Sci & Tech

Mobile Stethoscope for Diagnosing Lung Disease

Mobile Stethoscope for Diagnosing Lung Disease

A team from MIT has built a  mobile stethoscope:  Plug  it into a smartphone and the companion app transforms the device into a low-cost diagnostic tool, which health workers and non-specialist physicians can use to diagnose lung disease. Diseases of the lungs — such as pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, and lung cancer — cause more than 14 percent of deaths worldwide. Others like asthma reduce the quality of a person’s life. These diseases hit the developing world the hardest, because the major […]



Startup Research

Startup Research

Many facets of entrepreneurship haven’t been fully explored yet – at least not by those outside the industry. But independent researchers are digging into some of the compelling questions surrounding startups, technology, and the current surge of interest in all things innovation. Here are some of the most interesting ideas being highlighted by the latest entrepreneurship research, as featured in the newest edition of the prominent research journal Science. Read more here. html. pdf.



Probiotic-laced Parfait to Detect Liver Cancer

Probiotic-laced Parfait to Detect Liver Cancer

Eating a spoonful of probiotic-fortified yogurt, followed by a quick urine test, may someday be enough to tell if cancer has spread to your liver. In a study published in this week’s issue of Science Translational Medicine, researchers present a rapid, non-invasive way to detect liver cancer that’s shown promise in tests in mice. Their approach: use the body’s digestive system for transit and use bacteria as reporters. Cancers commonly recur in the liver long after the cells have disappeared from other organs. Researchers are […]



Smart Brain Implants

Smart Brain Implants

Can a tiny chip implanted in the brain help control dark or depressive thoughts? For decades, doctors have been placing small devices in people’s brains to help patients with movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease. But increasingly, physicians have been experimenting with using similar neurological implants in patients with cognitive and emotional disorders like depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. There is strong interest in using these types of neurological prosthetics in returning soldiers who suffer from mental disorders, particularly those who may feel suicidal. A recent […]



BookBub Goes To India

BookBub Goes To India

Quick. Name the country that has the world’s second largest English speaking population. Hint: the country also has a rapidly-growing educated population that’s reading an increasing number of books. If you guessed India, you’re right. But to BookBub, the Kendall Square-based company that releases a daily newsletter providing millions of readers deals on e-books, this question is far more that just a bit of trivia. In India, the company saw an opportunity to dramatically expand its reach, and so it officially launched in the country earlier this month.  It’s […]



MIT Clean Energy Prize

MIT Clean Energy Prize

“Facebook’s data centers use the same amount of energy as the City of Palo Alto,” said Alexandra Wright, a MBA student from the MIT Sloan School of Management, who was the presenter for the winning team. Copper was seen as the culprit. The team decided to change the copper-based technology in the processors to one based on the more energy-efficient fibre optics. Mark Wade, a graduate research assistant at the University of Colorado, is the electrical engineer who designed the optical device to replace the […]



To Negotiate Pricey Medical Bills

To Negotiate Pricey Medical Bills

When they worked at Watertown’s AthenaHealth, which provides medical billing and other services to the health care industry, Rebecca Palm and Katie Vahle noticed that people weren’t paying their hospital bills on time. It turns out those people weren’t trying to dodge their debts. Instead, many of them seemed confused about what they actually owed — and there were few resources to guide them. So the duo started a technology-driven company, Boston-based CoPatient, which scrutinizes and negotiates health care bills to reduce costs. Read the […]



Getting Personalized Book Recommendations

Getting Personalized Book Recommendations

The lament of the bibliophile – too many books, too little time – now sounds like a plea for help. Forget about reading them all, how is the time-starved reader supposed to even keep track of the latest offerings from the publishing industry? Like a proactive assistant, the Hawaii Project promises to cast a wide net and alert book lovers to titles they might not have found on their own. The app makes recommendations based on a person’s favorite authors and books. Mark Watkins, a […]



A Handbag for Power-Dressers

A Handbag for Power-Dressers

A smart-looking handbag can make you look good, but a smart handbag can do much more for you. The 314, a luxury handbag made in Italy with technology designed at MIT, is both good-looking and smart – and is poised to hit the market soon. The bag can charge your cellphone or any other USB-enabled device, and light up when you are rummaging through its insides. And no, you don’t have to plug in your handbag every night. Theodora Koullias, 24, is founder and chief […]



Blue-rayed Limpets shine for a reason

Blue-rayed Limpets shine for a reason

Taking a trick from birds and butterflies, a mollusk shines blue using intricate structures that allow selective reflection of light. But unlike other animals, the blue-rayed limpet, a snail that lives along the rocky shores of the northeastern Atlantic, creates functional iridescence using a hard mineral rather than an organic molecule such as a protein. The shell of the blue-rayed limpet, Patella pellucida, is largely made of calcium carbonate platelets. Just beneath the shell’s surface, materials scientist Ling Li of Harvard University and his colleagues […]