Harvard News

Harvard grad will work behind the scenes to build bridges between museums and their communities

Harvard grad will work behind the scenes to build bridges between museums and their communities

May 19, 2019

This is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates. 

Brittany N. Ellis ’19 can remember “the moment when I began loving museums. I was in ninth grade, and my mom and I went to the Met [the Metropolitan Museum in New York]. I was in an ancient history class that focused on past societies through the lens of material remains, and I learned to appreciate objects as media for telling stories about people’s lives. I spent eight hours at the...

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Harvard grad searches for knowledge in what lemurs leave behind

May 18, 2019

This is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates. 

It was just poop, but it was something of a dream come true for Camille DeSisto.

The Harvard College senior loves travel and the environment, so spending two summers in Madagascar’s tropical forests studying invasive plant dispersal — the island nation’s lemurs eat the plant’s fruit and poop out the seeds — was exciting and, just a few years earlier, had...

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Harvard scientists uncover key allowing deadly viruses to replicate

May 17, 2019

Viruses are masterful invaders. They cannibalize host cells by injecting their genetic material, often making thousands of copies of themselves in a single cell to ensure their replication and survival.

Some RNA viruses — viruses whose RNA, not DNA, carries their genetic information — insert their genetic material into cells as a single piece, while others chop it up. The latter are aptly named segmented viruses.

Such segmented RNA viruses, including several that cause human diseases like influenza, have long been an enigma to researchers: How do they accomplish the precise copying...

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Harvard faculty behind FDA course discusses high Rx prices

May 17, 2019

The U.S. has the world’s highest per-person spending rate on prescription drugs — a fact that ranges from problematic to life-threatening for consumers of these drugs.

A new course launched this year on the HarvardX online platform, “The FDA and Prescription Drugs: Current Controversies in Context,” provides a free opportunity to learn and discuss how the Food and Drug Administration operates, how it regulates drug pricing, and what that looks like in an international context. Last...

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Boston Public School students discover nature at Arnold Arboretum

Boston Public School students discover nature at Arnold Arboretum

May 17, 2019

As the school bus came to a slow stop on Meadow Road, 7-year-old Lucas Mattuchio was almost breathless with excitement. “Wow, look at that tree! Look at that one! Hey, there’s a squirrel,” the first grader from the East Boston Early Education Center exclaimed. He was eager to step into the landscape at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, a naturalized environment in the city that some Boston Public School (BPS) children don’t often get to...

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Harvard-Michigan opioid summit explores addiction, policy

Harvard-Michigan opioid summit explores addiction, policy

May 13, 2019

Pharmaceutical companies’ television ads have come under fire for pitching drugs to consumers, but another marketing tactic, behind closed doors and often ignored, is perhaps even more troubling, according to one expert.

Harvard health economist Meredith Rosenthal said drug companies also pitch their wares directly to doctors through an array of tactics, including face-to-face marketing, in a little-scrutinized process that may be ripe for regulation.

“What goes on behind closed doors might require a totally different approach,” Rosenthal said.

Rosenthal cited a 2019 study...

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Harvard researchers advance cell therapy for diabetes

May 8, 2019

A team of researchers led by Harvard University scientists has improved the laboratory process of converting stem cells into insulin-producing beta cells, using biological and physical separation methods to enrich the proportion of beta cells in a sample. Their findings, published in the journal Nature, may be used to improve beta cell transplants for patients with Type 1 diabetes.

In 2014, Douglas Melton’s lab showed for the first time that stem cells could be converted to functional beta cells,...

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Shaman Davi Kopenawa discusses climate change in advance of Harvard visit

May 3, 2019

Known as “Brazil’s Dalai Lama of the Rainforest,” Davi Kopenawa is a shaman and leader of the Yanomami people, an indigenous tribe in the Amazon.

His work to protect his tribe’s forest home from invaders and illegal gold miners has been recognized by the United Nations Environment Programme and by the Brazilian government, which awarded him the Order of Cultural Merit in 2015. He has also won accolades from royalty such as the King of Norway, who visited him in his village in the jungle....

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Harvard, Tufts, MIT stage 3-day humanitarian disaster simulation

Harvard, Tufts, MIT stage 3-day humanitarian disaster simulation

May 3, 2019

“We have a saying in the simulation: ‘Rain is educational,’” Stephanie Kayden said, considering the cold, wet New England forest around her on a drizzly spring day.

Across the surrounding landscape, 115 students from Harvard, Tufts, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were getting a firsthand taste of life as humanitarian aid workers. Divided into 18 teams, they were spread along the roads, lakefront, and trees of Harold Parker State Forest. They interacted with...

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