November 14, 2019
Prof. Hugh Herr speaks with WGBH reporter Cristina Quinn about a new surgical technique that allows prosthetics to be controlled like human limbs. “The brain gets information about how muscles are moving, but the brain doesn’t get information about skin contact,” says Herr. “So what we are doing now, is we are putting skin cells next to the nerve.”
TechCrunch reporter Darrell Etherington writes that CSAIL researchers have built a new two-fingered robotic gripper. The researchers “equipped their robotic gripper with fingertips that are not only made out of a soft material, but that also have embedded sensors which help it continually detect the position of a cable between the grippers to better control holding and manipulating them while performing simple tasks like detangling.”
A new study by MIT researchers estimates that leaving the middle seat on airplanes empty could help reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 by half, reports Carlie Porterfield for Forbes. “The airlines are setting their own policies but the airlines and the public should know about the risk implications of their choices," says Prof. Arnold Barnett.
Prof. Giovanni Traverso speaks with CBS Boston about a new silicon mask with N95 filters that can be reused and sterilized. “We recognize that not everybody has the sophisticated sterilization equipment but we also recognize that many folks around the world would have access to some kind of an oven or perhaps a solution of chlorine,” says Traverso.
A study co-authored by MIT researchers finds that asking social media users to evaluate the accuracy of news headlines can reduce the spread of Covid-19 misinformation. “Asking users to rate content gets them to think about accuracy and generates useful input for the platforms,” explains Prof. David Rand.
Fast Company reporter Kristin Toussaint writes about a new study by Prof. David Autor that finds middle class jobs for non-college grads are disappearing, particularly for Black and Latino workers. Autor suggest that higher minimum wages “are surprisingly effective at improving the incomes of workers in low wage jobs,” adding that “they don’t seem to have noticeable adverse effects on employment.”