Curious to know more about current biomedical research? Join us on Zoom for two short talks by MIT researchers, with a chance to ask questions after each talk!
The talks are designed for high schoolers and adults with little or no previous background in the topics, but all are welcome. Attendance is free, but registration is required.
"Making heart cells beat using light" | Giulia Bruno
The heart is the pump that moves our blood into the body. If it fails to beat, it cannot provide oxygen and nutrients to our organs, leading to high damages. Electrical pacemakers can help our heart if this happens, but they are bulky devices that must be implanted in the body through surgery. To avoid painful operations, we are studying small materials for the body with an “invisible way” for transmitting the right information to our heart. These materials can produce a small spark when illuminated by light. And this can make heart cells beat, restoring organ functionality.
ON, OFF, ON, OFF: How do cells flick the switch on genes? | Pradeep Natarajan
Genes are segments of our DNA that act like blueprints. When genes are switched on, special molecules read this blueprint and manufacture components that make up the different types of cells in our body. I study how cells in our body switch on and off individual genes by simulating the workings of cells on a computer. We can extend this idea to combinations of genes and understand how different types of cells arise in our body. My research also sheds light on the mechanisms by which this switching process goes awry in cancers, paving way for more targeted cancer therapies.
This event is the second part of a two-part talk series. If you'd like to register for another Science Snippets event, please visit: https://mit.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_q006BGYwRcausCrZ5fwTVw
Sponsored by the MIT Communication Lab and the MIT Libraries.