March 21, 2018
In a new working paper, Prof. Daron Acemoglu and his co-author argue that the rise in automation is linked to the aging of the blue-collar population. “The study shows that workers feeling the brunt of automation in lost jobs and lower wages are between the ages of 36 and 55. Those findings should make it easier for policy makers to track down the most affected workers—and help them survive the robot rush,” writes Ana Campoy for Quartz.
Forbes contributor Brid-Aine Parnell describes new research from MIT and others who discovered that even though diamonds are hard and brittle, “needle nanodiamonds can stretch by as much as 9%.” Because of this, such nanodiamonds could “be biocompatible for vivo imaging, optoelectronics or even delivering drugs into cancer cells,” writes Parnell.
In this one-minute read for Fast Company, Michael Grothaus quips that “40 is the new 20,” based on a new working paper by Sloan Prof. Pierre Azoulay and graduate student Daniel Kim. They found that “when it comes to entrepreneurship, the average successful business founder is 42 years old,” reports Grothaus.
A device developed by MIT researchers allows people to be aware of the brief period between wakefulness and sleep or hypnagogia, reports Daniel Oberhaus of Motherboard. “The system is meant to prevent the user from falling deeper into sleep, effectively suspending them in an extended state of hypnagogia,” Oberhaus explains.
Davide Castelvecchi of Nature explores the “ambitious scientific quarry” that gravitational-wave scientists are after, including what happened in the first few moments after the Big Bang. Castelvecchi, who speaks with MIT physicist Rainer Weiss for this piece, notes that the field has already “delivered discoveries at a staggering rate, outpacing even the rosiest expectations.”
In an essay for The Daily Beast, researchers at the MIT AgeLab explore the extent to which driving is a “secondary” activity when piloting a vehicle, and caution that automation on its own cannot protect drivers from distractions. “While these technologies can nudge us in a safer direction, the decision to practice safer phone habits ultimately lies in the hands of drivers,” they write.
In a VICE News Tonight climate segment, MIT postdocs Volodymyr Koman and Seon-Yeong Kwak explain their technique for making plants glow in the dark to a first-grade class in Boston. Following a demonstration mixing plant glucose with the specialized nanoparticles, one student exclaims in disbelief, “no battery or anything!”