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Cambridge, MA, United States

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, MIT adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. Researchers worked on computers, radar, and inertial guidance during World War II and the Cold War. Post-war defense research contributed to the rapid expansion of the faculty and campus under James Killian. The current 168-acre campus opened in 1916 and extends over 1 mile along the northern bank of the Charles River basin.MIT, with five schools and one college which contain a total of 32 departments, is traditionally known for research and education in the physical science and engineering, and more recently in biology, economics, linguistics, and management as well. The "Engineers" sponsor 31 sports, most teams of which compete in the NCAA Division III's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference; the Division I rowing programs compete as part of the EARC and EAWRC.MIT is often cited as among the world's top universities. As of 2014, 81 Nobel laureates, 52 National Medal of Science recipients, 45 Rhodes Scholars, 38 MacArthur Fellows, and 2 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with MIT. MIT has a strong entrepreneurial culture and the aggregated revenues of companies founded by MIT alumni would rank as the eleventh-largest economy in the world. Wikipedia.

Ebert M.S.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Biological systems use a variety of mechanisms to maintain their functions in the face of environmental and genetic perturbations. Increasing evidence suggests that, among their roles as posttranscriptional repressors of gene expression, microRNAs (miRNAs) help to confer robustness to biological processes by reinforcing transcriptional programs and attenuating aberrant transcripts, and they may in some network contexts help suppress random fluctuations in transcript copy number. These activities have important consequences for normal development and physiology, disease, and evolution. Here, we will discuss examples and principles of miRNAs that contribute to robustness in animal systems. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Centola D.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology

How do social networks affect the spread of behavior? A popular hypothesis states that networks with many clustered ties and a high degree of separation will be less effective for behavioral diffusion than networks in which locally redundant ties are rewired to provide shortcuts across the social space. A competing hypothesis argues that when behaviors require social reinforcement, a network with more clustering may be more advantageous, even if the network as a whole has a larger diameter. I investigated the effects of network structure on diffusion by studying the spread of health behavior through artificially structured online communities. Individual adoption was much more likely when participants received social reinforcement from multiple neighbors in the social network. The behavior spread farther and faster across clustered-lattice networks than across corresponding random networks. Source

Thompson C.V.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Annual Review of Materials Research

Solid films are usually metastable or unstable in the as-deposited state, and they will dewet or agglomerate to form islands when heated to sufficiently high temperatures. This process is driven by surface energy minimization and can occur via surface diffusion well below a film's melting temperature, especially when the film is very thin. Dewetting during processing of films for use in micro- and nanosystems is often undesirable, and means of avoiding dewetting are important in this context. However, dewetting can also be useful in making arrays of nanoscale particles for electronic and photonic devices and for catalyzing growth of nanotubes and nanowires. Templating of dewetting using patterned surface topography or prepatterning of films can be used to create ordered arrays of particles and complex patterns of partially dewetted structures. Studies of dewetting can also provide fundamental new insight into the effects of surface energy anisotropy and facets on shape evolution. © Copyright ©2012 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved. Source

Guarente L.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
New England Journal of Medicine

Sirtuins were originally identified as antiaging proteins in model genetic organisms and have emerged as mediators of the beneficial effects of calorie restriction in mammals. The mammalian Sir2 orthologue, SIRT1, is an NAD-dependent deacetylase that is involved in many central pathways governing physiology and stress management. Genetic or pharmacologic activation of SIRT1 can benefit numerous diseases in murine models. Indeed, two different SIRT1-activating compounds are now in a diverse set of phase 1 or phase 2 human trials (ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT00937326, NCT00964340, NCT01014117, NCT01018017, NCT01018628, NCT01262911, NCT01031108, and NCT01154101). Beyond SIRT1, there are six other mammalian sirtuins (SIRT2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7), and all may turn out to have therapeutic potential with the use of activators or inhibitors. Among these sirtuins, SIRT3 is extremely interesting, because it appears to suppress one of the contributing causes of aging itself, reactive oxygen species in mitochondria. Indeed, genetic polymorphisms in the SIRT3 promoter have been associated with extreme longevity in an Italian population,89,90 although these studies will have to be replicated in other groups. In conclusion, sirtuins are a unique class of proteins that link protein acetylation to metabolism and exert profound effects on mammalian physiology and diseases of aging. The development of drugs that target sirtuins to treat these diseases is ongoing. Copyright © 2011 Massachusetts Medical Society. Source

Guarente L.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The 40thanniversary of Cell coincides with that of the National Institute on Aging (NIA). Indeed, Cell papers on NIA-funded research helped move the field into a genetic and molecular era. Now is a fair time to ask whether we are far down a trail leading to a deep understanding of aging or whether we are still tiptoeing cautiously at the trailhead. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source

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