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National Institutes of Health (NIH)

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CNN

Callie Gade and Nate Bonham of CNN’s Discovery Daily Podcast spotlight how researchers from MIT developed a 3D printed replica of the human heart that can help doctors customize treatments for patients before conducting open heart surgery or other intrusive procedures. “These more patient-specific heart replicas can help future researchers develop and identify treatments for people with unique health problems,” says Gade.

NBC

Dr. Akshay Syal, a medical fellow for NBC News, discusses how MIT researchers have developed a new technique to 3D print custom replicas of the human heart.

Bloomberg

Bloomberg reporter Tanaz Meghjani writes that MIT researchers created a new system to 3D print a customized replica of the human heart, which could help improve replacement valve procedures. The new system “mimics blood flow and pressure in individual diseased hearts, suggesting a way to predict the effects of various replacements and select the best fit, avoiding potential leakage and failure,” Meghjani writes.

WBUR

MIT engineers have developed a new technique for 3D printing a soft, flexible, custom-designed replica of a patient’s heart, report Gabrielle Emanuel and Amy Sokolow for WBUR. The goal of the research is to “provide realistic models so that doctors, researchers and medical device manufacturers can use them in testing therapies for different types of heart disease,” Emanuel and Sokolow explain.

Economist

MIT scientists have found that silent synapses - a type of memory-forming synapse - are present in the adult brain, reports The Economist. The discovery of these silent synapses, explains Prof. Mark Harnett, “is a lever for us to get into understanding learning in adults and how potentially we can get access to make it not degrade over the course of aging or disease.”

Quanta Magazine

Researchers at MIT have found “the brain is not wired to transmit a sharp ‘stop’ command in the most direct or intuitive way,” reports Kevin Hartnett for Quanta Magazine. The brain “employs a more complicated signaling system based on principles of calculus,” writes Hartnett.

The Boston Globe

Researchers at MIT have developed new gene-editing technology that can move large sequences of DNA into the human genome, reports Ryan Cross for The Boston Globe. “The molecular tool gives scientists a new way to completely replace broken genes, paving the way to potential cures for diseases such as cystic fibrosis,” writes Cross.

Scientific American

MIT researchers have found that standard autism diagnostic tests could be “stymieing discovery of sex differences in autism,” reports Ingrid Wickelgren for Scientific American. “To qualify for the study, prospective participants had to take a standard activity-based assessment for autism to confirm their diagnosis,” says Wickelgren. “After testing, half of the 50 girls and women who would otherwise be eligible for the scientists’ study did not meet the test’s criteria for autism.”

US News & World Report

Researchers at MIT have found indoor humidity levels can influence the transmission of Covid-19, reports Dennis Thompson for US News & World Report. “We found that even when considering countries with very strong versus very weak Covid-19 mitigation policies, or wildly different outdoor conditions, indoor — rather than outdoor — relative humidity maintains an underlying strong and robust link with Covid-19 outcomes,” explains Prof. Lydia Bourouiba.

Fortune

MIT researchers have found that relative humidity “may be an important metric in influencing the transmission of Covid-19,” reports Sophie Mellor for Fortune, “Maintaining an indoor relative humidity between 40% and 60% – a Goldilocks climate, not too humid, not too dry – is associated with relatively lower rates of Covid-19 infections and deaths,” writes Mellor.

Time

A stamp-sized reusable ultrasound sticker developed by researchers in Prof. Xuanhe Zhao’s research group has been named one of the best inventions of 2022 by TIME. “Unlike stretchy existing ultrasound wearables, which sometimes produce distorted images, the new device’s stiff transducer array can record high-resolution video of deep internal organs (e.g. heart, lungs) over a two-day period,” writes Alison Van Houten.

CBS

Scientists at MIT have found that specific neurons in the human brain light up whenever we see images of food, reports Dr. Mallika Marshall for CBS Boston. “The researchers now want to explore how people’s responses to certain foods might differ depending on their personal preferences, likes and dislikes and past experiences,” Marshall.

TechCrunch

Researchers at MIT are working on a system that can track the development of Parkinson’s disease by monitoring a person’s gait speed, reports Kyle Wiggers and Devin Coldewey for TechCrunch. “The MIT Parkinson’s-tracking effort aims to help clinicians overcome challenges in treating the estimated 10 million people afflicted by the disease globally,” writes Wiggers and Coldewey.

Boston.com

Researchers from MIT and Harvard Medical School are investigating how exercise and high-fat diets can alter cells, genes and cellular pathways, reports Abby Patkin for Boston.com. “Their research could eventually help develop drugs that would mimic the effects of exercise and combat obesity,” explains Patkin.

WCVB

Researchers from MIT and Harvard Medical School have conducted a study to see how exercise and high-fat diets can impact cells, reports WCVB. The researchers “say the data could eventually be used to develop drugs that could help enhance or mimic the benefits of exercise,” writes WCVB.