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Harvard, B&W Use BioTrove Tools to Study Biowarfare Response, Stem Cells Differentiation

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Researchers at Harvard Medical School and at Brigham & Womens Hospital will use BioTrove’s tools to study how humans respond to chemical weapons, and differentiation among adult stem cells, BioTrove said yesterday.
With funding from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, researchers at Brigham & Womens Center for Molecular Orthopedics and at Harvard have jointly purchased and installed BioTrove’s OpenArray NT Cycler and OpenArray plates, said BioTrove spokeswoman Arielle Bernstein.
The company said the researchers, led by Keith Crawford, an orthopedics investigator at Harvard, will study how the human immune system responds to pathogens. They ultimately plan to develop qPCR-based tests that would detect pathogens by measuring cellular changes that are spurred by the immune system.
Measuring immune response, Crawford said, will be “a more sensitive way to detect [a pathogen’s] presence, enabling us to rapidly identify and treat patients in a situation such as biowarfare.”
The Brigham & Women’s and Harvard groups also are conducting research into adult stem cells to identify the genes that lead identical stem cells to develop into the more specialized cells found in the lungs, heart, and other organs.
Financial terms of the agreements were not released.

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