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National Institutes of Health (NIH)

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United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brian Dunleavy writes that MIT researchers have developed a new way to potentially expand sources of biofuel to include straw and woody plants. "Our goal is to extend this technology to other organisms that are better suited for the production of these heavy fuels, like oils, diesel and jet fuel," explains Prof. Gregory Stephanopoulos.

Corriere della Sera

Researchers from MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have developed a robotic dog outfitted with a tablet that allows doctors to visit with emergency room patients remotely. “The robot could therefore avoid the risk of exposure to Covid-19 by healthcare professionals and help save the personal protective equipment necessary for each visit,” writes Ruggiero Corcella of Corriere della Sera.

Stat

A team from MIT has been named a co-winner of this year’s STAT Madness, a bracket-style competition for biomedical research. The team, led by visiting scientist Junwei Li and Prof. Gio Traverso, “developed a solution that, once inside the small intestine, undergoes a reaction and coats it with a temporary adhesive,” which could be used “to make drug delivery more efficient," reports Rebecca Sohn for STAT.

Forbes

To better understand what gives mucus its disease-protecting properties, MIT researchers created synthetic mucins, writes Forbes contributor Jackie Rocheleau. Understanding the antimicrobial properties of mucus “could offer a whole new way of treating infectious disease,” says Prof. Laura Kiessling.

WHDH 7

7 News reporter Byron Barnett spotlights how MIT researchers are developing new face masks aimed at stopping the spread of Covid-19. Prof. Giovanni Traverso is creating reusable masks with pop-put disposable filters, and Prof. Michael Strano is developing a mask that could “destroy the virus, using a nine-volt battery to heat the mask and kill the virus before the wearer breathes it in.”

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporter Suzanne Oliver spotlights two MIT efforts to innovate the face mask. Prof. Giovanni Traverso and his colleagues are developing a reusable, silicon-rubber mask with “sensors that give feedback on fit and functionality,” while Prof. Michael Strano has designed a version that “incorporates a copper mesh heated to about 160 degrees that traps and deactivates the virus.”

CNN

Prof. Gio Traverso speaks with CNN’s Jeanne Moos about his new study examining how comfortable patients were interacting with Dr. Spot, a robotic dog outfitted with a computer tablet that allows ER doctors to engage with patients remotely. “The robot looks like a dog, and dogs are endearing to many, so actually, the reception was very positive,” said Traverso.

NY Post

NY Post reporter Asia Grace writes that MIT researchers have found that patients are comfortable with allowing robotic assistants perform medical evaluations, as part of an effort to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. “People are very positive and accepting of robotic systems in health-care settings, particularly during the pandemic,” says Prof. Giovanni Traverso.

NIH

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the NIH, spotlights Prof. Ed Boyden’s work developing a new technology that “enables researchers for the first time to study an intact tissue sample and track genetic activity on the spot within a cell’s tiniest recesses, or microenvironments—areas that have been largely out of reach until now.”

Vox

Research scientist Andreas Mershin speaks with Noam Hassenfeld of Vox about his work developing a new AI system that could be used to detect disease using smell.

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.

Scientific American

A new AI-powered system developed by researchers from MIT and other institutions can detect prostate cancer in urine samples as accurately as dogs can, reports Tanya Lewis and Prachi Patel for Scientific American. “We found we could repeat the training you use for dogs on the machines until we can’t tell the difference between the two,” says research scientist Andreas Mershin.

ITV

 ITV reporter Liz Summers spotlights how researchers from MIT and other institutions have developed a new system that could eventually be used to help detect diseases via smell. The researchers hope the results could “eventually result in the production of a ‘robotic nose’ perhaps in the form of a smartphone app.”

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brian P. Dunleavy writes that MIT researchers have developed a new system, modeled on a dog’s keen sense of smell, that could be used to help detect disease using smell. “We see the dogs and their training research as teaching our machine learning [sense of smell] and artificial intelligence algorithms how to operate,” says research scientist Andreas Mershin.

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Ruth Reader writes that researchers from MIT and other institutions have developed a new miniaturized detector that could be used to detect diseases by smell. “This paper was about integrating all the techniques that we know can work independently and finding out what of all this can go and become [part of] an integrated smartphone-based diagnostic,” says research scientist Andreas Mershin.