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USA Today

USA Today reporter Sean Rossman writes about how MIT researchers have created an ingestible sensor that can monitor the digestive tract and send information to a smartphone or tablet about a person’s health. Rossman explains that the device, “can detect blood in the stomach, something that would otherwise require an endoscopy and sedation.”

Associated Press

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.”

Wired

Wired reporter Megan Molteni writes that a team of MIT researchers has developed an ingestible sensor that could spot gastrointestinal issues. The sensor contains, “millions of genetically engineered glowing bacteria inside a AAA-battery-sized capsule,” Molteni explains.

Boston Herald

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

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.

CNBC

MIT spinout Ginkgo Bioworks is highlighted on the 2018 CNBC Disruptor 50 list, reports CNBC’s Andrew Zaleski. Zaleski notes that Ginkgo Bioworks, “has developed an automated process for combining genetic parts that has made it the largest designer of printed DNA in the world. That breakthrough has positioned the start-up to change the face of a variety of industries.”

The Boston Globe

Postdoc Gabriel Leventhal has created a project to track how the microbes in a sourdough starter change as it gets shared around the world, writes Alex Kingsbury of The Boston Globe. To track the starter, “Herman,” each descendant is given a unique name and number before the samples are returned to the lab to track how the microbes evolve, Kingsbury explains.

Forbes

Synlogic, founded by Prof. Jim Collins and Associate Prof. Tim Lu, is programming probiotic bacteria to treat certain genetic or acquired metabolic disease, reports Robin Seaton Jefferson for Forbes. One product is used for people whose bodies can’t maintain a healthy level of ammonia and “has been specifically engineered to convert the excess ammonia to a harmless metabolite,” explains Seaton Jefferson.

Boston Globe

MIT researchers have discovered a new family of viruses in the ocean that appears to play a key role in ocean ecosystems and could help provide insights on how viruses evolve, reports Marin Finucane for The Boston Globe.  Finucane explains that the findings could also lead to, "a better understanding of human biology.”

Forbes

MIT spinout Ginkgo Bioworks has not only maintained its founding members, but also recently raised $275 million from investors, writes Matthew Herper for Forbes. Herper predicts that excitement surrounding synthetic biology companies will continue because “private money is getting excited about the idea of designing biology.” 

Scientific American

A new study by MIT researchers provides evidence that antibiotics can change the body’s chemistry and make it more hospitable to bacteria, reports Melinda Wenner Moyer for Scientific American. “We suspect that the strength of this effect will really depend on the type of infection and types of antibiotics used,” explains postdoc Jason Yang. 

Stat

Prof. Timothy Lu speaks with STAT reporter Eric Boodman about his work trying to harness bacteria to treat disease. Lu notes that his lab is also currently working on, “building these genetic circuits for therapeutic applications, but instead of targeting bacteria, we’ve been focused on using human cells.”

Stat

STAT reporter Hyacinth Empinado highlights Media Lab Research Scientist David Kong’s new project Biota Beats, which uses bacterial data as the basis for hip-hop melodies. “Music is one of the great universal languages of our human society. We thought this would be a really, really wonderful way to engage the broader public and get them excited about science through music,” said Kong.

Boston 25 News

FOX 25’s Bob Dumas reports on a study by MIT Medical that shows most parents could successfully perform strep tests at home. David Diamond, associate medical director of MIT Medical, explains that in the healthcare field, “we are empowering patients to help us take care of their health,” adding that this test, “would be yet another advance in this regard.”

The Economist

The Economist writes about new research from Prof. Chris Voigt, in which “he and his colleagues demonstrate how to control customised cells with coloured light.”