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MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) articles

Displaying 1 - 20 of 100

Maximising CRISPR-based tool for diagnosing disease

Maximising CRISPR-based tool for diagnosing disease
The team that first unveiled the rapid, inexpensive, highly sensitive CRISPR-based diagnostic tool called SHERLOCK has greatly enhanced the tool’s power, and has developed a miniature paper test that allows results to be seen with the naked eye — without the need for expensive equipment. The SHERLOCK team developed a simple paper strip to display test results for a single genetic signature, borrowing from the visual cues common in pregnancy tests.
16th February 2018

Ultra-thin needle delivers drugs directly to the brain

Ultra-thin needle delivers drugs directly to the brain
  MIT researchers have devised a miniaturised system that can deliver tiny quantities of medicine to brain regions as small as 1 cubic millimetre. This type of targeted dosing could make it possible to treat diseases that affect very specific brain circuits, without interfering with the normal function of the rest of the brain, the researchers say.
25th January 2018

Artificial synapse for 'brain-on-a-chip' hardware

Artificial synapse for 'brain-on-a-chip' hardware
  When it comes to processing power, the human brain just can’t be beat. Packed within the squishy, football-sized organ are somewhere around 100 billion neurons. At any given moment, a single neuron can relay instructions to thousands of other neurons via synapses — the spaces between neurons, across which neurotransmitters are exchanged.
25th January 2018


SurgiBox turns any room into an operating room

SurgiBox turns any room into an operating room
Dust, dirt, bacteria, flies — these are just some of the many contaminants surgeons need to worry about when operating in the field or in hospitals located in developing nations. According to a 2015 study in The Lancet, 5 billion people don’t have access to safe, clean surgical care. Graduate student Sally Miller ’16 is hoping to change that with a product called SurgiBox. “The idea of SurgiBox is to take the operating room and shrink it down to just the patient’s size,” Miller explains.
17th January 2018

Improving wound healing with mechanical forces

Improving wound healing with mechanical forces
To most, an operating room and a manufacturing plant are as different as any two places can be. But not to Dennis Orgill. “To some degree when you do an operation it’s much like manufacturing something in a factory,” explains Orgill SM ’80, PhD ’83, who serves as medical director at Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Wound Care Center and as a professor at Harvard Medical School.
11th January 2018

Increasing the accessibility of vision care in developing world

Increasing the accessibility of vision care in developing world
Vision impairment is a major global issue. More than 2 billion people worldwide don’t have access to corrective lenses. Getting eyeglasses prescriptions is especially difficult in developing countries. Optometrists are generally located in urban centers and rarely see patients from rural areas, so many people suffer from uncorrected impairments. According to the World Health Organisation, this can lead to impaired quality of life, learning difficulties, and lost employment opportunities and finances.
11th January 2018

Needle-free drug injector gets commercialisation agreement

Needle-free drug injector gets commercialisation agreement
Certain treatments for patients suffering from chronic diseases, such as inflammatory bowel diseases, require multiple intravenous or subcutaneous injections of specific drugs. Because of the pain and anxiety associated with needles, some patients stop adhering to treatments. MIT spinout Portal Instruments has now landed a commercialisation deal for a smart, needle-free injection device that could reduce the pain and anxiety associated with needle injections, shorten administration time, and improve patient adherence.
14th December 2017

How privacy policies affect genetic testing

How privacy policies affect genetic testing
Different types of privacy laws in U.S. states produce markedly different effects on the willingness of patients to have genetic testing done, according to a new study co-authored by an MIT professor. As the research shows, policies that focus on the privacy risks of genetic testing, and ask for patient consent to those risks, lead to a reduction in tests performed.
14th December 2017

'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


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