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The Washington Post

Prof. Regina Barzilay spoke at The Futurist Summit: The Age of AI – an event hosted by The Washington Post – about the influence of AI in medicine. “When we're thinking today how many years it takes to bring new technologies [to market], sometimes it's decades if we’re thinking about drugs, and very, very slow,” Barzilay explains. “With AI technologies, you've seen how fast the technology that you're using today is changing.”

STAT

Prof. Bob Langer and Prof. Giovanni Traverso have co-founded Syntis Bio, a biotech company that will use technology to “coat the stomach and potentially other organ surfaces, [change] the way that drugs are absorbed or, in the case of obesity, which hormones are triggered,” reports Allison DeAngelis for STAT

The Economist

Prof. Regina Barzilay joins The Economist’s “Babbage” podcast to discuss how artificial intelligence could enable health care providers to understand and treat diseases in new ways. Host Alok Jha notes that Barzilay is determined to “overcome those challenges that are standing in the way of getting AI models to become useful in health care.” Barzilay explains: “I think we really need to change our mindset and think how we can solve the many problems for which human experts were unable to find a way forward.”  

Newsweek

MIT have developed a new ingestible vibrating capsule that could potentially be used to aid weight loss, writes Newsweek’s Robyn White. Prof. Giovanni Traverso said the capsule “could facilitate a paradigm shift in potential therapeutic options for obesity and other diseases affected by late stomach fullness.”

Interesting Engineering

MIT engineers have developed a new adhesive, low-cost hydrogel that can stop fibrosis often experienced by people with pacemakers and other medical devices, reports for Maria Bolevich Interesting Engineering. “These findings may offer a promising strategy for long-term anti-fibrotic implant–tissue interfaces,” explains Prof. Xuanhe Zhao. 

Fast Company

In an article for Fast Company, Lecturer Guadalupe Hayes-Mota offers five takeaways concerning the potential impact of AI on healthcare. Understanding AI’s healthcare potential “is crucial for business leaders and policymakers to foster an environment where AI and other analytics tools enhance rather than complicate societal outcomes,” Hayes-Mota writes.

STAT

Writing for STAT, Prof. Kevin Esvelt explores how, “the immense potential benefits of biotechnology are profoundly vulnerable to misuse. A pandemic caused by a virus made from synthetic DNA — or even a lesser instance of synthetic bioterrorism — would not only generate a public health crisis but also trigger crippling restrictions on research.” Esvelt adds: “The world has too much to gain from the life sciences to continue letting just anyone obtain DNA sufficient to cause a pandemic.” 

New Scientist

Prof. Giovanni Traverso and colleagues have developed a new ingestible sensor that could be used to help diagnose gastrointestinal conditions, reports Jeremy Hsu for New Scientist. “Eventually, the futuristic device could provide treatments for gut illnesses through electrical stimulation via additional electrodes embedded in the sensor,” Hsu notes.  

Time Magazine

Prof. Linda Griffith and Stuart Orkin '67 were named to this year’s Time 100 Health list, which recognizes innovators leading the way to new health solutions. Griffith, who was honored for her work engineering a uterine organoid to study endometriosis, explains that in the future engineered organoids could be used to find the most effective treatments for patients. “We have all the genetic information and all the information from the patient’s exposure to infections, environmental chemicals, and stress that would cause the tissues to become deranged in some way, all captured in that organoid,” Griffith explains. 

Bloomberg

Researchers at MIT have developed a new measure called “outdoor days,” which describes the number of days per year in which temperatures are comfortable enough for outdoor activities in specific locations around the world, reports Lebawit Lily Girma for Bloomberg News. “Changes in the number of outdoor days will impact directly how people around the world feel climate change,” says Prof. Elfatih Eltahir.

TechCrunch

MIT researchers have developed a new tool to quantify how climate change will impact the number of “outdoor days” where people can comfortably spend time outside in specific locations around the world, reports Tim DeChant for TechCrunch. “The MIT tool is a relatable application of a field of study known as climate scenario analysis, a branch of strategic planning that seeks to understand how climate change will impact various regions and demographics,” writes De Chant.

Politico

MIT researchers have found that “when an AI tool for radiologists produced a wrong answer, doctors were more likely to come to the wrong conclusion in their diagnoses,” report Daniel Payne, Carmen Paun, Ruth Reader and Erin Schumaker for Politico. “The study explored the findings of 140 radiologists using AI to make diagnoses based on chest X-rays,” they write. “How AI affected care wasn’t dependent on the doctors’ levels of experience, specialty or performance. And lower-performing radiologists didn’t benefit more from AI assistance than their peers.”

Forbes

Researchers from MIT and elsewhere are studying how T-cell receptors recognize antigens, reports Michael T. Nietzel for Forbes. The team “hopes to develop antigen-specific immunotherapies which could also have treatment implications for infectious diseases and allergies,” writes Nietzel.

New York Times

Research scientist Beth Pollack speaks with the New York Times’ Pam Belluck about her work studying the mechanisms of long Covid-19 and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). “Experts said the study, which is the N.I.H’s first detailed look at ME/CFS, should be considered only one step in understanding the condition, its severity and potential remedies,” explains Belluck. “We must advance the field towards research on treatment,” says Pollack.