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Aging

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Boston.com

Boston.com reporter Melissa Ellin spotlights the MIT AgeLab’s Age Gain Now Empathy System (AGNES), “a suit that allows wearers to feel what it is like to be 80 years old with some chronic health conditions,” writes Ellin. The suit was recently featured in “Limitless with Chris Hemsworth,” a docuseries highlighting scientific research and insight into the human body.

Forbes

Researchers at MIT have found that those with an E4 variant display abnormalities in cholesterol metabolism, reports William A. Haseltine for Forbes. “The MIT team suggest that the disruption of cholesterol metabolism could be a fundamental reason why those with the E4 variant are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease symptoms,” writes Haseltine.

Forbes

An MIT research study suggests that those with the E4 variant of the APOE gene are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s symptoms, reports William A. Haseltine for Forbes. The variant “disrupts how fat molecules are processed in the brain,” writes Haseltine. “It appears that the disruption of these fat molecules could be the fundamental reason why those that contain the E4 variant are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s symptoms.”

The Washington Post

A new study by Prof. Daron Acemoglu, former postdoctoral fellow Nicolaj Mühlbach and London School of Economics Prof. Andrew Scott finds that while American jobs have become age-friendlier, “older workers haven’t been the biggest beneficiaries of this age-friendly job bonanza,” reports Andrew Van Dam for The Washington Post. The researchers found, “workers age 62 and older were significantly more willing to accept a smaller paycheck if a job involved moderate physical activity, more time sitting and the autonomy to choose how to do their job,” writes Van Dam.

Forbes

Joseph Coughlin, director of the MIT AgeLab, writes for Forbes about the three major risk factors to consider when planning where to live in retirement. “Retirement planning can’t control the weather,” writes Coughlin. “However, critically and realistically assessing our personal resilience and how to best prepare for the possible risks of where I live, is a critical element to thinking about how I will live in older age.”

Forbes

Joseph Coughlin, director of the MIT AgeLab, writes for Forbes about the impact Baby Boomer and Gen X retirement can have on the increasing labor shortage in the United States. “While some millennials can’t wait for the Boomers and older Gen X’ers to step aside in the job market, there are critical labor shortfalls in many key industries that will be sharply felt by Millennials as consumers and as the next generation of leadership in business and government,” writes Coughlin.

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Robert Weisman spotlights how researchers at the MIT AgeLab are “designing prototypes of ‘smart homes’ for older residents, equipped with social robots, voice-activated speakers that give medication reminders, motion sensors embedded in carpets to detect falls, and intelligent doorbells that double as security cameras.”

The Boston Globe

Joseph Coughlin, director of the MIT AgeLab, and Luke Yoquinto, a research associate at the AgeLab, emphasize the importance of increased investment in aging-related research in an article for The Boston Globe. Coughlin and Yoquinto call for “ramping up age-related disease research across the board: not just in health care and robotics, but also in smart-home tech, user design, transportation, workplace technologies, education and training, and nutrition. R&D in these fields won’t just improve lives; it will also strengthen tomorrow’s economy.”

The Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, Prof. Li-Huei Tsai underscores the need for the Alzheimer’s research community to “acknowledge the gaps in the current approach to curing the disease and make significant changes in how science, technology, and industry work together to meet this challenge.” Tsai adds: “With a more expansive mode of thinking, we can bridge the old innovation gaps and cross new valleys of discovery to deliver meaningful progress toward the end of Alzheimer’s.”

Forbes

Joseph Coughlin, director of the MIT AgeLab, writes for Forbes about the importance of comprehensive longevity planning. “As younger adults in their 30s, 40s, and 50s today, Millennials and Gen X’ers are catching a glimpse of their possible future selves in their parents aging,” writes Coughlin. “Now is the time to ask how are today’s choices and behaviors defining their older self tomorrow?” 

Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, research scientist Lisa D’Ambrosio emphasizes how “caregiving faces an innovation gap. Although there is plenty of inventive energy pouring into some caregiving needs, the core tasks of caregiving — the ones requiring the most intensive, even laborious attention — appear to be last in line for a technological helping hand.”

TechCrunch

Researchers at MIT CSAIL have developed a robotic arm that can put a vest on a human. “The promise of such technology is clear: helping people with mobility issues perform tasks that many of us take for granted,” writes Brian Heater for TechCrunch.

Fast Company

Researchers at MIT have developed a robot that can slide a vest onto a human arm, “which is an early but important step in creating a robot that could completely dress an aging or disabled person,” writes Mark Wilson for Fast Company. “In this work, we focus on a planning technique,” explains PhD candidate Shen Li. “If I dress a kid or adult, they might have different reactions. So you have to predict what they’ll do.”

The Boston Globe

In an article for The Boston Globe, Joseph Coughlin, director of the MIT AgeLab, explores how to develop transportation strategies for elders. “When considering the possibilities for elder transportation, it’s important to keep in mind that the needs of seniors are diverse,” writes Coughlin. “One senior might find one innovation helpful but not another. The answer to such a variety of needs may be to think more broadly about what constitutes travel.”

Forbes

Writing for Forbes, Joseph Coughlin, director of the MIT AgeLab, emphasizes the importance of including climate change as part of retirement planning. “Preparing for possible conditions and costs of climate change should now be part of our retirement plan,” writes Coughlin.