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MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) articles

Displaying 1 - 20 of 92

'Living tattoo': 3D printing programmed cells into devices

'Living tattoo': 3D printing programmed cells into devices
MIT engineers have devised a 3D printing technique that uses a new kind of ink made from genetically programmed living cells. The cells are engineered to light up in response to a variety of stimuli. When mixed with a slurry of hydrogel and nutrients, the cells can be printed, layer by layer, to form 3D, interactive structures and devices. The team has then demonstrated its technique by printing a “living tattoo” — a thin, transparent patch patterned with live bacteria cells in the shape of a tree.
11th December 2017

Muscle subsets orchestrate and configure regrowth

Muscle subsets orchestrate and configure regrowth
Researchers at the Whitehead Institute have illuminated an important role for different subtypes of muscle cells in orchestrating the process of tissue regeneration. In a paper appearing online in Nature, they reveal that a subtype of muscle fibres in flatworms is required for triggering the activity of genes that initiate the regeneration program. Notably, in the absence of these muscles, regeneration fails to proceed.
23rd November 2017

Cell-weighing method helps doctors choose cancer drugs

Cell-weighing method helps doctors choose cancer drugs
Doctors have many drugs available to treat multiple myeloma. However, there is no way to predict, by genetic markers or other means, how a patient will respond to a particular drug. This can lead to months of treatment with a drug that isn’t working. Researchers at MIT have now shown that they can use a new type of measurement to predict how drugs will affect cancer cells taken from multiple-myeloma patients.
21st November 2017


Gut microbes can protect against high blood pressure

Gut microbes can protect against high blood pressure
Microbes living in your gut may help protect against the effects of a high-salt diet, according to a new study from MIT. The MIT team, working with researchers in Germany, found that in both mice and humans, a high-salt diet shrinks the population of a certain type of beneficial bacteria. As a result, pro-inflammatory immune cells called Th-17 cells grow in number. These immune cells have been linked with high blood pressure, although the exact mechanism of how they contribute to hypertension is not yet known.
16th November 2017

Studying patients’ cancer genomes with blood samples

Studying patients’ cancer genomes with blood samples
  Researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Massachusetts General Hospital have developed an accurate, scalable approach for monitoring cancer DNA from blood samples.
8th November 2017

A possible effective treatment for autism spectrum disorder

A possible effective treatment for autism spectrum disorder
Human chromosome 16p11.2 deletion syndrome is caused by the absence of about 27 genes on chromosome 16. This deletion is characterised by intellectual disability; impaired language, communication, and socialisation skills; and autism spectrum disorder or ASD. Research from the laboratories of Mark Bear at MIT and Jacqueline Crawley at the University of California at Davis, has identified a potential therapeutic for ASD.
6th November 2017

Gene circuit triggers immune attack

Gene circuit triggers immune attack
Researchers at MIT have developed a synthetic gene circuit that triggers the body’s immune system to attack cancers when it detects signs of the disease. The circuit, which will only activate a therapeutic response when it detects two specific cancer markers, is described in a paper published today in the journal Cell. Immunotherapy is widely seen as having considerable potential in the fight against a range of cancers.
23rd October 2017

Screening genes that can protect against Parkinson’s disease

Screening genes that can protect against Parkinson’s disease
Using a modified version of the CRISPR genome-editing system, MIT researchers have developed a new way to screen for genes that protect against specific diseases. CRISPR is normally used to edit or delete genes from living cells. However, the MIT team adapted it to randomly turn on or off distinct gene sets across large populations of cells, allowing the researchers to identify genes that protect cells from a protein associated with Parkinson’s disease.
13th October 2017

Sensors can detect movement in GI tract

Sensors can detect movement in GI tract
Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have built a flexible sensor that can be rolled up and swallowed. Upon ingestion, the sensor adheres to the stomach wall or intestinal lining, where it can measure the rhythmic contractions of the digestive tract. Such sensors could help doctors to diagnose gastrointestinal disorders that slow down the passage of food through the digestive tract.
13th October 2017

Paper-based test diagnoses Zika within 20 minutes

Paper-based test diagnoses Zika within 20 minutes
MIT researchers have developed a paper-based test that can diagnose Zika infection within 20 minutes. Unlike existing tests, the new diagnostic does not cross-react with Dengue virus, a close relative of the Zika virus that can produce false positives on many Zika tests. This test could offer an easy-to-use, cheap, and portable diagnostic in countries where Zika and Dengue are both prevalent and the gold-standard test that measures viral RNA in the bloodstream is not available.
3rd October 2017

Trials demonstrate treatment for aggressive adenocarcinomas

Trials demonstrate treatment for aggressive adenocarcinomas
  Mutations in the KEAP1 gene could point the way to treating an aggressive form of lung cancer that is driven by “undruggable” mutations in the KRAS gene, according to a new study by MIT researchers. KEAP1 mutations occur alongside KRAS mutations in about 17% of lung adenocarcinoma cases.
3rd October 2017

Robotic system is capable of monitoring specific neurons

Robotic system is capable of monitoring specific neurons
Recording electrical signals from inside a neuron in the living brain can reveal a great deal of information about that neuron’s function and how it coordinates with other cells in the brain. However, performing this kind of recording is extremely difficult. To make this technique more widely available, MIT engineers have now devised a way to automate the process, using a computer algorithm that analyses microscope images and guides a robotic arm to the target cell.
31st August 2017

Wi-Fi radio signals detect REM in sleeping persons

Wi-Fi radio signals detect REM in sleeping persons
The Wi-Fi radio waves that our laptops use to communicate with wireless routers are quite sensitive to the environment they pass through. They’re so sensitive that a few years ago researchers at MIT were able to use them to wirelessly detect a child’s movement, breathing, and heart rate. Now the MIT team working with Massachusetts General Hospital have successfully demonstrated that they’re able to repurpose this Wi-Fi data to detect what state (light, deep, or REM) a sleeping person is in.
11th August 2017

Noninvasive technique for probing cells could reveal disease

Noninvasive technique for probing cells could reveal disease
MIT engineers have devised a way to assess a cell’s mechanical properties simply by observation. The researchers use standard confocal microscopy to zero in on the constant, jiggling motions of a cell’s particles — telltale movements that can be used to decipher a cell’s stiffness. Unlike optical tweezers, the team’s technique is noninvasive, running little risk of altering or damaging a cell while probing its contents.
3rd August 2017

Bioengineered liver tissue expands after transplant

Bioengineered liver tissue expands after transplant
Many diseases, including cirrhosis and hepatitis, can lead to liver failure. More than 17,000 Americans suffering from these diseases are now waiting for liver transplants, but significantly fewer livers are available. To help address that shortage, researchers at MIT, Rockefeller University, and Boston University have developed a new way to engineer liver tissue, by organising tiny subunits that contain three types of cells embedded into a biodegradable tissue scaffold.
27th July 2017

Helping patients comply with treatment regimens

Helping patients comply with treatment regimens
Around half of all medications for chronic diseases are not taken as prescribed, costing the U.S. health care system more than $100 billion in avoidable hospital stays each year. This noncompliance is even more significant in the developing world, where health care budgets are chronically overstretched and patients treated for diseases such as malaria must take multiple drugs with complex dose regimens.
27th July 2017

Determining when and how to treat heart attacks

Determining when and how to treat heart attacks
Anthony McDougal, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, has developed a model that predicts a single heart cell’s response to dwindling supplies of oxygen. Specifically, it evaluates a cell’s ability to keep producing ATP — a cell’s primary fuel source — and stay alive, even as it is increasingly deprived of oxygen.
21st July 2017

Microscopy technique enables more informative biopsies

Microscopy technique enables more informative biopsies
When trying to use light and conventional optics to image a biological sample at great detail, one eventually encounters the fact that objects smaller than the light’s wavelength cannot be resolved. While technological tricks have been developed to overcome this limitation in some ways, a team of researchers from MIT and Harvard have instead focused on swelling the sample so it is large enough to be examined in detail using light microscopy.
19th July 2017

Nanoparticles fight drug-resistant bacteria

Nanoparticles fight drug-resistant bacteria
Researchers from MIT and other institutions are hoping to use nanotechnology to develop more targeted treatments for these drug-resistant bugs. In a new study, they report that an antimicrobial peptide packaged in a silicon nanoparticle dramatically reduced the number of bacteria in the lungs of mice infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a disease causing Gram-negative bacterium that can lead to pneumonia.
13th July 2017

Investing more in emergency care improves outcomes

Investing more in emergency care improves outcomes
Hospitals that spend more on initial care following patient emergencies have better outcomes than hospitals that spend less at first and rely more on additional forms of long-term care, according to a new study co-authored by MIT economists. More specifically, hospitals that invest more in inpatient care yield better results, per dollar spent, than those that assign relatively more patients to skilled nursing facilities upon discharge.
10th July 2017


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