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News Archive

  • Oct 17, 2014

    American Schools Are Training Kids for a World That Doesn’t Exist news

    Le Laboratoire CambridgeWired
    In Wired Magazine, Wyss Core Faculty member David Edwards' editorial on learning and discovery in America frames why we need Le Laboratoire in Cambridge...

  • Oct 15, 2014

    Carnivorous Plant Inspires Anticlotting Medical Devices news

    TLP coatingScientific American
    By copying aspects of the slick surfaces of insect-catching pitcher plants, researchers at the Wyss Institute created tubes that can carry blood without promoting the formation of blood clots or bacterial attachment...

  • Oct 13, 2014

    Surface coating for medical devices prevents blood clotting and bacterial infections news

    TLP coatingGizmag
    Our bodies have evolved to be pretty good at dealing with incursions by foreign objects and bacteria. Usually, that's a positive thing, but it can spell trouble for medical devices, such as replacement joints, cardiac implants and dialysis machines, which increase the risk of blood clots and bacterial infection. Now researchers at Harvard University have developed a surface coating that smooths the way for medical devices to do their job inside the human body...

  • Oct 12, 2014

    Slippery When Coated: Helping Medical Devices Prevent Blood Clots news

    TLP coatingNPR
    NPR introduces a new super slippery coating that the Wyss Institute is developing to use in medical applications, such as to repel bacteria and prevent blood clotting...

  • Oct 11, 2014

    Artificial Spleen 'Cleans' Blood of Pathogens news

    biospleenSingularity Hub
    The microfluidic biospleen that Wyss Institute Founding Director Don Ingber’s team showed was more than 90% effective in removing bacteria and viruses from blood is described on Singularity Hub...

  • Oct 8, 2014

    Microengineering the Body, Chip by Chip news

    bone marrow on a chipMD News
    Researchers at Harvard University are modeling human physiological processes by microengineering organs that function and withstand study in vitro — organs-on-a-chip. Their latest success, and one that has significant treatment implications: bone marrow. Read more...

  • Oct 7, 2014

    Organ-on-a-Chip Simulates Asthmatic Airway news

    asthma on a chipThe Harvard Crimson
    Scientists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed a new chip that mimics the function of an asthmatic airway and has the potential to speed up the drug-testing process...

  • Sep 30, 2014

    Powerful Gene-Mutating Tech Needs More Debate news

    gene drivesDiscovery News
    A powerful new technology could be used to manipulate nature by changing a species gene pool through reproduction, and it has scientists proceeding with caution. The technology is called “gene drive” by Harvard scientists who say it allows them to “edit” genes in wild organisms...

  • Sep 30, 2014

    Well-armed design: 8 Octopus-inspired technologies news

    soft robotFOX News
    In an article about octopus-inspired technologies, FOX News features a soft, color-changing robot developed by Wyss Institute Core Faculty member George Whitesides and his team. The four-limbed robot has a separate layer of tiny channels through which liquid dyes can be pumped in and out. The color of the dyes can be combined to help the robot blend into its surroundings. More recently in the lab of Wyss Institute Core Faculty member Rob Wood, a new soft robot was developed that does not change color, but is the same shape and can move around autonomously, withstanding fire and ice.

  • Sep 29, 2014

    Scientists proceed with caution towards new gene mutation technology news

    gene drivesFOX News
    A powerful new technology could be used to manipulate nature by changing a species gene pool through reproduction, and it has scientists proceeding with caution. The technology is called “gene drive” by Harvard scientists who say it allows them to “edit” genes in wild organisms. Watch video...

  • Sep 24, 2014

    Using bacterial biofilms to create new materials news

    biofilmsDigital Journal
    Digital Journal describes how a team led by Wyss Institute Core Faculty member Neel Joshi has engineered the super tough properties of biofilms to perform specific function that may lead to a new range of useful materials...

  • Sep 24, 2014

    Airway muscle-on-a-chip 'simulates asthma in humans' news

    asthma on-a-chipMedical News Today
    Researchers from Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, have developed a model that they say accurately simulates muscle contraction in the human airway, providing a tool to test new drugs to treat asthma...

  • Sep 24, 2014

    EmTech: 3-D Printing Complex Kidney Components news

    3D printingMIT Technology Review
    Wyss Institute Core Faculty member Jennifer Lewis is making progress towards her goal of 3-D printing functioning human organs by using novel inks and nozzles invented by her team to precisely print multiple materials. This approach recently made it possible to produce tissues with blood vessels, and is now being used to fabricate rudimentary versions of structures in kidneys called nephrons...

  • Sep 24, 2014

    Harvard wants you (yes, you) to build squishy robots news

    soft robotics toolkitThe Washington Post
    Soft robots are pretty neat: Replacing hard components with silicon and air makes them safer and more durable. Engineers are still working on making soft robots that can crawl into crumbling buildings and perform intricate surgeries, but thanks to a new toolkit from Harvard, so can you...

  • Sep 23, 2014

    Complexity of diabetes: More to tiny fluctuations in blood sugar than meets the eye news

    diabetesScience Daily
    Science Daily explores a novel way of looking at information hidden in blood sugar readings that Wyss Institute Core Faculty member Ary Goldberger is calling “dynamical glucometry” -- an approach that may uncover new ways of understanding diabetes and its treatment...

  • Sep 23, 2014

    How to Make a Soft Robot news

    soft roboticsGizmodo
    Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences recently published an open source soft robotics toolkit to help DIY fans and robotics researchers craft their own. It is extremely thorough, providing step-by-step instructions on how to make a variety of different designs, including a robotic hand...

  • Sep 19, 2014

    Recruiting bacteria to be technology innovation partners news

    biofilmsSpace Daily
    For most people biofilms conjure up images of slippery stones in a streambed and dirty drains. While there are plenty of "bad" biofilms around - they even cause pesky dental plaque and a host of other more serious medical problems - a team led by Wyss Institute Core Faculty member Neel Joshi sees biofilms as a robust new platform for designer nanomaterials that could clean up polluted rivers, manufacture pharmaceutical products, fabricate new textiles, and more...

  • Sep 19, 2014

    Soft robotics 'toolkit' features everything a robot-maker needs news

    soft robotics toolkitScience Daily
    A new resource provides both experienced and aspiring researchers with the intellectual raw materials needed to design, build, and operate robots made from soft, flexible materials. With the advent of low-cost 3-D printing, laser cutters, and other advances in manufacturing technology, soft robotics is emerging as an increasingly important field...

  • Sep 18, 2014

    Using Bacterial Biofilms For Production Of New Self-Healing Materials, Bioprocessing Technologies news


    Harvard team lays the foundation for using bacterial biofilms for production of new self-healing materials and bioprocessing technologies. In short, they want to give biofilms a facelift, and have developed a novel protein engineering system called BIND to do so. Using BIND, which stands for Biofilm-Integrated Nanofiber Display, the team said biofilms could be tomorrow’s living foundries for the large-scale production of biomaterials that can be programmed to provide functions not possible with existing materials...

  • Sep 18, 2014

    Harvard Is Creating a Wearable Robot news

    soft exosuitBoston Magazine
    Imagine a future where people can wear an Iron Man-like suit concealed underneath clothing; a suit that could help soldiers walk further with more stamina, or help the elderly or physically disabled stay mobile longer. Well, thanks to researchers over at Harvard, the future is here...

  • Sep 16, 2014

    Opinion: On the Irreversibility of Gene Drives news

    gene drivesSingularity Hub
    An opinion article in The Scientist addresses the question posed by the Wyss Institute’s Kevin Esvelt and George Church: should researchers genetically modify wild populations of mosquitoes to curb vector-borne diseases?

  • Sep 16, 2014

    From E. coli to Ebola: A device that can filter deadly pathogens out of the body news

    sepsis biospleenThe Washington Post
    The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has claimed at least 2,500 lives, and a treatment or vaccine is still at least months or years away. But what if deadly viruses like Ebola can be effectively treated without the need for a vaccine? Researchers at Harvard University, led by bio-engineer Donald E. Ingber, are in the process of developing a medical device that is optimized to fight a wide range of diseases by simply mimicking and enhancing the blood-cleansing properties of the human spleen...

  • Sep 16, 2014

    Sticky Nanobeads Can Strip Bacteria, Viruses From Blood news

    sepsis biospleenDiscover Magazine
    Bioengineers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have developed a blood filter that quickly grabs toxins, such as E.coli or Ebola, from the bloodstream using protein-coated nanobeads and magnets. In early tests, the biomechanical treatment removed more than 90 percent of toxins from infected human blood within a few hours...

  • Sep 16, 2014

    Mechanical Forces Affect Cell Development and Disease [Video] news

    Scientific American
    In his October 2014 Scientific American article “Twists Of Fate,” biologist Stefano Piccolo explains how physical forces outside of a cell affect genes that control that cell’s behavior. Donald E. Ingber, one of the founders of this area of research, called mechanobiology, says in this video that “mechanical forces are as important for the control of cell and tissue and organ development as are chemicals and genes.” Ingber, founding director of the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, says that you can squish undifferentiated cells between two pieces of rubber, and it prompts those cells to develop into specialized, complex types that form different parts of an organ. And when such physical forces are perturbed, he notes, it can produce disease...

  • Sep 15, 2014

    Cutting the cord on soft robots: Machine walks through snow, flames and can be run over by cars news

    soft robotScience Daily
    Engineers have developed the world's first untethered soft robot -- and demonstrated that the quadruped, which can literally stand up and walk away from its designers, can walk through snow, fire and even be run over by a car. The hope is that such robots might one day serve as a search and rescue tool following disasters...

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