March 20, 2017
After serving as the U.S. Energy Secretary for nearly four years, Prof. Ernest Moniz has returned to MIT as a part time physics professor and special adviser to President L. Rafael Reif, reports the Associated Press.
Boston Magazine reporter Jamie Ducharme writes that MIT researchers have developed a new gel-like coating that can be used on medical devices like catheters and IV tubes to reduce friction and ease patient discomfort. The substance, “can be moved, stretched, and twisted without breaking, “Ducharme explains, and also, “acts as a lubricant for the objects it coats.”
MIT researchers have developed a new way to engineer liver tissue that involves implanting tiny “seeds” of liver tissue, which expand to perform normal liver functions, reports Robert Preidt for U.S. News & World Report. The technique could one day “help reduce long wait lists for liver transplants.”
Preston County News & Journal reporter Theresa Marthey writes that students from Preston County, West Virginia are working on code to move SPHERES satellites on the International Space Station as part of the Zero Robotics program. Instructor Amanda Rehe explains that, “students have direct access with students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to use as a resource and assist with coding help.”
In an article for Forbes, Peter Cohen examines why the Cambridge area has become such a hub for startups. Cohen highlights how universities like MIT contribute to a region’s economic activity and to its supply of innovation and talent. He notes that, “by 2014 MIT alumni had created 30,200 companies with $1.9 trillion in revenue.”
Prof. Lawrence Vale writes for Slate that proposed cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s funding could worsen the public housing crisis in the U.S. Vale writes that the American public housing system, “suffers from a toxic convergence of long-deferred maintenance, squeezed budgets and cost-cutting measures.”
Science reporter Gloria Emeagwali reviews Prof. Clapperton Mavhunga’s new book, which examines how Africans have contributed to science throughout history. “Eurocentric assumptions about the history of science and technology, entrepreneurship, epistemology, and scientific methodology are directly challenged in this scholarly collection of essays that masterfully document the historical and contemporary scientific contributions of Africans.”