September 11, 2018
MIT researchers have developed a model that can help detect depression by analyzing an individual’s speech patterns, reports Kaveh Waddell for Axios. Waddell explains that the researchers, “trained an AI system using 142 recorded conversations to assess whether a person is depressed and, if so, how severely.”
Fast Company reporter Adele Peters highlights a new study co-authored by MIT researchers that examines the impacts of using solar geoengineering to cut global temperature increases caused by climate change in half. The researchers found that “reducing warming would also offset the increasing intensity of hurricanes and would help moderate extreme rain and a lack of water for farming,” Peters explains.
Los Angeles Times reporter Melissa Healy writes that a new study by MIT researchers provides evidence that acoustic and visual stimulation could improve Alzheimer’s symptoms. “The study’s central finding — that inducing electrical synchrony touched off such a widespread range of effects — suggests there might be a single key lever that can preserve or restore order in brains made 'noisy' by age and disease,” Healy explains.
LiveScience reporter Stephanie Pappas writes that a new study by MIT researchers finds that massive tectonic collisions in the tropics may have led to the last three ice ages on Earth. “This could provide a simple tectonic process that explains how Earth goes in and out of glacial periods,” explains Prof. Oliver Jagoutz.
TIME reporter Alice Park writes that in a Nature commentary, an international group of scientists has called for a temporary ban on studies using gene-editing on human embryos. “Our question is, how should nations make decisions about technologies like gene editing going forward?” says Prof. Eric Lander, director of the Broad Institute and one of the authors of the commentary.
In an article for the Financial Times, Ashley Nunes, a research affiliate at MIT, writes about the Ethiopian Airlines crash and examines the limits of automation. “The more automated the system, the more crucial the human operator becomes,” writes Nunes. “That’s because automation doesn’t purge demand for human labour, instead it changes the type of labour needed.”
Associated Press reporter Malcom Ritter writes that an international team of scientists – including a number of MIT researchers – has called for a moratorium on making babies with genetically engineered DNA. “The moratorium would allow time for discussion of technical, scientific, societal and ethical issues that must be considered,” explains Ritter.