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Imaging technique maps serotonin activity in living brains

Imaging technique that creates 3-D video of serotonin transport could aid antidepressant development


Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that's partly responsible for feelings of happiness and for mood regulation in humans. This makes it a common target for antidepressants, which block serotonin from being reabsorbed by neurons after it has dispatched its signal, so more of it stays floating around ...


A new strategy for choosing cancer drugs


Choosing the best treatment for a cancer patient is often an inexact science. Drugs that work well for some patients may not help others, and tumors that are initially susceptible to a drug can later become resistant. In a new approach to devising more personalized treatments, researchers at MIT ...


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New technique provides detailed views of metals’ crystal structure

Method uses readily available tools to quickly determine materials’ properties.


Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have developed a new combination of methods that can provide detailed information about the microstructure of polycrystalline metals. Such materials — composed of a random matrix of multiple small crystals rather than one single large crystal — are widely used for ...


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Seeing RNA at the nanoscale


Cells contain thousands of messenger RNA molecules, which carry copies of DNA's genetic instructions to the rest of the cell. MIT engineers have now developed a way to visualize these molecules in higher resolution than previously possible in intact tissues, allowing researchers to precisely map ...


Wireless, wearable toxic-gas detector

Inexpensive sensors could be worn by soldiers to detect hazardous chemical agents


MIT researchers have developed low-cost chemical sensors, made from chemically altered carbon nanotubes, that enable smartphones or other wireless devices to detect trace amounts of toxic gases. Using the sensors, the researchers hope to design lightweight, inexpensive radio-frequency ...


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New mid-infrared laser system could detect atmospheric chemicals


Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have found a new way of using mid-infrared lasers to turn regions of molecules in the open air into glowing filaments of electrically charged gas, or plasma. The new method could make it possible to carry out remote environmental monitoring to detect a wide range ...


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New approach to sorting cells

Microfluidic device distinguishes cells based on how they respond to acoustic vibrations


Microfluidic devices hold potential to rapidly analyze cells for applications in medicine and basic research. Researchers have devised systems that can distinguish cells based on their size, deformability, and electrical properties, among other characteristics. A team of MIT researchers has now ...


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Neuroscientists discover a gene that controls worms’ behavioral state

Gene required for the control of behavioral state is also found in humans, may be linked to autism


In a study of worms, MIT neuroscientists have discovered a gene that plays a critical role in controlling the switch between alternative behavioral states, which for humans include hunger and fullness, or sleep and wakefulness. This gene, which the researchers dubbed vps-50, helps to regulate ...


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Imaging with an 'optical brush'


Researchers at the MIT Media Lab have developed a new imaging device that consists of a loose bundle of optical fibers, with no need for lenses or a protective housing. The fibers are connected to an array of photosensors at one end; the other ends can be left to wave free, so they could pass ...


New device uses carbon nanotubes to snag molecules


Engineers at MIT have devised a new technique for trapping hard-to-detect molecules, using forests of carbon nanotubes. The team modified a simple microfluidic channel with an array of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes -- rolled lattices of carbon atoms that resemble tiny tubes of chicken wire. ...


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