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New York Times

New York Times columnist Thomas B. Edsall spotlights Prof. David Autor’s research exploring the state of men in the U.S., including the growing gender gaps in educational attainment and the labor market.   

TechCrunch

A new study by AgeLab researchers finds that drivers may become inattentive when using partially automated driving systems, reports Rebecca Bellan for TechCrunch. Bellan writes that the goal of the study is to “advocate for driver attention management systems that can give drivers feedback in real time or adapt automation functionality to suit a driver’s level of attention.”

Fast Company

“The Guardians: Unite the Realms,” a video game developed by Media Lab developer Craig Ferguson, has been awarded Fast Company’s 20201 Innovation by Design award in the Wellness category. The game employs behavioral activation techniques to address mental health, allowing players to advance when they’ve completed tasks such as going on a walk or drawing a picture.

Boston.com

A new study by MIT researchers finds that more people started walking during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, but how much they walked was correlated to their income levels, reports Arianna MacNeill for Boston.com. The researchers found “people in higher-income areas walked more during the pandemic, while people in lower-income areas – including neighborhoods with more BIPOC and those suffering from long-term illnesses like diabetes and obesity – walked less,” writes MacNeill.

CNN

CNN reporter Ashley Strickland spotlights first year student Kristoff Misquitta’s work winning the 2020 Genes in Space contest for an experiment aimed at understanding how the human liver functions in space. "We're trying to develop a powerful and efficient workflow to understand the state of the liver in space, and to use that as a basis to understand some of the issues surrounding the way astronauts take medication currently and to remedy issues we find," explains Misquitta. "Hopefully we can use this as a platform to someday develop more advanced and different types of medications."

NBC Boston

Oliver “Ollie” Smoot ’62 speaks with Rob Michaelson of NBC Boston about the origin and history of the Smoot, a unit of measurement created when Smoot and his friends used the length of his body to measure the bridge that brings Massachusetts Avenue from Cambridge to Boston.

The Wall Street Journal

Prof. Christopher Magee and his colleagues have developed a new method that could help provide insights into how quickly different innovations are improving, reports Christopher Mims for The Wall Street Journal.  Magee and former MIT fellow Anuraag Singh have developed a search engine that allows users to “answer in a fraction of a second the question of how quickly any given technology is advancing,” writes Mims.

Reuters

A new study co-authored by Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu finds that countries with older workforces are seeing a larger increase in the use of robots, reports Timothy Aeppel for Reuters. Acemoglu and his colleague Pascual Restrepo of Boston University found that “age alone accounted for 35% of the variation between countries in their adoption of robots, with those having older workers far more likely to adopt the machines.”

Times Higher Ed

Times Higher Ed reporter Matthew Reisz memorializes Prof. Jing Wang, “a literary scholar who became a leading expert in Chinese literature and digital media.” Prof. Emma Teng remembers Wang as “an innovator, activist and passionate teacher” whose “long career was defined by her intellectual curiosity, drive and energy, and unwavering integrity.”

Mashable

Prof. Justin Reich speaks with Mashable reporter Chris Taylor about the need to rethink the future of education and how kids learn. “There are going to be more interruptions in schooling in the future,” says Reich. “More fires, more floods, more freezing, more pandemic events, more tropical diseases migrating. The West will continue to have terrible fires. When it’s unsafe to travel, kids should be able to switch to remote learning for a week or two.”

Forbes

Alumna Loewen Cavill speaks with Forbes contributor Mary Juetten about her startup AuraBlue, which is creating wearable technology aimed at improving sleep for menopausal women by automatically adjusting room and mattress temperatures. “After hearing again and again how sleep loss from nighttime hot flashes has completely flipped so many women's lives upside down, I had to do something,” says Cavill. “Enabling women to stay on their career path and perform their best at the final part of their career climb is the single most important thing I can do to promote women in leadership.”

National Public Radio (NPR)

Prof. Mark Bear speaks with NPR’s Jon Hamilton about how injecting tetrodotoxin, a paralyzing nerve toxin found in puffer fish, could allow the brain to rewire in a way that restores vision and help adults with amblyopia or "lazy eye." Bear explains that: “Unexpectedly, in many cases vision recovered in the amblyopic eye, showing that that plasticity could be restored even in the adult.”

New York Times

New York Times reporter Steve Lohr spotlights the origin and history of MIT startup Gingko Bioworks, a synthetic biology company founded with a “shared belief that biology could be made more like computing with reusable code and standard tools instead of the bespoke experiments of traditional biology." Jason Kelly ’03, PhD ’08, one of the founders of MIT startup Ginkgo Bioworks and the company’s chief executive, explains that “the ultimate goal for Ginkgo is to make it as easy to program a cell as it is to program a computer.”

Here & Now (WBUR)

Here & Now’s Scott Tong speaks with Gideon Gil of STAT about a new technique for amputation surgery developed by researchers from MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital that recreates muscle connections and restore the brain’s ability to sense where and how one’s limbs are moving.

Featured Videos

An Inflatable robotic hand design gives amputees real-time tactile control and enables a wide range of daily activities, such as zipping a suitcase, shaking hands, and petting a cat. The smart hand is soft and elastic, weighs about half a pound, and costs a fraction of comparable prosthetics.

While taking a leave from MIT during the Covid-19 pandemic, mechanical engineering student Eli Brooks taught engineering product design to children at the Have Faith Haiti Mission & Orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and uncovered a newfound passion for teaching and life along the way.

On Sept. 5, 2021, for the first time, a large high-temperature superconducting electromagnet was ramped up to a field strength of 20 tesla, the most powerful magnetic field of its kind ever created on Earth. That successful demonstration helps resolve the greatest uncertainty in the quest to build the world’s first fusion power plant that can produce more power than it consumes.

Despite the pandemic, the MIT community has continued teaching, learning, supporting the Institute’s mission, and investigating the world and finding new ways to make it better. To those arriving on campus for the first time, and to those returning: Welcome home.

MIT faculty and staff reimagine an iconic mechanical engineering class - 2.007 (Design and Manufacturing I) - so students can go head-to-head in the final robot competition from their dorm rooms, apartments, or homes across the country.

What do our passions for pasta and decarbonizing the Earth have in common? MIT alumna Shreya Dave explains how she and her team at Via Separations are building the equivalent of a pasta strainer to separate chemical compounds for industry.

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