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MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) articles

Displaying 1 - 20 of 129

Sensors track dopamine in the brain for more than a year

Sensors track dopamine in the brain for more than a year
Dopamine, a signalling molecule used throughout the brain, plays a major role in regulating our mood, as well as controlling movement. Many disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, depression, and schizophrenia, are linked to dopamine deficiencies. MIT neuroscientists have now devised a way to measure dopamine in the brain for more than a year, which they believe will help them to learn much more about its role in both healthy and diseased brains.
12th September 2018

Model can naturally detect depression in conversations

Model can naturally detect depression in conversations
To diagnose depression, clinicians interview patients, asking specific questions — about, say, past mental illnesses, lifestyle, and mood — and identify the condition based on the patient’s responses. In recent years, machine learning has been championed as a useful aid for diagnostics. Machine-learning models, for instance, have been developed that can detect words and intonations of speech that may indicate depression.
3rd September 2018

In-body GPS could track tumours or even dispense drugs

In-body GPS could track tumours or even dispense drugs
Investigating inside the human body often requires cutting open a patient or swallowing long tubes with built-in cameras. But what if physicians could get a better glimpse in a less expensive, invasive, and time-consuming manner? A team from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) led by Professor Dina Katabi is working on doing exactly that with an 'in-body GPS' system dubbed ReMix.
22nd August 2018


Research shows that glaucoma may be an autoimmune disease

Research shows that glaucoma may be an autoimmune disease
Glaucoma, a disease that afflicts nearly 70 million people worldwide, is something of a mystery despite its prevalence. Little is known about the origins of the disease, which damages the retina and optic nerve and can lead to blindness. A study from MIT and Massachusetts Eye and Ear has found that glaucoma may in fact be an autoimmune disorder. In a study of mice, the researchers showed that the body’s own T cells are responsible for the progressive retinal degeneration seen in glaucoma.
15th August 2018

AI model could help make cancer treatment less toxic

AI model could help make cancer treatment less toxic
MIT researchers are employing novel machine-learning techniques to improve the quality of life for patients by reducing toxic chemotherapy and radiotherapy dosing for glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer. Glioblastoma is a malignant tumour that appears in the brain or spinal cord, and prognosis for adults is no more than five years. Patients must endure a combination of radiation therapy and multiple drugs taken every month.
10th August 2018

A targeted approach to treating glioma

A targeted approach to treating glioma
Glioma is normally treated by removing as much of the tumour as possible, followed by radiation or chemotherapy. With this treatment, patients survive an average of about 10 years, but the tumours inevitably grow back. A team of researchers from MIT, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital hopes to extend patients’ lifespan by delivering directly to the brain a drug that targets a mutation found in 20 to 25% of all gliomas.
10th August 2018

Affordable biology kits offer hands-on experience with DNA

Affordable biology kits offer hands-on experience with DNA
To help students gain a better grasp of biological concepts, MIT and Northwestern University researchers have designed educational kits that can be used to perform experiments with DNA, to produce glowing proteins, scents, or other easily observed phenomena. Biology teachers could use the BioBits kits to demonstrate key concepts such as how DNA is translated into proteins, or students could use them to design their own synthetic biology circuits, the researchers say.
7th August 2018

Sensor helps doctors select effective cancer therapy

Sensor helps doctors select effective cancer therapy
MIT chemical engineers have developed a new sensor that lets them see inside cancer cells and determine whether the cells are responding to a particular type of chemotherapy drug. The sensors, which detect hydrogen peroxide inside human cells, could help researchers identify new cancer drugs that boost levels of hydrogen peroxide, which induces programmed cell death. The sensors could also be adapted to screen individual patients’ tumours to predict whether such drugs would be effective against them.
7th August 2018

Cell-sized robots can sense their environment

Cell-sized robots can sense their environment
Researchers at MIT have created what may be the smallest robots yet that can sense their environment, store data, and even carry out computational tasks. These devices, which are about the size of a human egg cell, consist of tiny electronic circuits made of two-dimensional materials, piggybacking on minuscule particles called colloids. Colloids, which insoluble particles or molecules anywhere from a billionth to a millionth of a meter across, are so small they can stay suspended indefinitely in a liquid or even in air.
25th July 2018

Materials improve delivery of therapeutic messenger RNA

Materials improve delivery of therapeutic messenger RNA
In an advance that could lead to new treatments for a variety of diseases, MIT researchers have devised a new way to deliver messenger RNA (mRNA) into cells. Messenger RNA, a large nucleic acid that encodes genetic information, can direct cells to produce specific proteins. Unlike DNA, mRNA is not permanently inserted into a cell’s genome, so it could be used to produce a therapeutic protein that is only needed temporarily.
23rd July 2018

PPC region transforms seeing into doing

PPC region transforms seeing into doing
A new study in Nature Communications, a team from MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory provides evidence that one crucial brain region called the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) plays an important role in converting vision into action. “Vision in the service of action begins with the eyes, but then that information has to be transformed into motor commands,” said senior author Mriganka Sur, the Paul E. and Lilah Newton Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.
3rd July 2018

Machine learning network offers personalised autism therapy

Machine learning network offers personalised autism therapy
Children with autism spectrum conditions often have trouble recognising the emotional states of people around them — distinguishing a happy face from a fearful face, for instance. To remedy this, some therapists use a kid-friendly robot to demonstrate those emotions and to engage the children in imitating the emotions and responding to them in appropriate ways.
29th June 2018

Neural implants modulate microstructures in the brain

Neural implants modulate microstructures in the brain
The diversity of structures and functions of the brain is becoming increasingly realised in research today. Key structures exist in the brain that regulate emotion, anxiety, happiness, memory, and mobility. These structures can come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes and can all be physically near one another. Dysfunction of these structures and circuits linking them are common causes of many neurologic and neuropsychiatric diseases.
29th June 2018

How to mend a broken heart

How to mend a broken heart
After a patient has a heart attack, a cascade of events leading to heart failure begins. Damage to the area in the heart where a blood vessel was blocked leads to scar tissue. In response to scarring, the heart will remodel to compensate. This process often ends in ventricular or valve failure. A team of researchers is hoping to halt the progression from heart attack to heart failure with a small device called 'Therepi.' The device contains a reservoir that attaches directly to the damaged heart tissue.
13th June 2018

Enabling remote control of sensing and drug delivery

Enabling remote control of sensing and drug delivery
MIT researchers, working with scientists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have developed a new way to power and communicate with devices implanted deep within the human body. Such devices could be used to deliver drugs, monitor conditions inside the body, or treat disease by stimulating the brain with electricity or light. The implants are powered by radio frequency waves, which can safely pass through human tissues.
4th June 2018

Surgical technique improves control of prosthetic limb

Surgical technique improves control of prosthetic limb
Humans can accurately sense the position, speed, and torque of their limbs, even with their eyes shut. This sense, known as proprioception, allows humans to precisely control their body movements. Despite significant improvements to prosthetic devices in recent years, researchers have been unable to provide this essential sensation to people with artificial limbs, limiting their ability to accurately control their movements.
4th June 2018

Compression bandage changes colour to signal pressure level

Compression bandage changes colour to signal pressure level
Compression therapy is a standard form of treatment for patients who suffer from venous ulcers and other conditions in which veins struggle to return blood from the lower extremities. Compression stockings and bandages, wrapped tightly around the affected limb, can help to stimulate blood flow. But there is currently no clear way to gauge whether a bandage is applying an optimal pressure for a given condition.
31st May 2018

Ingestible bacteria on a chip could help diagnose disease

Ingestible bacteria on a chip could help diagnose disease
MIT researchers have built an ingestible sensor equipped with genetically engineered bacteria that can diagnose bleeding in the stomach or other gastrointestinal problems. This 'bacteria-on-a-chip' approach combines sensors made from living cells with ultra-low-power electronics that convert the bacterial response into a wireless signal that can be read by a smartphone.
25th May 2018

Device could help insulin-producing cells live longer

Device could help insulin-producing cells live longer
Since the 1960s, researchers have been interested in the possibility of treating type 1 diabetes by transplanting islet cells — the pancreatic cells that are responsible for producing insulin when blood glucose concentration increases. Implementing this approach has proven challenging, however. One obstacle is that once the islets are transplanted, they will die if they don’t receive an adequate supply of oxygen.
26th April 2018

Computer algorithm helps develop ultra-powerful peptides

Computer algorithm helps develop ultra-powerful peptides
During the past several years, many strains of bacteria have become resistant to existing antibiotics, and very few new drugs have been added to the antibiotic arsenal. To help combat this growing public health problem, some scientists are exploring antimicrobial peptides — naturally occurring peptides found in most organisms. Most of these are not powerful enough to fight off infections in humans, so researchers are trying to come up with new, more potent versions.
17th April 2018


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