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Forbes reporter Ulrich Boser spotlights Prof. Rosalind Picard and her work toward advancing “the capability of computers to recognize human emotions.” “AI can enhance learning, and chatbots can supplement many aspects of teaching and tutoring but true success lies in establishing better tutoring platforms to support – not replace – teachers,” writes Boser. 


MIT scientists have created a high-resolution brain map of the neurons that encode the meanings of various words, reports Sara Reardon for Nature. “The results hint that, across individuals, the brain uses the same standard categories to classify words,” Reardon explains, “helping us to turn sound into sense.” 

USA Today

Sonia Vallabh and Eric Minikel, senior group leaders from the Broad Institute have created a gene-editing tool to combat prion diseases, reports Karen Weintraub for USA Today. The approach “should also work against diseases such as Huntington's, Parkinson's, ALS and even Alzheimer's, which result from the accumulation of toxic proteins,” Weintraub writes.


Cofounded by postdoctoral associate Wen Shuhao and postdoctoral fellows Ma Jian and Lai Lipeng, biotech startup Xtalpi "combines AI, quantum physics, cloud computing and robotic automation to find novel molecules that could be developed into new medicines,” reports Zinnia Lee for Forbes. “Xtalpi has also recently expanded into discovering new chemical compounds for applications such as agriculture, cosmetics, healthcare, as well as petrochemicals and new materials for electric vehicle batteries,” writes Lee.

HealthDay News

MIT researchers have developed microneedle patches that are capable of restoring hair growth in alopecia areata patients, reports Ernie Mundell for HealthDay. The team’s approach includes a, “patch containing myriad microneedles that is applied to the scalp,” writes Mundell. “It releases drugs to reset the immune system so it stops attacking follicles.” 

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. 


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.”

Fast Company

Writing for Fast Company, Senior Lecturer Guadalupe Hayes-Mota '08, SM '16, MBA '16 shares methods to address the influence of AI in healthcare. “Despite these advances [of AI in healthcare], the full spectrum of AI’s potential remains largely untapped,” explains Hayes-Mota. “Systemic hurdles such as data privacy concerns, the absence of standardized data protocols, regulatory complexities, and ethical dilemmas are compounded by an inherent resistance to change within the healthcare profession. These barriers underscore the urgent need for transformative action from all stakeholders to fully harness AI’s capabilities.”


Senior Lecturer Guadalupe Hayes-Mota writes for Forbes about the ways AI is reshaping drug development. “In the next three years, we can anticipate a more streamlined, efficient and cost-effective drug development process, ultimately leading to faster access to life-saving drugs for patients worldwide,” Hayes-Mota writes. “This is not just an evolution; it is a revolution in healthcare powered by the intelligence of machines.”

The Boston Globe

Elemind Technologies, a neuro-tech startup founded by scientists from MIT and elsewhere, is developing, “an approach that redirects brain wave through non-invasive stimulation – using sound, light, touch and electric pulses –  to potentially address a range of neurological conditions in a more targeted ways than drugs,” reports Robert Weisman for The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe

Researchers from MIT and elsewhere have developed an AI model that is capable of identifying 3 ½ times more people who are at high-risk for developing pancreatic cancer than current standards, reports Felice J. Freyer for The Boston Globe. “This work has the potential to enlarge the group of pancreatic cancer patients who can benefit from screening from 10 percent to 35 percent,” explains Freyer. “The group hopes its model will eventually help detect risk of other hard-to-find cancers, like ovarian.”


Prof. Ron Weiss co-founded Strand Therapeutics, a biotech company developing mRNA therapies, reports Emily Mullin for Wired. “The notion is that genetic circuits can really have significant impact on safety and efficacy,” says Weiss. “This begins to really open up the door for creating therapies whose sophistication can match the underlying complexity of biology.”


Prof. Jonathan Weissman and his colleagues have developed a new tool for monitoring changes in human blood cells, which could one day help researchers predict disease risk, reports Megan Molteni for STAT. “The technology paves the way for a day in the not too distant future where it is conceivable that from a simple blood draw, a doctor could get a sense of what’s going on in that patient’s bone marrow,” writes Molteni, “picking up perturbations there that could help predict a diverse range of diseases.”