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Salon

Researchers from MIT and Massachusetts Eye and Ear have found that Covid-19 can cause long-term issues with a patient’s ear, reports Matthew Rozsa for Salon. The researchers found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is capable of infecting the hair cells of the inner ear, as well as (to a lesser extent) the Schwann cells,” Rozsa explains.

Forbes

Forbes reporter William A. Haseltine spotlights an MIT and Massachusetts Eye and Ear study that finds the inner ear can be infected by Covid-19. “When exposed to SARS-CoV-2,” writes Haseltine, the researchers, "found that the vestibular hair cells on the inner ear, which helps us keep our balance and sense head movements, had an infection rate of 26%, making them particularly vulnerable." 

Scientific American

Scientific American reporter Emily Sohn writes that MIT researchers have found that vision and hearing can be impacted by the virus that causes Covid-19. “The data are growing to suggest that there are more neural consequences of this infection than we originally thought,” says Prof. Lee Gehrke.

Reuters

Reuters reporter Nancy Lapid writes that researchers from MIT and other institutions have found that Covid-19 can infect cells in the inner ear, which “may help explain the balance problems, hearing loss and tinnitus, or ringing in the ears experienced by some COVID-19 patients.”

HealthDay News

A new study by MIT researchers finds that Covid-19 may impact the inner ear, affecting hearing and balance, reports Robert Preidt for HealthDay News. “Their results suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can infect the inner ear, specifically hair cells that are crucial for hearing and balance,” writes Preidt. “To a lesser degree, the coronavirus can infect Schwann cells, which insulate neurons.”

Financial Times

A new amputation technique being developed by MIT researchers provides patients with more sensory feedback from prosthetic limbs, writes Anjana Ahuja for the Financial Times. “The technique could transform the way that amputation has long been viewed,” writes Ahuja, “not as a last-resort method that subtracts from the body but an act of rejuvenation with the potential to restore a sense of completeness.”

Here & Now (WBUR)

Here & Now’s Scott Tong speaks with Gideon Gil of STAT about a new technique for amputation surgery developed by researchers from MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital that recreates muscle connections and restore the brain’s ability to sense where and how one’s limbs are moving.

Fast Company

Prof. Dava Newman, director of the MIT Media Lab, speaks with Mark Wilson of Fast Company about her vision for the future of the Media Lab. “We’re going to be a diverse and equitable place, we have to have everyone at the table,” says Newman. “We do have these special talents. We can see solutions in envisioning things that are further out. We are built on literal media and data, so we don’t shy away from any technical challenges.”

US News & World Report

Researchers from MIT have developed a new kind of surgery that could offer amputees better control of their muscles and prosthetic limbs after surgery, reports Cara Murez for U.S. News & World Report. “In this new type of surgery — called agonist-antagonist myoneural interface, or AMI — surgeons reconnect those muscle pairs so they retain the push-pull relationship they've always had and improve sensory feedback,” writes Murez.

The Boston Globe

Postdoc Shriya Srinivasan has devised a new way to perform amputation surgery that would reconnect dangling nerves to the skin and help restore a patient’s sense of touch, reports Anissa Gardizy for The Boston Globe. “I would hope that in the next 10 years, people are offered the ability to have these advanced techniques incorporated into their initial surgery,” she said.

El Pais

Prof. Dava Newman speaks with Esther Paniagua of El País about her goals for her new role as director of the MIT Media Lab. “We want to accelerate positive change for people,” says Newman in this interview, which is in Spanish. “Trying to answer the big questions: equity, justice, inequality, climate and sustainability, people and communication, and education and learning.”

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Devin Coldewey writes that Prof. Dava Newman has been selected as the new director of the MIT Media Lab. Coldewey notes that Newman is "starting off the job by emphasizing one of the best qualities a leader should have: listening to the people she’ll be leading.”

WBUR

Prof. Dava Newman speaks with WBUR’s Max Larkin about being selected as the new director of the MIT Media Lab. Larkin highlights how Newman, an aerospace engineer and former deputy administrator of NASA, “comes into the role with a stellar resume.” Newman remarks that “superstars and genius come in all forms and shapes.” As director, she says she hopes to celebrate the lab’s “‘infinite diversity in infinite combinations.’”

Science

A new study co-authored by MIT researchers finds that Covid-19 may shut down germinal centers, which help patients mount an antibody response. The findings “may help explain COVID-19 progression in the sickest cases and provide important insights to vaccine developers,” reports Jon Cohen for Science.

Stat

Prof. Sangeeta Bhatia and senior postdoctoral associate Leslie Chan discuss their work developing a synthetic biosensor to diagnose lung disease. Chan explains that “instead of relying on naturally occurring breath volatiles, we wanted to be able to engineer the breath signal that we could use to monitor lung disease.”