Sunday, March 3, 2024

The Obtain: tech’s hardest issues, and cancer-fighting cell therapies


Expertise is all about fixing massive thorny issues, but one of many hardest issues is figuring out the place to focus our efforts. There are such a lot of pressing points going through the world. The place ought to we even start? 

We requested dozens of individuals to establish what drawback on the intersection of know-how and society that they suppose we should always focus extra of our power on. We queried scientists, journalists, politicians, entrepreneurs, activists, and CEOs.

Some broad themes emerged: the local weather disaster, international well being, making a simply and equitable society, and AI all got here up steadily. There have been loads of outliers, too, starting from regulating social media to preventing corruption. Learn the complete listing to search out out what they stated.

This story is from our most up-to-date print concern of MIT Expertise Evaluation, which is all about society’s hardest issues, and the way we should always sort out them. In the event you don’t subscribe already, enroll now to get future points after they land.

Innovative new cell therapies may lastly get at tough-to-target cancers

The information: A biotech firm is making headway in leveraging sufferers’ personal immune methods to destroy cancerous cells in stable tumors. Whereas researchers have just lately had success in treating some hard-to-treat blood cancers with engineered T cells, stable tumors, which make up the overwhelming majority of most cancers diagnoses, have proved way more troublesome.

How they did it: The technicians harvested T cells, which assist the physique battle infections, from a affected person’s blood, earlier than genetically engineering the cells to hold a receptor known as a chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR, which may bind to a protein on the floor of the most cancers cell. Subsequent they develop these engineered cells within the lab, then reinfuse them again into the physique. When the cells encounter the protein they’re designed to acknowledge, they activate and begin destroying the most cancers cells.

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