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Reuters

A study by graduate student Carly Ziegler finds that how cells in the nose respond to the coronavirus could help predict how sick a person might become with Covid-19, reports Nancy Lapid for Reuters. "If further studies support our findings, we could use the same nasal swabs we use to diagnose COVID-19 to identity potentially severe cases before severe disease develops, creating an opportunity for effective early intervention," says Ziegler.

The Economist

The Economist spotlights alumna Lisa Su S.B. ’90, S.M. ’91, PhD ’94, who is the chief executive of the chip maker AMD. “I learned that when I chose something very difficult, and did well, it would give me great confidence for the next challenge,” says Su.

Axios

Profs. Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee speak with Axios reporter Dave Lawler about how the failure of rich countries to share Covid-19 vaccines and financial assistance will exacerbate global poverty and lead to increased resentment. "Nobody is talking of expanding aid,” says Banerjee. “I think the psychology, unfortunately, in rich countries somehow — even though the U.S. is going to grow faster in this year than it has in modern memory — is that we are in dire straits and we need to keep resources.”

New York Times

A new study co-authored by postdoctoral associate Michaël Marsset details how two red objects that have been discovered in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter appear to have originated beyond Neptune, reports Jonathan O’Callaghan for The New York Times. “In order to have these organics, you need to initially have a lot of ice at the surface,” explains Marsset. “So they must have formed in a very cold environment.”

CNBC

MIT researchers have found that while battery and fuel production for electric vehicles creates higher emissions than traditional cars, those emissions are offset by the greater energy efficiency of EVs. “Currently, the electric vehicle in the U.S., on average, would emit about 200 grams of CO2 per mile,” says senior research scientist Sergey Paltsev. “We are projecting that with cleaning up the grid, we can reduce emissions from electric vehicles by 75%, from about 200 (grams) today to about 50 grams of CO2 per mile in 2050.”

The Boston Globe

A new study by researchers from MIT and Tulane University finds that rising seas have the potential to inundate the MBTA’s network and underscores the importance of fortifying the system’s infrastructure, reports Andrew Brinker for The Boston Globe. “Severe flooding is a grave challenge for the T,” explains graduate student Michael Martello.

Bloomberg

Senior research engineer Howard Herzog speaks with Bloomberg about the challenges facing the carbon capture industry and how we can get to net-zero emissions.

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?”

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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