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In the Media

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Professor Karilyn Crockett speaks with GBH’s The Big Dig Podcast host Ian Coss about the impact of The “Big Dig” – Boston’s highway project – on the city, its people and urban planning. Crockett “argues that despite all the incentives to build, build, build, the costs of that building would eventually force city residents to think the unthinkable,” says Coss. “So the anti-highway fight becomes a moment of imagining possibilities,” says Crockett. 


Senior Lecturer and Senior Research Associate Fred Salvucci BS '61 SM '62 speaks with GBH’s The Big Dig Podcast host Ian Coss about his role in Boston’s “Big Dig” project. “The idea for the Big Dig began with an unlikely friendship,” explains Coss. “During the highway debates in the early 70s, Fred Salvucci – one of the highway opponents – went to a ton of meetings. And across the table at many of those meetings was a man named Bill Reynolds; he was there to represent the road builders.”


Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have identified key cell types that may protect the brain against Alzheimer’s symptoms, reports Sara Reardon for Nature. “Most Alzheimer’s research has focused on excitatory neurons, which relay electrical signals to activate other neurons,” explains Reardon. “But the authors found that the cells with reelin or somatostatin were inhibitory neurons, which halt neuronal communication. These inhibitory cells might therefore have a previously unknown role in the types of cognitive function that are lost during Alzheimer’s.”

The Boston Globe

Peter Mui ’82 founded FixIt Clinic, a nonprofit which hosts “community events where volunteer fixers are matched with those in need of a repair,” reports Veronique Greenwood for The Boston Globe. “To Mui, now a hardware and software engineer in Berkeley, Calif., throwaway culture encourages a devaluing of our own lives,” writes Greenwood. “It took hours to earn the money to buy something. If someone fails to even look for a repair, how little must that time mean, in the end?”

The Hill

The Hill reporter Sharon Udasin writes that MIT researchers have developed a new solar-powered desalination device that “could last several years and generate water at a rate and price that is less expensive than tap water.” The researchers estimated that “if their model was scaled up to the size of a small suitcase, it could produce about 4 to 6 liters of drinking water per hour,” writes Udasin.


MIT has been named to Times Higher Education’s 2024 World’s Best Universities list, reports Cecilia Rodriguez for Forbes. “The largest edition of the World University Rankings 2024 includes 1,904 universities—up from 1,799 last year—from 108 countries and regions, assessing research-intensive universities across 18 performance indicators covering their core missions of teaching, research, knowledge transfer and internationalization,” writes Rodriguez.

U.S. News & World Report

Michael Bergren, director of MIT’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, speaks with U.S. News & World Report reporter Katie Rix about research opportunities for undergraduates at MIT.


Researchers from MIT and elsewhere have identified some of the benefits and disadvantages of generative AI when used for specific tasks, reports Paige McGlauflin and Joseph Abrams for Fortune. “The findings show a 40% performance boost for consultants using the chatbot for the creative product project, compared to the control group that did not use ChatGPT, but a 23% decline in performance when used for business problem-solving,” explain McGlauflin and Abrams.


Researchers from MIT and elsewhere have “genetically engineered bacteria to efficiently turn plastic waste into useful chemicals,” reports Aristos Georgiou for Newsweek. MIT Prof. James Collins and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Prof. Ting Lu explain that they see two potential applications for their work. "In the former case, plastic waste collected from oceans and landfills would be transported to a facility where it would be bioprocessed with engineered microbes,” they note. “In our latter scenario, these microbes could be deployed directly in lands or oceans to bio-transform plastic debris in situ.”


In an article for Forbes, Lecturer Guadalupe Hayes-Mota SB '08, SM '16, MBA '16 explores the “strategies to enhance supply chain visibility in biopharma.” “As the biopharmaceutical industry continues to grow and evolve, the supply chain's role becomes ever more critical,” writes Hayes-Mota. “Investing in these detailed strategies ensures resilience and positions companies for growth and innovation in a rapidly changing landscape.”


Researchers from Atlantic Quantum, an MIT startup building quantum computers, have published new research showing “the architecture of the circuits underlying its quantum computer produces far fewer errors than the industry standard,” reports Rashi Shrivastava for Forbes.

WBZ Radio

WBZ News Radio’s Emma Friedman spotlights the #IfThenSheCan Exhibit at this year’s Cambridge Science Festival, which features 30, 3-D printed orange statues of women innovators in science, technology, engineering and math, six of which are MIT affiliates.

The Boston Globe

William Pounds, the former dean of the MIT Sloan School of Management who was “famous for being willing to approach and talk to anybody,” has died at age 95. “As an administrator, he wanted to guide business school graduates to become able leaders of corporations like the ones where he had worked," writes Bryan Marquard for The Boston Globe.

The Wall Street Journal

A study by researchers from MIT and Harvard examined the potential impact of the use of AI technologies on the field of radiology, reports Laura Landro for The Wall Street Journal. “Both AI models and radiologists have their own unique strengths and areas for improvement,” says Prof. Nikhil Agarwal.

The Boston Globe

Prof. James Fujimoto, research affiliate Eric Swanson SM ’84 and David Huang PhD ’93 have been honored with the Lasker Award for their work for their work inventing “imaging technology that revolutionized how ophthalmologists diagnose diseases of the eye," reports Jonathan Saltzman for The Boston Globe. The scientists were recognized for developing “optical coherence tomography, or OCT, the first technology that enabled doctors to see a two- and three-dimensional cross-sectional image of the retina,” Saltzman explains. “This painless scan takes less than 10 minutes, and is now the standard of care for diagnosing retina diseases.”