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Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES)

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CBS Boston

A new tabletop device developed by researchers from MIT and other institutions can identify Covid-19 variants in a person’s saliva, reports CBS Boston. “We tried to limit the number of user steps to make sure it was as easy as possible,” explains graduate student Devora Najjar.

WHDH 7

WHDH spotlights how MIT and Harvard researchers are creating wearable biosensors that could be used to detect Covid-19 in a person’s breath. “At the end of the day, what we wanted to do was basically to blend both to potentially produce a product that was more easily incentivized patients to both wear a mask and to get tested,” explains Luis Soenksen of the Abdul Latif Jameel Clinic for Machine Learning in Health.

CBS Boston

A new sensor developed by MIT and Harvard researchers can be embedded in a face mask and used to alert the wearer if they have Covid-19, reports CBS Boston. “Small disposable sensors can diagnose the wearer of the mask within 90 minutes," reports CBS Boston. "The technology has been used before to detect Ebola and Zika, but now researchers are embedding it into face masks and lab coats as a new method to safeguard health care workers.”

Boston Globe

Researchers from MIT and Harvard have developed a new sensor technology that can be embedded in a face mask to detect whether the wearer has Covid-19, reports Pranshu Verma for The Boston Globe. “We worked hard, sometimes bringing nonbiological equipment home and assembling devices manually,” says Luis Soenksen of the Abdul Latif Jameel Clinic for Machine Learning in Health. “It was definitely different from the usual lab infrastructure we’re used to working under, but everything we did has helped us ensure that the sensors would work in real-world pandemic conditions.”

Fast Company

Researchers from MIT and Harvard have developed a face mask outfitted with sensors that can detect if the wearer has Covid-19, reports Adele Peters for Fast Company. “If testing and sensing at a biological molecular level could be done in a format that can follow people around instead of people having to go to the clinic, maybe you can encourage people to get more testing done,” says Luis Soenksen, a Venture Builder at MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Clinic for Machine Learning in Health.

Wired

Wired reporter Max Levy spotlights Prof. Emery Brown and Earl Miller’s research examining how neurons in the brain operate as “consciousness emerges and recedes—and how doctors could better control it.” Levy writes that “Miller and Brown's work could make anesthesia safer, by allowing anesthesiologists who use the EEG to more precisely control drug dosages for people who are unconscious.”

Science

In an editorial for Science, Prof. Sangeeta Bhatia, Prof. Emerita Nancy Hopkins and President Emerita Susan Hockfield underscore the importance of addressing the underrepresentation of women and minorities in tech transfer. “The discoveries women and minority researchers are making today have great potential as a force for good in the world,” they write, “but reaching that potential is only possible if paths to real-world applications are open to everybody.”

Stat

Principal research scientist Leo Anthony Celi speaks with STAT reporter Katie Palmer about the importance of open data sharing in medical research, his new role as editor of PLOS Digital Health, and the challenges facing machine learning in medicine. “With digitization, we’re hoping each country will have an opportunity to create their own medical knowledge system,” says Celi.

Stat

Prof. Emerita Nancy Hopkins speaks with Rebecca Sohn of STAT about the Boston Biotech Working Group’s goal of increasing the number of women leaders and entrepreneurs in biotech and her hopes for the future of women in biotech and the sciences. “You want people to feel that they are free to participate in all the things wherever it leads them,” says Hopkins. “So I think the goal is just that people who really want to do this [pursue biotech] don’t face any greater barrier than anybody else. That everybody has equal access and education to do as they want to.”

Boston Globe

A group of MIT scientists has announced a new plan, called the Future Founders Initiative, aimed at addressing gender inequities in the biotech industry, reports Anissa Gardizy for The Boston Globe. “If we can’t advance discoveries at the same rate for women and men, that means there are drugs, therapies, devices, and diagnostics that are not getting to where they can actually benefit people,” says President Emerita Susan Hockfield. “If as a region we want to continue to lead the world, the best thing to do is not squander our resources.”

Wired

Wired reporter Will Knight spotlights how MIT researchers built a machine learning system that can help predict which patients are most likely to develop breast cancer. “What the AI tools are doing is they're extracting information that my eye and my brain can't,” says Constance Lehman, a professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School and division chief of breast imaging at MGH.

The New York Times

A new study by MIT researchers finds that “changes in coronavirus levels in wastewater preceded rises and falls in positive test results by four to 10 days,” reports Kim Tingley for The New York Times. The findings suggest that “sewage surveillance could play an important role in helping contain the pandemic.”

WCVB

Reporting for WCVB-TV, Katie Thompson highlights a new study by MIT researchers that examines the role of super-spreading events in the Covid-19 pandemic. "The main idea is that most people generate zero or one cases, but it's the people generating hundreds of cases that we should perhaps be worried about," says postdoc Felix Wong said.

Boston 25 News

Prof. James Collins speaks with Boston 25 reporter Julianne Lima about the growing issue of antibiotic resistant bacteria and his work using AI to identify new antibiotics. Collins explains that a new platform he developed with Prof. Regina Barzilay uncovered “a host of new antibiotics including one that we call halicin that has remarkable activity against multi drug-resistant pathogens.”

WBUR

A new study by MIT researchers finds that super-spreading events are larger drivers of the Covid-19 pandemic than originally thought, reports Carey Goldberg for WBUR. “We found in our study that super-spreading events can indeed be a major driver of the current pandemic,” says postdoc Felix Wong. “Most people generate zero or one cases, but it's the people generating hundreds of cases that we really should be worried about.”