Paper Test Diagnoses Ebola in 10 Minutes

Ebola Test Image

When diagnosing a case of Ebola, time is of the essence. However, existing diagnostic tests take at least a day or two to yield results, preventing health care workers from quickly determining whether a patient needs immediate treatment and isolation.

A new test from MIT researchers could change that: The device, a simple paper strip similar to a pregnancy test, can rapidly diagnose Ebola, as well as other viral hemorrhagic fevers such as yellow fever and dengue fever.

Langer Wins Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

Robert Langer, the Koch Institute Professor at MIT, has been named the winner of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering ( The organization cites his revolutionary advances and leadership in engineering at the interface of chemistry and medicine. The award credits Langer for improving over 2 billion lives worldwide with disease treatments created by his lab. Langer will receive the prize from the queen in a ceremony later this year.

Langer, who holds appointments in the departments of chemical engineering and biological engineering, and at the Institute of Medical Engineering and Science and the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, is cited as “the first person to engineer polymers to control the delivery of large molecular weight drugs for the treatment of diseases such as cancer and mental illness.”

Forbes 30 under 30


HST is extremely proud to have three current students and one recent alum named to 2015 Forbes 30 Under 30.

Congratulations to Alex Bick, MD-PhD student, Alison Hill, MEMP PhD ’13, and Chris Lee, MEMP PhD student — acknowledged for contributions to Healthcare — as well as Eran Hodis, an MD-PhD student recognized in the Science category.

New interdisciplinary center at MIT to focus on the microbiome and human health

Clostridium difficile (shown here) is a bacteria in the intestines that has been successfully treated through microbiome manipulation.
Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

More than 90 percent of the genes in our bodies do not come from our own cells. Instead, the vast majority of this genetic material is found within the trillions of microorganisms that call our bodies home. Collectively known as the microbiome, these communities of bacteria and other microbes play a significant role in the functioning of the digestive tract, immune system, skin, and other body systems.

In recent years, the microbiome has attracted increasing attention for its role in health and disease. This week, MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) announce the launch of the Center for Microbiome Informatics and Therapeutics, a new interdisciplinary center dedicated to advancing the understanding of the microbiome’s role in human biology and harnessing this knowledge to develop treatments for related illnesses.