May 16, 2018
MIT researchers have developed a method for turning plant leaves into a light source by injecting light-emitting nanoparticles into the leaves, reports Mark Ellwood for The Wall Street Journal. “Currently, researchers are able to make plants such as spinach, kale and watercress emit a dim light for about 4 hours,” says Ellwood, “up from 45 minutes when the project began in 2015.”
MIT researchers have developed an ingestible capsule that uses genetically engineered bacteria to detect potential health problems, reports Carla Johnson for the Associated Press. The researchers hope the capsule could eventually be used to, “find signs of ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease or even colon cancer.”
Writing for the Boston Herald, Lindsay Kalter reports that MIT scientists have built an ingestible capsule that could allow doctors to diagnose gastrointestinal diseases without invasive procedures. Graduate student Mark Mimee explains that the device, “sets the stage for having a pill that can give you a big biochemical profile of the gut related to various diseases.”
Popular Mechanics reporter David Grossman writes that a new ingestible medical device developed by MIT researchers could monitor the health of the human gut. Calling the project “a true team effort,” Grossman explains that it required expertise in biological engineering techniques, electronic circuit design, materials, and gastroenterology.
MIT spinout Superpedestrian plans to begin building electric bikes for companies that rent shareable bikes, writes Hiawatha Bray for The Boston Globe. Bray notes that Assaf Biderman, Superpedestrian chief executive, feels that, “adding electric motors to shared bikes should sharply increase their popularity.”
During this episode of NOVA Wonders, Professors Kristala Jones Prather and Kevin Esvelt discuss the future of genetic engineering. Speaking about the evolution of the biotech industry, Prather explains that, "the key observation that really fueled the entire biotech industry was recognizing that D.N.A. is really just a chemical, and the structure is what matters.”