News

A step closer to artificial livers

Prometheus, the mythological figure who stole fire from the gods, was punished for this theft by being bound to a rock. Each day, an eagle swept down and fed on his liver, which then grew back to be eaten again the next day. Modern scientists know there is a grain…

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Evaluating a new way to open clogged arteries

Over the past few decades, scientists have developed many devices that can reopen clogged arteries, including angioplasty balloons and metallic stents. While generally effective, each of these treatments has drawbacks, including the risk of side effects. A new study from MIT analyzes the potential usefulness of a new treatment that…

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Sorting out the structure of a Parkinson’s protein

Clumps of proteins that accumulate in brain cells are a hallmark of neurological diseases such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Over the past several years, there has been much controversy over the structure of one of those proteins, known as alpha synuclein. MIT computational scientists have now modeled…

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How the brain loses and regains consciousness

Since the mid-1800s, doctors have used drugs to induce general anesthesia in patients undergoing surgery. Despite their widespread use, little is known about how these drugs create such a profound loss of consciousness. In a new study that tracked brain activity in human volunteers over a two-hour period as they…

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