May 16, 2018
Bloomberg’s Noah Smith profiles Prof. Parag Pathak, who was recently awarded the John Bates Clark medal for his work using economic theory to improve the allocation of students to New York City public schools. “Pathak isn’t just a theorist,” writes Smith, “in keeping with economics’ age of data, he also does a lot of empirical work.”
Fast Company reporter Jeremy Deaton highlights Prof. Jessika Trancik’s research showing that electric vehicles are often cheaper than comparable gas-powered vehicles. “The reason is that the lower fuel costs of EVs relative to gasoline-fueled cars compensate for the higher vehicle costs of EVs,” Trancik explains.
Quartz reporter Dan Kopf writes that a new study by MIT researchers demonstrates how the lack of jobs for workers without college degrees in American cities is contributing to income inequality. “Gentrification in some major cities may be as much a result of the decline in opportunities for people without college degrees as it is an influx of highly educated, highly paid workers,” writes Kopf.
Guardian reporter Ian Sample writes that MIT startup Synlogic are developing a “living” medicine” made from genetically modified bugs. “By engineering these bacteria, we are able to control how they operate in the human gastrointestinal tract,” says Caroline Kurtz of Synlogic. “It allows us to think about many other diseases where you may need to produce something beneficial, or remove something that is toxic for the patient.”
Tanzina Vega of The Takeaway speaks with WGBH reporter Kirk Carapezza about how MIT is training workers in the field of integrated photonics to help fill a labor gap. “MIT has been working with community college students, helping them get internships,” explains Carapezza, “and trying to simultaneously develop the technology and train people how to use it.”
MIT researchers have found that a small gelatinous structure, called the tectorial membrane, gives the human ear its extraordinary ability to detect faint sounds, reports the Xinhua news agency. The findings “could help devise ways to treat hearing impairment via medical interventions that alter the pores or the properties of the fluid in the membrane.”