August 9, 2018
Edd Gent highlights MIT’s ingestible origami robot in this NBC Mach article on the ways origami is impacting science and engineering. “[T]he intricate folding patterns can be used to make complex mechanical systems,” like the MIT robot, which is “designed to unfurl and steer its way through the gut with help from external magnets,” writes Gent.
New York Times reporter Dennis Overbye writes about the years of effort that go into ensuring that large-scale, Nobel-prize winning scientific endeavors like LIGO – which is jointly operated by MIT and Caltech – are funded and successful. Overbye writes that LIGO’s success “was a saga of persistence, ingenuity and just plain bravery in the face of nature and professional skepticism.”
Boston Globe reporter Hiawatha Bray writes that MIT startup Altaeros has developed a helium-filled airship called a SuperTower that can be used to carry cellular antennas and can be tethered 800 feet above ground. Bray explains that radio signals from the SuperTower “have a range of more than 35 miles over flat terrain, taking the place of 15 land-based cell towers.”
Prof. Theodore Postol writes for The New York Times about the potential consequences of the United States of America withdrawing from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty. “It is the unimaginable capabilities of these weapons that must take center stage when considering the giant and still unknown terrors and threats they pose to global stability and humanity’s future,” argues Postol.
Forbes contributor Gil Press writes about MIT cybersecurity startup Duality Technologies, which is working on guaranteeing privacy and utility. Press explains that the company is using a cybersecurity technique called Homomorphic Encryption, which “allows for processing and analysis of the encrypted data without having the secret key.”
Prof. John Deutch proposes a demonstration project to show how renewable energy could provide 95 percent of electricity generation, reports Jeff McMahon for Forbes. Deutch suggests “setting up a competition between energy developers, allowing them to bid on a 20-year contract to provide a system that meets 95 percent of demand in an area using solar, wind and storage alone.”
MIT researchers have found that climate change could cause more thunderstorms and stagnant air in the summer, reports Martin Finucane for The Boston Globe. “With temperatures rising globally, and particularly in the Arctic, the energy in the atmosphere is being redistributed,” writes Finucane. “The result is that more energy will be available to fuel thunderstorms.”