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New collaboration aims to strengthen orthotic and prosthetic care in Sierra Leone

MIT’s K. Lisa Yang Center for Bionics has entered into a collaboration with the Government of Sierra Leone to strengthen the capabilities and services of that country’s orthotic and prosthetic (O&P) sector. Tens of thousands of people in Sierra Leone are in need of orthotic braces and artificial limbs, but access to such specialized medical care […]


How Huntington’s disease affects different neurons

In patients with Huntington’s disease, neurons in a part of the brain called the striatum are among the hardest-hit. Degeneration of these neurons contributes to patients’ loss of motor control, which is one of the major hallmarks of the disease. Neuroscientists at MIT have now shown that two distinct cell populations in the striatum are […]


Self-assembling proteins can store cellular “memories”

As cells perform their everyday functions, they turn on a variety of genes and cellular pathways. MIT engineers have now coaxed cells to inscribe the history of these events in a long protein chain that can be imaged using a light microscope. Cells programmed to produce these chains continuously add building blocks that encode particular […]


New sensor uses MRI to detect light deep in the brain

Using a specialized MRI sensor, MIT researchers have shown that they can detect light deep within tissues such as the brain. Imaging light in deep tissues is extremely difficult because as light travels into tissue, much of it is either absorbed or scattered. The MIT team overcame that obstacle by designing a sensor that converts […]


This is your brain. This is your brain on code

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which measures changes in blood flow throughout the brain, has been used over the past couple of decades for a variety of applications, including “functional anatomy” — a way of determining which brain areas are switched on when a person carries out a particular task. fMRI has been used to […]


McGovern Merits

Thank you so much for helping us with our outreach and communications efforts at the McGovern Institute! As a token of our appreciation, we have a collection of McGovern swag for you to choose from. The items are grouped according to levels of volunteer engagement, with descriptions below. BRONZE MERITS are for those who have […]


Season’s Greetings from the McGovern Institute

This year’s holiday video (shown above) was inspired by Ev Fedorenko’s July 2022 Nature Neuroscience paper, which found similar patterns of brain activation and language selectivity across speakers of 45 different languages. Universal language network Over several decades, neuroscientists have created a well-defined map of the brain’s “language network,” or the regions of the brain […]


Brains on conlangs

For a few days in November, the McGovern Institute hummed with invented languages. Strangers greeted one another in Esperanto; trivia games were played in High Valyrian; Klingon and Na’vi were heard inside MRI scanners. Creators and users of these constructed languages (conlangs) had gathered at MIT in the name of neuroscience. McGovern Institute investigator Evelina […]


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