February 16, 2018
Originally created by the Zhang Lab in 2017, CRISPR tool SHERLOCK has been improved upon to be three times more sensitive for detecting viruses and infections using an inexpensive test strip. Sharon Begley writes for STAT News, “A paper strip, like in a pregnancy test, is dipped into a sample, and if a line appears, the target molecule was detected — no instruments required.”
Prof. Zach Hartwig and Bob Mumgaard, CEO of Commonwealth Fusion Systems, discus the new fusion initiative live on Bloomberg Radio with hosts Peter Barnes, Tom Moroney and Pat Carroll. "MIT brings 40 years of federally funded expertise in physics to contribute to the project," said Hartwig, "and we see that as a tremendous strength of this new kind of model."
The Economist highlights MIT spinout ClearMotion, which developed a suspension system that utilized bumpy roads to generate electricity. Later, the team realized that their system also created a smoother ride, when ran in reverse. “The effect is to level out a rough road by pushing the wheels down into dips and pulling them up over bumps.”
Forbes contributor Joe McKendrick describes how blockchain applications “may eventually reach into every corner of the business, providing online, ‘smart contracts.’” McKendrick cites research from the Media Lab’s Senior Advisor for Blockchain Opportunities, Michael Casey, whose recent book highlights the World Food Program’s use of blockchain for food distribution.
In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Megan McArdle shares her thoughts on research from the Media Lab and Sloan that identifies “fake news” as traveling six times faster than factual news. “The difference between social media and ‘the media’ is that the gatekeeper model…does care more about the truth than ‘the narrative,’” McArdle writes.
Jordan Webber of The Guardian addresses the rise of “fake news”, citing research from the Media Lab and Sloan. “I believe that social media is a turning point in human communication,” said Sloan Prof. Sinan Aral. “I believe it is having dramatic effect on our democracies, our politics, even our health.”
Researchers at the Broad Institute revealed a new editing technique that utilizes CRISPR enzymes to target RNA for gene therapies. “One of the key features of the new system is that it relies on an enzyme that is physically smaller than those used in previous work,” writes Kristen Brown for Gizmodo.