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The Quantified Patient Checks In

Like eight-year-olds who can’t let go of a good joke, Larry Smarr’s nurses and doctors kept coming to him with the same question: “Have you passed gas yet?” Answering this question in the affirmative is, Smarr explains, deadpan, “the state of the art in 2017 in the medical community for deciding when your colon restarts.”

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Emotional Matters

We speak to Affectiva cofounder and CEO Rana el Kaliouby about the opportunities that these products provide in areas such as mental health, mood tracking, and telemedicine as well as the challenges associated with achieving business success.

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Feeling No Pain

As a growing epidemic of opioid abuse in the United States can attest, pain, and how to treat it effectively and without serious side effects, is one of the foremost challenges in medicine today.

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The Foundry: Scaling Up Biological Design

Above: Depicted, from left to right: Chris Voigt, Ben Gordon, Rob Nicol. Photo by Lillie Paquette / MIT School of Engineering.
Living organisms are amazing feats of engineering: By following instructions encoded entirely in DNA, living systems can sense and respond to their environment, build intricate structures

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Putting a Number on Pain

Will new technologies substantially change the way subjective complaints are measured in clinical trials, and, if so, by how much? Depending on the expert consulted, the answer ranges from a little to a lot.