January 8, 2020
Writing for STAT, Prof. Amy Finkelstein emphasizes the importance of randomized control trials (RCTs), recounting how she and her colleagues used an RCT to evaluate the effectiveness of a new program aimed at reducing hospital readmissions. “Randomized clinical trials are essential tools for helping us learn, adapt, and move forward on innovative solutions that make peoples’ lives better,” writes Finkelstein.
Popular Mechanics Courtney Linder writes that researchers from MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab are working on rebuilding islands in the Maldives using the power of ocean waves to redistribute sand. The scientists hope to eventually “scale their approach to other locations around the world and rebuild heavily populated coastlines, like New York City, as well as the most vulnerable island nations.”
MIT researchers have developed a new precision injection system to help fight diseases and deliver nutrients to plants, reports Jeff Kart for Forbes. Kart explains that the new method “uses an array of microneedles made of a silk-based biomaterial to deliver drugs, nutrients and other molecules to specific parts of a plant.”
Science reporter Warren Cornwall spotlights Prof. Lily Tsai’s research examining the most effective methods for encouraging people to follow public health guidelines. Tsai is currently working in Sierra Leone on developing a dynamic map “showing potential hot spots where cooperation could be difficult, and what kinds of actions are likely to help ease acceptance of physical distancing and other measures.”
Boston Globe reporters Kay Lazar and Felice J. Freyer spotlight a study by MIT researchers that lack of coordination in reopening strategies could lead to increased spread of Covid-19. “We don’t advocate a one-size-fits-all policy. We recognize different localities with different circumstances may need different policy responses,” explains Prof. Sinan Aral. “But our work suggests that they should coordinate with each other.”
Prof. Eran Egozy speaks with Boston Globe reporter Grace Griffin about “Comusica,” a musical celebration of the Class of 2020 that combines audio and video clips of graduating MIT students to create a cohesive song. Egozy hopes the piece creates “that feeling of coming together and celebrating and basically seeing everyone’s smiling, happy faces.”
New York Times reporters Quoctrung Bui and Emily Badger spotlight how MIT researchers have captured audio recordings of walks through city parks throughout the world and found that ambient urban noise has declined during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s almost like the countryside melody coming into the city,” explains Prof. Carlo Ratti.