Scientists at Harvard have pioneered a breakthrough technique that can reproduce an individual’s entire genome from a single cell. The development could revolutionize everything from cancer treatment, by allowing doctors to obtain a genetic fingerprint of a person’s cancer early in treatment, to prenatal testing.
A new imaging technique, developed by Erez Lieberman-Aiden, a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows, is giving scientists their first three-dimensional view of the human genome, one that is already shedding new light on a number of what Liberman-Aiden calls the “central mysteries of biology.”
A team led by Harvard researcher Charles Lieber has for the first time succeeded in creating a device that opens the door to using tiny holes called nanopores in an electrically charged membrane to quickly and easily sequence DNA.
From oddities like breathable chocolate to history-making devices with profound societal effects, like the heart pacemaker, Harvard’s combination of questing minds, restless spirits, and intellectual seekers fosters creativity and innovation that’s finding an outlet in new inventions and companies.