Meet Victoria, the Robot Who Gives Birth

Nursing students at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Health Professions use a realistic birth simulator named Victoria to practice guiding mother and child through the birth process. Just like human mothers, Victoria’s deliveries don’t always go as planned, helping to prepare nurses for complications they may encounter during a live birth. Simulators play a key role in providing Mass General nurses, clinicians and researchers with life-like scenarios they can use to develop new skills and investigate new medical techniques.


NIH’s Commitment to Basic Science

Great to see this article from the National Institutes of Health’s Mike Lauer confirming the Institution’s support for basic research!

“NIH’s mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability. This fundamental knowledge is obtained through research that addresses a specific health need, as well as through basic research that supports a broad understanding of human behavior and biology.”


Is Functional MRI The New X-Ray Vision?

Nearly a century after the introduction of X-ray, the debut of the imaging technique functional magnetic resonance imaging reopened some of the same questions about the nature of seeing and knowing—casting an even keener eye, perhaps, on the matter of what makes us who we are. If X-ray made the invisible visible by revealing our inner anatomies—the structural constituents of our physical forms—fMRI delved deeper still, identifying and deconstructing the brain mechanisms underlying responses like fear and desire, which reside at the core of the human condition. – See more at:

Researchers Developing a Pill that Lasts and Lasts

Mass General researchers are working on a flexible polymer pill that could provide a month’s worth of medication at a time before passing harmlessly through the body. The pill could help to increase patient adherence to prescribed medicines. Failure to take medicines as prescribed is estimated to cost more than $100 billion in avoidable hospitalizations each year.


Bariatric Surgery May Reduce Life-Threatening Heart Failure Exacerbation in Obese Patients

“We found that bariatric surgery – the most effective way to achieve substantial and sustained weight loss – was associated with a 40 percent reduction in emergency department visits and hospitalizations for heart failure exacerbation,” says Yuichi Shimada, MD, MPH, of the Mass General Cardiology Division, the lead and corresponding author of the report.

“These findings are important because, while both obesity and heart failure are major public health problems in the U.S., little has been known about whether substantial weight loss would decrease the risk of heart-failure-related adverse events.”