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Gizmodo

Scientists from MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have developed a plant-based gel that can be used to deliver effective doses of antimicrobial drugs around the world, reports Ed Cara for Gizmodo. The gels “can be produced cheaply and combined with edible materials like beeswax to create different textures and viscosity, ranging from something like a protein shake to yogurt,” writes Cara.

CNET

Researchers at MIT worked with colleagues at Brigham and Women’s Hospital to develop a gel that could deliver drugs that typically come in pill form. “The work involved testing gel formulations with trained food tasters who found that the most appealing versions were made from cottonseed oil (neutral flavor) or sesame oil (nutty flavor),” reports Amanda Kooser for CNET.

New York Times

New York Times columnist Peter Coy spotlights the research of Prof. Nancy Leveson and Elizabeth White Baker SM ‘22 examining how to detect and prevent errors in the administration of medication. Baker noted that her research at MIT taught her that “hospital administrators sometimes try to save money by stinting on safety measures even though improving safety is cheaper in the long run because it helps saves on costs like defending against malpractice lawsuits.”

FiercePharma

FiercePharma’s Nick Paul Taylor writes about a new drug delivery gel developed by researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “Our system is an oil-based system gel, which makes it compatible with most drugs,” says visiting scientist Ameya Kirtane. “This enables the formulation of drugs that were not available in semi-solid or liquid dosage forms and allows patients, especially children, to more easily take their medicine.”

Boston.com

MIT researchers have developed a new drug-delivering gel that could make it easier for children and adults to swallow their medicine, reports Gwen Egan for Boston.com. The gel could be made in a variety of different textures and can be stored without refrigeration.

CBS Boston

Researchers from MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have developed a gel that can be mixed into medicine to make it easier to swallow, reports CBS Boston. “The gel is made out of plant-based oils and doesn’t have to be refrigerated,” says CBS Boston.  “The hope is that it can one day be used to help children and adults who have trouble swallowing pills.”

The Wall Street Journal

InsideTracker - a personalized-nutrition company founded by scientists from MIT, Harvard, and Tufts University - utilizes blood tests to calculate biological age, reports Betsy Morris for The Wall Street Journal. The company analyzes blood samples for “markers of conditions like inflammation, heart health and liver or kidney disorder,” explains Morris. “Those who test as older than their years get recommendations to adjust diet, exercise and supplements.”

The Daily Beast

Researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School have created an artificial intelligence program that can accurately identify a patient’s race based off medical images, reports Tony Ho Tran for The Daily Beast. “The reason we decided to release this paper is to draw attention to the importance of evaluating, auditing, and regulating medical AI,” explains Principal Research Scientist Leo Anthony Celi.

Stat

During the AI Cures Conference, Prof. Regina Barzilay spoke with Food and Drug Administration senior staff fellow Amir Khan about how the agency intends to regulate artificial intelligence in medicine, reports Casey Ross for STAT.  “’My thinking is that models should be regulated based on their functionality, and not necessarily on the input data they use,” said Barzilay. 

Stat

J-PAL research manager Jesse Gubb writes for STAT about how voluntary innovation tests can lead to providers favoring profitable programs over what is best for patients and can make potential reforms harder to evaluate. “The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is in the rare position of being empowered to develop innovative payment models and prospectively evaluate them,” writes Gubb. “Mandatory, national randomized evaluations ensure that the already significant effort to develop the models will yield the rigorous evidence needed to support decisions on whether to scale and adopt them broadly.”

Stat

STAT reporter Katie Palmer spotlights Principal Research Scientist Leo Anthony Celi’s research underscoring the importance of improving the diversity of datasets used to design and test clinical AI systems. “The biggest concern now is that the algorithms that we’re building are only going to benefit the population that’s contributing to the dataset,” says Celi. “And none of that will have any value to those who carry the biggest burden of disease in this country, or in the world.”

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Michael Blanding spotlights Prof. Hugh Herr’s work with Dr. Matthew Carty in developing a new amputation surgery called agonist-antagonist myoneural interface (AMI) procedure, which reconnects muscles to amplify electrical signals sent along the nerves. “My dream as a scientist is that a person with an arm amputation could play a Beethoven piece at normal speeds and dexterity – and for legs, that a person could dance ballet,” says Herr.

WBUR

Professor Linda Griffith speaks with Radio Boston host Tiziana Dearing about her research on endometriosis. The dream is “that we get diagnosis at the start, and you get your therapy at the start, and you don’t even develop the disease,” says Griffith.

Stat

Researchers from MIT and journalists from STAT conducted a months long investigation and found that “subtle shifts in data fed into popular health care algorithms — used to warn caregivers of impending medical crises — can cause their accuracy to plummet over time, raising the prospect AI could do more harm than good in many hospitals,” reports Casey Ross for STAT.

PBS NOVA

PBS Nova premiered “Augmented,” a documentary film that features Prof. Hugh Herr and his research team’s work in developing brain controlled robotic limbs and reimagining amputation procedures. “Herr is teaming up with an injured climber and a surgeon at a leading Boston hospital to test a new approach to surgical amputation that allows prosthetic limbs to move and feel like the real thing,” writes PBS Nova.