A Look into the Past! (and the Future?)

by Misha Guptafigures by Xiaomeng Han For close to two centuries, humans have been studying the biological past using fossil records. In recent history, we have added the ability to reconstruct the sequence of our DNA to our arsenal. Furthermore, phylogenetic trees (structures that define the evolutionary relationships in the line of descent from a common ancestor) have been created for all manners of organisms, … Continue reading Viral Fossil Records: A Look into the Past! (and the Future?)

Gertrude Elion: Forging the path towards a cure for cancer

Jasmin Joseph-Chazan is a second-year PhD student in the Immunology department at Harvard University. You can find her on Twitter as @chazanjasmin. Isabella Fraschilla is a Ph.D. student in the Immunology Program at Harvard Medical School. She is studying how immune cells regulate commensal gut bacteria. Cover image by Arek Socha from Pixabay. This biography is part of our “Picture a Scientist” initiative. To learn … Continue reading Gertrude Elion: Forging the path towards a cure for cancer

Gertrude Elion: Forging the path towards a cure for cancer

by Isabella Fraschilla Despite never receiving a PhD, Gertrude Elion was awarded the 1988 Nobel Prize in Medicine. She shared this prize with Sir James Black and her mentor George Hitchings for revolutionizing pharmacology by rejecting the standard trial-and-error approach for rational drug design. Their critical work in understanding drug metabolism and physiological processes resulted in the rare Nobel Prize awarded to employees of a … Continue reading Gertrude Elion: Forging the path towards a cure for cancer

COVID-19: from treatment to prevention

by Apurva Govande figures by Tal Scully COVID-19, the disease caused by the newly discovered virus SARS-CoV-2, is a national emergency. We need a vaccine to prevent severe outcomes of disease, to successfully combat future outbreaks of this virus, and to ensure that businesses and schools can safely reopen. Until one is available, healthcare professionals can mitigate symptoms while deploying existing drugs that may show … Continue reading COVID-19: from treatment to prevention

Cancers Evolve – Tagging and Tracking Can Help Us Understand How

by Catherine Gutierrez figures by Aparna Nathan Forty-nine years ago, President Richard Nixon launched a “War on Cancer”. That war has not ended—it rages on today, with cancer right behind heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States. Nearly 1.8 million new cases of cancer are expected in 2020 in the U.S. alone, and rising rates of cancer risk factors such … Continue reading Cancers Evolve – Tagging and Tracking Can Help Us Understand How