ENDLESS FRONTIER:
INNOVATIONS IN SCIENCE & ENGINEERING

December 2015

Innovation

New report outlines MIT’s global entrepreneurial impact
A report released this month by MIT underscores the substantial economic impact of the Institute’s alumni entrepreneurs, whose companies have created millions of jobs and generate annual revenues of nearly $2 trillion — a figure greater than the gross domestic product (GDP) of the world’s 10th-largest economy.
Learn more at http://bit.ly/1OiUQoM

Health/Convergence

Scientists discover how cancer cells escape blood vessels
Scientists at MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital have discovered how cancer cells latch onto blood vessels and invade tissues to form new tumors — a finding that could help them develop drugs that inhibit this process and prevent cancers from metastasizing.
Learn more at http://bit.ly/1Rp2hRA

Kill switches shut down engineered bacteria
Many research teams are developing genetically modified bacteria that could one day travel around parts of the human body, diagnosing and even treating infection, and for other uses. But before such bacteria can be safely let loose, scientists have needed a method to control them.  A new synthetic biology technique could make it safer to put engineered microbes to work outside the lab.
Learn more at http://bit.ly/1YQui3P

Stretchable hydrogel electronics
MIT engineers have designed what may be the Band-Aid of the future: a sticky, stretchy, gel-like material that can incorporate temperature sensors, LED lights, and other electronics, as well as tiny, drug-delivering reservoirs and channels. The “smart wound dressing” releases medicine in response to changes in skin temperature and can be designed to light up if, say, medicine is running low.
Learn more at http://bit.ly/1NB9TOj

Music in the brain
Scientists have long wondered if the human brain contains neural mechanisms specific to music perception. Now, for the first time, MIT neuroscientists have identified a neural population in the human auditory cortex using fMRI that responds selectively to sounds that people typically categorize as music, but not to speech or other environmental sounds.
Learn more at http://bit.ly/1lQo2Nt

Science & Tech

Machines that learn like people
A new computational model of visual representation developed at MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research demonstrates algorithms could learn to recognize objects from a few examples, not millions; may better model human cognition.
Learn more at http://bit.ly/1NOMUOw