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News Archive

  • Aug 27, 2014

    Growing human tissue for mass-production news

    PBS Newshour
    PBS Newshour explains how the Wyss Institute's Organs-on-Chips project could help increase the number of drugs availible to consumers by reducing the monumental costs attributed to failed drug trials...

  • Aug 26, 2014

    Boston scientists develop analytics for stem cell engineering news

    Boston Business Journal
    A team of researchers led by Wyss Institute Core Faculty member James Collins have developed a computer algorithm to test stem cells, a breakthrough that has allowed scientists to regrow part of a colon in a mouse. In back to back papers in Cell, scientists announced a new tool called CellNet, which allows scientists to analyze the network biology of a cell, or the genes that are turned on and off that give the cell certain characteristics. Drawing from a library of public genome databases compiled through the algorithm, scientists can then compare the cell's network to other cell types to more accurately pinpoint what a cell is or what it most closely resembles. According to Collins, better cell understanding could have implications for creating patient-specific cells to assess drug responsiveness, for creating regenerative medicine, and for regrowing tissues or organs in patients.

  • Aug 20, 2014

    Le Laboratoire Cambridge Opens in October as an Unrivaled Art & Design Center in Cambridge Inviting Visitors to Experience First-Hand the Wonders and Experiments of Innovators of All Kinds news

    Reuters
    Le Laboratoire Cambridge, a one-of-a-kind art and design center for creativity, invention and boundless learning, will open in Cambridge on October 31. Le Lab will be the US flagship of ArtScience Labs, a global organization originally founded in Paris by Wyss Institute Core Faculty member David Edwards. ArtScience Labs is dedicated to the development of the most radical ideas that transform the way we learn, imagine and evolve...

  • Aug 19, 2014

    How worms crawl: mathematical model challenges traditional view news

    EarthwormsScience Daily
    Science Daily describes a new mathematical model developed in part by Wyss Institute Core Faculty member L. Mahadevan that challenges the traditional view of how earthworms and insect larvae get around. Instead of inching along via a constant wave of contraction and expansion that is generated by the central brain, their movement is controlled and influenced by the contours of the surface they are moving across. The team believes their new model could be used to improve the mobility of robots...

  • Aug 14, 2014

    A self-organizing thousand-robot swarm news

    Science Daily
    The first thousand-robot flash mob has assembled at Harvard University. Just as trillions of individual cells can assemble into an intelligent organism, or a thousand starlings can form a great flowing murmuration across the sky, the Kilobots demonstrate how complexity can arise from very simple behaviors performed en masse. To computer scientists, they also represent a significant milestone in the development of collective artificial intelligence...

  • Aug 14, 2014

    At Harvard, tiny robots ‘swarm’ into shape news

    The Boston Globe
    When Harvard scientist Michael Rubenstein walks into the laboratory in the morning, he is greeted with a scene somewhere between a disco and the opening of a science fiction movie about a robot apocalypse. A constellation of LED lights blinks in the darkness -- the electronic heartbeat of his 1,024-robot horde. They are ready to do his bidding...

  • Aug 14, 2014

    Tissue development 'roadmap' created to guide stem cell medicine news

    Reuters
    In a boon to stem cell research and regenerative medicine, scientists at Boston Children's Hospital, the Wyss Institute at Harvard University and Boston University have created a computer algorithm called CellNet as a "roadmap" for cell and tissue engineering, to ensure that cells engineered in the lab have the same favorable properties as cells in our own bodies...

  • Aug 7, 2014

    Can We Eliminate Animals from Medical Research? news

    NOVA Next
    Deep in a lab at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, Dr. Donald Ingber has reconstructed a human lung. It absorbs oxygen like a normal human lung. It also transmits that oxygen to blood cells flowing beneath. White blood cells flock to foreign bodies that try to infect its tissue, surrounding the invaders and stamping them out. In many ways, it’s indistinguishable from the lungs that rise and fall inside you and me, with one exception. This lung is on a microchip...

  • Aug 7, 2014

    Researchers Built a Robot That Can Fold Up Like Origami news

    Self-folding robotMashable
    Mashable explains the new approach to creating lifelike self-folding robots that were built by a team of researchers led by Wyss Institute Core Faculty member Rob Wood. Read more...

  • Aug 7, 2014

    Origami robot folds itself up, scuttles away news

    The Boston Globe
    This isn’t quite how most of us imagined the future: You walk into your local, 24-hour robot-manufacturing store — a sort of latter-day Kinko’s — and describe the kind of robot you want. That vision of cheap, self-folding robots — based on the ancient Japanese paper art of origami — is still a long way off. But a team of Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers published a proof-of-concept study Thursday that demonstrates such an approach can work...

  • Aug 7, 2014

    When cooperation counts news

    Harvard Gazette
    Everybody knows the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and now Harvard researchers have evidence that sperm have been taking the familiar axiom to heart. Though competition among individual sperm is usually thought to be intense, with each racing for the chance to fertilize the egg, Harvard scientists including Wyss Institute Core Faculty member L. Mahadevan say that in some species, sperm form cooperative groups that allow them to take a straighter path to potential fertilization. Read more...

  • Aug 7, 2014

    Origami Inspires Rise of Self-Folding Robot news

    The New York Times
    An intricately cut sheet lies flat and motionless on a table. Then Samuel Felton, a graduate student at Harvard, connects the batteries, sending electricity coursing through, heating it. The sheet lurches to life, the pieces bending and folding into place. The transformation completes in four minutes, and the sheet, now a four-limbed robot, scurries away at more than two inches a second. Read more...

  • Aug 7, 2014

    An out of body experience news

    The Pharmaceutical Journal
    Pioneering work in the United States to create organs-on-chips could revolutionise the future of drug development...

  • Aug 5, 2014

    Cheap and compact medical testing: Researchers develop simple detector news

    Phys.org
    Researchers in Wyss Institute Core Faculty member George Whitesides' lab have devised an inexpensive medical detector that costs a fraction of the price of existing devices, and can be used in poor settings around the world...

  • Aug 4, 2014

    Cheap and compact medical testing news

    Harvard Gazette
    Researchers in Wyss Institute Core Faculty member George Whitesides' lab have devised an inexpensive medical detector that costs a fraction of the price of existing devices, and can be used in poor settings around the world. The health device is designed to monitor diabetes, detect malaria, discover environmental pollutants, and perform tests that are currently done by machines that cost tens of thousands of dollars. After working on it for nearly three years, the team has turned the device over to entrepreneurs interested in commercializing the technology...

  • Aug 1, 2014

    Local Innovators Team Up to Bring a New Restaurant Concept to Cambridge news

    BostInno
    This September, Kendall Square will become home to one of the most innovative new restaurants in the city. Restaurant superstars Chef Patrick Campbell (Eastern Standard, No. 9 Park), expert Mixologist Todd Maul (Clio) and General Manager Tom Mastricola (Commonwealth) are teaming up with the Cambridge-based WikiFoods think tank, led by Harvard Professor David Edwards, to change the way the world thinks about food and sustainability...

  • Jul 31, 2014

    Collective Mind in the Mound: How Do Termites Build Their Huge Structures? news

    National Geographic
    In National Geographic, Wyss Institute Core Faculty member Radhika Nagpal makes an analogy between the behavior of termites and the brain, which helps explain how the collective power of social insects far outstrips that of the individual. Individual termites react rather than think, but at a group level they exhibit a kind of cognition and awareness of their surroundings. Similarly, in the brain, individual neurons don't think, but thinking arises in the connections between them. Earlier this year, Nagpal led a team that used termite behavior as a model to build a small swarm of robots called TERMES that assembles a structure without any instruction. Read more... 

  • Jul 30, 2014

    Reenergizing America's Innovation Engine news

    Huffington Post
    "At the Wyss Institute, we hired over forty scientists and engineers with extensive industrial experience in product development, and integrated them into teams composed of faculty, fellows, students and staff. Working together at the bench, they have transformed recent discoveries in biology into engineering innovations that have the potential to transform healthcare and the environment." Read more from Institute Director Don Ingber...

  • Jul 29, 2014

    NanoString Technologies Introduces New Universal Junction Probe Design for Detecting Gene Fusions news

    The Wall Street Journal
    NanoString Technologies, Inc., a provider of life science tools for translational research and molecular diagnostic products, today announced that it has expanded the capabilities of its nCounter Elements(TM) General Purpose Reagents (GPRs) with the addition of a universal junction probe design that offers specific detection and analysis of known fusion genes...

  • Jul 28, 2014

    One to Watch: Interviews with Inspiring Kiwis, Dr. Charles Reilly news

    One To Watch
    One To Watch profiles biomedial animator Charles Reilly. At the Wyss Institute, Reilly develops biologically inspired animations and leverages computer visualization tools to deepen scientific understanding...

  • Jul 22, 2014

    Mouse sperm parties make for straight swimmers news

    Science News
    A combined mathematical and experimental study of coordinated sperm movement led by Wyss Institute Core Faculty member L. Mahadevan reveals the importance of geometry, motion and group size on sperm velocity and suggests how these physical variables interact with evolutionary selective pressures to regulate cooperation in competitive environments...

  • Jul 22, 2014

    Don't Pop That Bubble Wrap! Scientists Turn Trash Into Test Tubes news

    NPR
    Scientists at Harvard University have figured out a way to use these petite pouches as an inexpensive alternate to glass test tubes and culture dishes. They even ran glucose tests on artificial urine and anemia tests on blood, all with the samples sitting inside bubble wrap...

  • Jul 17, 2014

    Bubble wrap used for cheap blood and bacteria tests news

    bubble wrapNew Scientist
    New Scientist explains how Wyss Institute Core Faculty member George Whitesides and his team use bubble wrap as a low-cost diagnostic tool...

  • Jul 17, 2014

    Harvard scientists want gene-manipulation debate news

    gene drivesThe Boston Globe
    Boston Globe reports on “gene drives” -- a potential new way to solve global ecological problems caused by wild populations, such as invasive species. Wyss Institute Technology Development Fellow Kevin Esvelt, Core Faculty member George Church, and others launch public conversation...

  • Jul 17, 2014

    U.S. researchers call for greater oversight of powerful genetic technology news

    Science Magazine
    Scientists have outlined what they think needs to be done about an emerging technology called gene drive, which involves stimulating biased inheritance of particular genes to alter entire populations of organisms...

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