November 8, 2017
MIT researchers have developed a new sensor that can be applied to the leaf of a plant and could be used to help predict droughts, reports Alyssa Meyers for The Boston Globe. Prof. Michael Strano explains that in the future, “One of the most useful ways of using this sensor is to design more stress-tolerant crops.”
A Washington Post article by Prof. Erik Brynjolfsson and Research Affiliate Xiang Hui demonstrates how artificial intelligence is starting to have a positive impact on the U.S. economy by helping with such obstacles as lowering the language barrier to trade. Brynjolfsson and Hui explain that “human intelligence is needed to make sure it benefits the many, not just the few.”
Jeremy Gregory, executive director of the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub, writes for USA Today about how the quality and condition of a roadway impacts a vehicle’s fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions. “Actions that improve road design and conditions can reduce vehicle fuel consumption and emissions,” argues Gregory.
Popular Mechanics reporter John Wenz writes that a new study co-authored by MIT researchers examines how lithium moves through batteries. The findings could be used to help build a smarter battery, including “designing selective transport channels, additional shielding on batteries, or a battery additive that would prevent against corrosion or the formation of hot spots.”
A study co-authored by Prof. Amy Finkelstein finds that bundling Medicare payments for procedures such as hip and knee replacements reduces the use of post-acute care by about 3 percent, reports Austin Frakt for The New York Times. Finkelstein explains that she examined the use of post-acute care as “it is an area where there is concern about overuse.”