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Biological engineering

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Scientific American

Ingrid Wickelgren at Scientific American highlights a new study from researchers at the McGovern and Broad Institutes, in which they used a bacterial ‘nanosyringe’ to inject large proteins into human cells. “The syringe technology also holds promise for treating cancer because it can be engineered to attach to receptors on certain cancer cells,” writes Wickelgren.     

IEEE Pulse

IEEE Pulse reporter Leslie Mertz spotlights Prof. Ed Boyden’s work on refining expansion microscopy. “My hope for expansion, looking 5 or 10 years out, is that it could help produce a map of molecules that is detailed enough to help us understand life itself,” says Boyden.

NBC

Dr. Akshay Syal, a medical fellow for NBC News, discusses how MIT researchers have developed a new technique to 3D print custom replicas of the human heart.

Boston.com

Using an artificial intelligence system, researchers at MIT and elsewhere have developed a new Covid-19 vaccine that could be effective against current and future strains, reports Gwen Egan for Boston.com. “The vaccine differs from others currently on the market due to the portion of the virus being targeted,” writes Egan.  

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Hiawatha Bray writes that MIT researchers have used an AI system to identify a potential new Covid-19 vaccine that may be effective against both current and future variants of the virus. “The new vaccine targets a portion of the COVID virus that is much less prone to evolve,” writes Bray. “That could potentially make it effective against many different versions of the virus, eliminating the need for routine booster shots.”

TechCrunch

MIT researchers have developed a new approach to vaccines that uses “a machine learning twist [that] could put an end to boosters and seasonal variant shots,” reports Devin Coldewey for TechCrunch.

CNN

Researchers at MIT developed a system that uses artificial intelligence to help predict future risk of developing breast cancer, reports Poppy Harlow for CNN. What this work does “is identifies risk. It can tell a woman that you’re at high risk for developing breast cancer before you develop breast cancer,” says Larry Norton, medical director of the Lauder Breast Center at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Ryan Cross spotlights Chroma Medicine, a biotech startup co-founded by MIT researchers that is “developing a new class of gene editing technologies that could control how our genetic code is read without changing the code itself.” Cross explains that Chroma Medicine’s technology could “have broad applications for treating both rare and common diseases.”

Bloomberg

Bloomberg reporter Tanaz Meghjani writes that MIT researchers created a new system to 3D print a customized replica of the human heart, which could help improve replacement valve procedures. The new system “mimics blood flow and pressure in individual diseased hearts, suggesting a way to predict the effects of various replacements and select the best fit, avoiding potential leakage and failure,” Meghjani writes.

WBUR

MIT engineers have developed a new technique for 3D printing a soft, flexible, custom-designed replica of a patient’s heart, report Gabrielle Emanuel and Amy Sokolow for WBUR. The goal of the research is to “provide realistic models so that doctors, researchers and medical device manufacturers can use them in testing therapies for different types of heart disease,” Emanuel and Sokolow explain.

The Boston Globe

Aera Therapeutics, founded by Prof. Feng Zhang, is working to “debut a type of protein nanoparticle that it believes can be used to ferry all sorts of genetic medicines around the body,” reports Lisa Jarvis for Bloomberg.

The Boston Globe

Prof. Feng Zhang founded Aera Therapeutics, a startup working to deliver curative genetic medicine to hard-to-reach parts of the body, reports Ryan Cross for The Boston Globe. “If Aera’s approach works in people, it could broaden the reach of genetic therapies, which currently have limited clinical applications – partly because there aren’t enough methods for getting those medicines to hone in on the right cells,” writes Cross.  

The Boston Globe

Graduate student Karenna Groff ‘22 has been named NCAA Woman of the Year, an honor presented to a graduating female student-athlete who has distinguished herself in athletics, academics, leadership and community service, reports Matt Doherty for The Boston Globe. “I think the award is the first recognition I’ve gotten that looks into who I am and who I want to be,” says Groff. “I think it will help me frame the direction towards what I want the next chapter in my life to look like.”

CBS Boston

Graduate student Karenna Groff ’22 speaks with CBS Boston reporter Mike UVA about her academic and athletic accomplishments. “Groff become just the sixth Division III student-athlete ever to be recognized as the NCAA Woman of the Year,” says Uva. “An honor that celebrates excellence both on and off the field for all divisions.”

GBH

GBH reporter Esteban Bustillos spotlights graduate student Karenna Groff '22, the NCAA Woman of the Year, and her efforts to make a difference both on and off the field, from her work as an EMT at MIT to her efforts to reduce maternal mortality in southern India. “Using sports as a platform to drive forward equity in all these different walks of life has always been something that I want to be a part of,” explains Groff.