Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Brain: Balancing old and new skills

To learn new motor skills, the brain must be plastic: able to rapidly change the strengths of connections between neurons, forming new patterns that accomplish a particular task. However, if the brain were ...

Dec 09, 2013
popularity 4.8 / 5 (8) | comments 0 | with audio podcast

Biologists ID new cancer weakness

About half of all cancer patients have a mutation in a gene called p53, which allows tumors to survive and continue growing even after chemotherapy severely damages their DNA.

Nov 14, 2013
popularity 4.6 / 5 (10) | comments 0 | with audio podcast

Schizophrenia linked to abnormal brain waves

Schizophrenia patients usually suffer from a breakdown of organized thought, often accompanied by delusions or hallucinations. For the first time, MIT neuroscientists have observed the neural activity that ...

Oct 16, 2013
popularity 4.9 / 5 (15) | comments 6 | with audio podcast

Creating a permanent bacteria barrier

Any medical device implanted in the body attracts bacteria, proteins, and other microbes to its surface, causing infections and thrombosis (blood clotting) that lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths annually. ...

Oct 11, 2013
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Watching tumors burst through a blood vessel

Cancer cells metastasize in several stages—first by invading surrounding tissue, then by infiltrating and spreading via the circulatory system. Some circulating cells work their way out of the vascular ...

Sep 20, 2013
popularity 4.8 / 5 (4) | comments 0 | with audio podcast

Brain circuit can tune anxiety

Anxiety disorders, which include posttraumatic stress disorder, social phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder, affect 40 million American adults in a given year. Currently available treatments, such as ...

Aug 21, 2013
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Brain scans may help diagnose dyslexia

About 10 percent of the U.S. population suffers from dyslexia, a condition that makes learning to read difficult. Dyslexia is usually diagnosed around second grade, but the results of a new study from MIT could help identify ...

Aug 13, 2013
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A worm's-eye view of immunity

In 1998, scientists published the first complete genome of a multicellular organism—the worm Caenorhabditis elegans. At the same time, new technologies were emerging to help researchers manipulate genes ...

Aug 13, 2013
popularity 4 / 5 (1) | comments 0 | with audio podcast

Why tumors become drug-resistant

Cancer drugs known as ErbB inhibitors have shown great success in treating many patients with lung, breast, colon and other types of cancer. However, ErbB drug resistance means that many other patients do ...

Aug 06, 2013
popularity 5 / 5 (3) | comments 0 | with audio podcast