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Bioengineering and biotechnology

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The Washington Post

Washington Post reporter Pranshu Verma writes about how Prof. Dina Katabi and her colleagues developed a new AI tool that could be used to help detect early signs of Parkinson’s by analyzing a patient’s breathing patterns. For diseases like Parkinson’s “one of the biggest challenges is that we need to get to [it] very early on, before the damage has mostly happened in the brain,” said Katabi. “So being able to detect Parkinson’s early is essential.”

Forbes

Forbes contributor Jennifer Kite-Powell spotlights how MIT researchers created a new AI system that analyzes radio waves bouncing off a person while they sleep to monitor breathing patterns and help identify Parkinson’s disease. “The device can also measure how bad the disease has become and could be used to track Parkinson's progression over time,” writes Kite-Powell.

The Boston Globe

A new tool for diagnosing Parkinson’s disease developed by MIT researchers uses an AI system to monitor a person’s breathing patterns during sleep, reports Hiawatha Bray for The Boston Globe. “The system is capable of detecting the chest movements of a sleeping person, even if they’re under a blanket or lying on their side,” writes Bray. “It uses software to filter out all other extraneous information, until only the breathing data remains. Using it for just one night provides enough data for a diagnosis.”

WBUR

Boston Globe reporter Hiawatha Bray speaks with Radio Boston host Tiziana Dearing about how MIT researchers developed an artificial intelligence model that uses a person’s breathing patterns to detect Parkinson’s Disease. The researchers “hope to continue doing this for other diseases like Alzheimer’s and potentially other neurological diseases,” says Bray.

Fierce Biotech

Researchers at MIT have developed an artificial intelligence sensor that can track the progression of Parkinson’s disease in patients based on their breathing while they sleep, reports Conor Hale for Fierce Biotech. “The device emits radio waves and captures their reflection to read small changes in its immediate environment,” writes Hale. “It works like a radar, but in this case, the device senses the rise and fall of a person’s chest.”

Boston.com

MIT researchers have developed a new artificial intelligence system that uses a person’s breathing pattern to help detect Parkinson’s sisease, reports Susannah Sudborough for Boston.com. “The device emits radio signals, analyzes reflections off the surrounding environment, and monitors the person’s breathing patterns without any bodily contact,” writes Sudborough.

Stat

Researchers at MIT and other institutions have developed an artificial intelligence tool that can analyze changes in nighttime breathing to detect and track the progression of Parkinson’s disease, reports Casey Ross for STAT. “The AI was able to accurately flag Parkinson’s using one night of breathing data collected from a belt worn around the abdomen or from a passive monitoring system that tracks breathing using a low-power radio signal,” writes Ross.

The Conversation

The Conversation spotlights Institute Prof. Robert Langer ‘74 who spoke at the 2022 Imagine Solutions Conference about his academic career and work applying his chemical engineering background to his research in health sciences. “I learned that if you’re not your own champion, nobody else will be,” says Langer. “So, I got involved in patenting things, and my students were very interested in seeing their work make a difference… My story is sort of one person’s example of how you can try to use science to help relieve suffering and prolong life.”

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter David Abel spotlights the Mice Against Ticks project, which is aimed at preventing tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease through immunizing mice.  “With so many people suffering from Lyme every single day, which is an awful disease, we need a solution urgently,” explains graduate student and Mice Against Ticks research director Joanna Buchthal. “This offers a real, if revolutionary, way to tackle the problem.”

The Boston Globe

Satellite Bio, a startup co-founded by Prof. Sangeeta Bhatia, aims to create “tissue implants to ‘repair, restore, or even replace’ diseased or dying organs,” reports Ryan Cross for The Boston Globe.

TechCrunch

MIT startup Volta Labs is developing a new instrument that can automate the processes used to prepare genetic samples, reports Emma Betuel for TechCrunch. CEO and co-founder Udayan Umapathi ’17 is confident that with the right programming, the platform could allow “liquids to be manipulated in even more complex ways, like using magnetic fields to draw certain molecules out of samples for further analysis,” writes Betuel.

Reuters

Prof. Timothy Lu, Prof. Jim Collins and Philip Lee ’03 co-founded Senti Bio, a biotechnology company that uses gene circuit technology to create cell and gene therapies that can sense and respond to ailments inside the body, reports Sohini Podder for Reuters. “The way I like to think about it – just like you can program a computer with different programs or different maps, we can do the same thing with medicines,” says Lu.

Forbes

Forbes reporter Jack Kelly profiles Institute Prof. Robert Langer, spotlighting his career journey and his passion for helping others. “I traded job security and high pay for doing things I was passionate about,” Langer explains. “Out of over 20 job offers I received upon graduation from college, I chose the lowest paying one by far because I thought by doing so, I could potentially improve the health of patients. I dreamed about doing things that I thought would make the world a better place.”

The Washington Post

Writing for The Washington Post, Prof. Kevin Esvelt argues that research aimed at creating pandemic-causing viruses should be considered a matter of international security. “Natural pandemics may be inevitable. Synthetic ones, constructed with full knowledge of society’s vulnerabilities, are not,” writes Esvelt. “Let’s not learn to make pandemics until we can reliably defend against them.”

Bloomberg Businessweek

Orna Therapeutics, which was co-founded by MIT researchers, is working on “programming RNA with genetic code that instructs a line to split into several strands and then repair itself in the shape of a circle,” reports Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Angelica LaVito. “Delivering those messages via circles may produce a more stable, longer-lasting signal, potentially treating cancer, autoimmune disorders, and genetic diseases.”