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The Washington Post

Washington Post columnist David Von Drehle spotlights MIT startup Form Energy, which has created a battery prototype made of iron and oxygen that stores large amounts of power and can release it over days. Von Drehle writes that this new battery could usher in a “sort of tipping point for green energy: reliable power from renewable sources at less than $20 per kilowatt-hour.”

Forbes

Forbes reporters Amy Feldman and Aayushi Pratap spotlight Vicarious Surgical, a startup founded by MIT graduates that is developing a tiny robot paired with a VR headset for abdominal surgeries.

Popular Mechanics

Researchers from MIT and other institutions have been able to observationally confirm one of Stephen Hawking’s theorems about black holes, measuring gravitational waves before and after a black hole merger to provide evidence that a black hole’s event horizon can never shrink, reports Caroline Delbert for Popular Mechanics. “This cool analysis doesn't just show an example of Hawking's theorem that underpins one of the central laws affecting black holes,” writes Delbert, “it shows how analyzing gravitational wave patterns can bear out statistical findings.”

The Washington Post

Alexis Sablone M. Arch ’16 speaks with Washington Post reporter Les Carpenter about street skateboarding, competing at this year’s Olympic Games, and why she is uncomfortable with being defined. “To me, I’m just always like trying to be myself and do things that I love to do and not try to fit into these categories in ways that I don’t feel comfortable with,” says Sablone.

CNBC

CNBC reporter Dain Evans writes about how researchers from MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative and the Federal Reserve of Boston are exploring what a digital currency might look like in America. “I think that if there is a digital dollar, privacy is going to be a very, very important part of that,” says Neha Narula, director of the Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab.

WHDH 7

Ariel Ekblaw, founder and director of MIT’s Space Exploration Initiative, speaks with 7 News about the Blue Origins spaceflight. “We are at that cusp now of interplanetary civilization,” she said. “As the economy grows around space exploration, it will become more accessible and prices will drop, and that will become a huge success for everyone involved.”

The Washington Post

Prof. Daron Acemoglu makes the case in a piece for The Washington Post that there should be oversight of how AI is applied, arguing that current AI technologies are already having tangible impacts on the labor market, the criminal justice system and on democratic discourse and politics. “Will AI be allowed to work increasingly to displace and monitor humans, or steered toward complementing and augmenting human capabilities,” Acemoglu writes, “creating new opportunities for workers?”

National Geographic

Sergey Paltsev, deputy director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, emphasizes the importance of reaching net-zero emissions as fast as possible. “By pushing natural gas—which is indeed cleaner than coal, but it’s still a fossil fuel that releases a lot of CO2 and more importantly, a lot of methane—we are actually hurting renewables,” says Paltsev. 

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Brian Heater writes about Inkbit, a CSAIL spinout, which is developing self-correcting 3D printing technology. “Its primary differentiator from the slew of existing 3D printers is a vision and AI system designed to identify and correct mistakes during the printing process,” writes Heater.

Inside Science

MIT researchers are developing an electronic skin that can withstand sweating, reports Karen Kwon for Inside Science. The researchers “punched holes on the e-skin to match the size of sweat pores and the distance between them. Then, inspired by kirigami, the team cut away even more material between two holes in an alternating pattern,” writes Kwon. The resulting pattern “could tolerate bending and stretching more than the conventional e-skin with simple holes.”

Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, research scientist Lisa D’Ambrosio emphasizes how “caregiving faces an innovation gap. Although there is plenty of inventive energy pouring into some caregiving needs, the core tasks of caregiving — the ones requiring the most intensive, even laborious attention — appear to be last in line for a technological helping hand.”

Bloomberg TV

Professor Danielle Wood joins Bloomberg Markets: The Close to discuss billionaires travelling to space and the sustainability and ethics of space travel. “Do we want to reproduce some of the same mistakes…on places like the moon and Mars that we’ve done on Earth,” says Wood. “Or would we rather preserve and conserve the natural beauty of these environments from the beginning of human activity?”

Issues in Science and Technology

Writing for Issues in Science and Technology, President L. Rafael Reif examines Vannevar Bush’s groundbreaking 1945 Science, the Endless Frontier report and considers how our needs today have changed. “To meet this moment, we need to ensure that our federally sponsored research addresses questions that will enhance our competitiveness now and in the future,” writes Reif. “Our current system has many strengths…but we must not allow these historical advantages to blind us to gaps that could become fatal weaknesses.”

The Wall Street Journal

Paul Page at The Wall Street Journal reports on a new study co-authored by researchers at MIT, which shows that despite the pandemic, companies were largely able to maintain their supply-chain sustainability goals and increase their focus on social welfare. “It was surprising to see the focus on social issues,” said research scientist David Correll. “The notion of social issues as part of sustainability goals is something we didn’t expect to see generally accepted, but in fact there was an increase in interest in the respondents.”

Featured Videos

Before It's Too Late uses murals to depict scenes from nature that come to life in augmented reality. The finished products are meant to inform and inspire observers, says Before It's Too Late co-founder, Linda Cheung MBA '17.

A team at CSAIL has created a new method to computationally optimize the shape and control of a robotic manipulator for a specific task. Their system uses software to manipulate the design, simulate the robot doing a task, and then provide an optimization score.

Relay races, bean-bag tosses, tug of war, and ring tosses galore! Here at MIT, a group of undergraduate students were inspired to put their own Covid-safe spin on field day and show some dorm pride in the process.

Ashely Kaiser, a graduating PhD student in the department of materials science and engineering, worked with MIT's necstlab and NASA to leverage carbon nanotubes in designing stronger, tougher, and lighter materials for future space vehicles and habitats.

For only the second time in its history, MIT celebrated its Commencement in an online ceremony. This year’s event featured a musical composition created specially for the event, titled Diary Of A Pandemic Year.

For those who haven’t experienced the glorious sights of spring at MIT, we share this glimpse of our campus in full bloom. The blossoms and greenery are accompanied by flutist Sara Simpson, a PhD student in BCS.

After 31 years engineering medical solutions for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Seth Goldstein ’61, SM ’62, SM ’63, SCD ’66 launched a second career as a kinetic sculptor. Not only do they move, they all achieve a specific goal.

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