March 12, 2012
"Is the wiring pattern of your brain what makes you uniquely 'you'?"
Prof. Angelika Amon received this year’s Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for her “contributions to finding significant solutions to curing human diseases,” while Profs. Chenyang Xu, Daniel Harlow, Matt Evans and research scientist Lisa Barsotti received New Horizons Prizes for “early-career achievements in their respective fields,” reports Xinhua.
MIT researchers have developed a way to prevent the theft of sensitive data hidden on a computer’s memory, writes TechCrunch’s Zack Whittaker. Storing sensitive data in different memory locations creates “clear boundaries for where sharing should and should not happen, so that programs with sensitive information can keep that data reasonably secure,” explains graduate student Vladimir Kiriansky.
EdX and seven partner universities are now offering nine fully fledged master’s degrees starting at just $9,000, reports Forbes contributor Josh Moody. “Existing industries are evolving while new fields are emerging, and there is a clear demand for the advanced knowledge needed to succeed in this new workplace,” says MIT Prof. Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX.
The Media Lab’s Open Agriculture Initiative is releasing a Personal Food Computer, which uses the same algorithms as the lab and is “capable of growing four plants at a time,” reports Howie Kahn of The Wall Street Journal. Research scientist Caleb Harper hopes the PFC technology, which will be piloted in Boston-area schools, “will expand our knowledge of cultivation on a rapidly changing planet.”
Sloan Prof. Zeynep Ton speaks with Andrew Hill of the Financial Times about The Good Jobs Institute, which she co-founded to help companies create better jobs. Ton suggests that retailers “simplify the way stores operate, standardize processes, train staff to fill multiple roles…and schedule more employees than are needed so they can perform better and engage with customers.”
A study by MIT researchers successfully eradicated two strains of drug-resistant bacteria using encapsulated probiotics and antibiotics, writes UPI reporter Allen Stone. The researchers believe “these probiotics can replenish the gut microbiome after treatment with antibiotics,” and they hope to use this method to develop new types of bandages.