February 1, 2018
In an article for Salon, Prof. Thomas Kochan writes about what employees would prioritize if they were given the opportunity to participate in discussions about workplace issues. “We found that there are large voice gaps across a range of worker concerns and that they are largest on basic economic issues of compensation and benefits, promotions and job security.”
Researchers have developed a handheld device, inspired by spiders, to allow people to move in zero-gravity, writes Daniel Oberhaus for Motherboard. “I want to be able to move freely in 3D space,” explains Xin Liu, arts curator at the MIT Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative, “so I design the technologies that allow me to do that.”
By using sound waves, MIT researchers have discovered that part of Earth’s stable crust may contain diamonds, reports Abbey Interrante for Newsweek. “This shows that diamond is not perhaps this exotic mineral, but on the [geological] scale of things, it’s relatively common,” says research scientist Ulrich Faul.
In a recent blog post, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, Brad Smith, referenced research by MIT graduate student Joy Buolamwini in his argument for government to regulate the use of facial recognition software. Buolamwini’s work “showed error rates of as much as 35% for systems classifying darker skinned women,” reports Dina Bass for Bloomberg.
MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab collaborated with Swiss designer Christoph Guberan on a collection of 4D-printed “functional inflatable lamps, vases, and vessels,” which are now for sale at a New York gallery. “Rather than setting out to create a preconceived set of products, the resulting works were organically formed as an extension of the research process itself,” writes Aileen Kwun for Fast Company.
Carey Goldberg writes for WBUR’s CommonHealth about this year’s USA Memory Championship, which is taking place at MIT. “[M]emory is a skill, it's not an innate capacity," says Robert Ajemian, a research scientist at MIT’s McGovern Institute. "And that's the message that we want to get out, both to the scientific community and to the lay community."
MIT researchers found that the effectiveness of the chemotherapy drug methotrexate increases when supplemented with a common dietary amino acid, writes Victoria Forster of Forbes. Prof. David Sabatini, a co-author on the study, “is hopeful about the prospects for supplementation improving the therapy in the future,” says Forster.