March 26, 2012
"The buckliball is the first morphable structure to incorporate buckling as something to be desired, according to MIT. Potential uses include a building with a collapsible roof or wall – perhaps something more high-tech than the retractable roof at Safeco Field where the Seattle Mariners play baseball."
Axios reporter Joann Muller spotlights Rivian, an electric-vehicle startup founded by MIT graduate RJ Scaringe. “If Rivian succeeds, the sharing of its technology could be one of the biggest reasons,” writes Muller. “Imagine companies like Amazon, Starbucks or Apple launching their own mobility fleets on top of a generic platform.”
MIT startup Nesterly is connecting young people looking for cheaper rents with older residents looking for assistance at home, reports Dugan Arnett for The Boston Globe. Arnett explains that Nesterly “works roughly on the principles of a dating app, with searchable online profiles and features that help work out details of a lease.”
Popular Science reporter Rob Verger highlights how an MIT spinout and a team of MIT researchers are developing tools to detect depression. “The big vision is that you have a system that can digest organic, natural conversations, and interactions, and be able to make some conclusion about a person’s well-being,” says graduate student Tuka Alhanai of her team’s work.
Writing for The Boston Globe, Prof. Eric Lander, president of the Broad Institute, argues for enabling cancer patients to become actively involved in cancer research. “Patients must have an active voice in decisions. Patient data should never be sold,” Lander writes. “Researchers anywhere should have rapid access to the de-identified clinical and genomic data, to ensure that anyone can make discoveries.”
Prof. Mark Harnett has found that each individual cell in the human brain could operate like a mini-computer, reports Clare Wilson for New Scientist. Wilson explains that “the study has revealed a key structural difference between human and mouse neurons that could help explain our superior powers of intelligence.”
Financial Times reporter Jemima Kelly reports that MIT researchers have developed a low-power chip that is hardwired to perform public-key encryption. Kelly writes that the chip is “potentially a game-changer for simple, low-powered products such as smart sensors used by industry to gauge things such as temperature and pressure, as well as health monitors.”