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In the Media

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Reuters

Reuters reporter Nancy Lapid writes that MIT researchers have developed an at-home test that can measure a person’s antibody levels to the virus that causes Covid-19. The test could someday “help people know how protected they are against infection and what kinds of precautions they need to take,” writes Lapid.

WBUR

The Emerald Tutu, a climate resiliency project in Boston led by Gabriel Cira ’08, is developing a system of floating wetlands designed to reduce coastal flooding by knocking down waves, reports Hannah Chanatry for WBUR. The Emerald Tutu was the winning project at the 2018 MIT Climate Changed Ideas competition. “Fundamentally, it’s like a giant sponge that fits around urban coastlines like we have here in Boston,” said Cira. “It buffers those coastlines from the intense effects of coastal storms.”

Popular Mechanics

MIT researchers have developed firefly-inspired robots that can emit light while flying, reports Popular Mechanics. “The robots may be able to converse with one another because of this electroluminescence and, for instance, a robot that finds survivors while on a search-and-rescue mission, within a fallen building, could use lights to alert others and request assistance.”

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Elissaveta Brandon writes that CSAIL researchers have developed an amphibious artificial vision system inspired by the fiddler crab’s compound eye, which has an almost 360-degree field of view and can see on both land and water. “When translated into a machine,” writes Brandon, “this could mean more versatile cameras for self-driving cars and drones, both of which can become untrustworthy in the rain.”

Politico

Researchers from MIT and Harvard have developed a “3D-printed ‘lab-on-a-chip’ that could detect Covid-19 immunity levels and Covid infections from saliva within two hours,” reports Ben Leonard and Ruth Reader for Politico.

Boston.com

Boston.com reporter Madeleine Aitken writes that MIT researchers have created a new blood test that can measure immune protection against Covid-19. The new test measures the “level of neutralizing antibodies in a blood sample, using the same type of ‘lateral flow’ technology as antigen tests,” writes Aitken.

The Daily Beast

Daily Beast reporter Tony Ho Tran writes that a new paper test developed by MIT researchers could be used to help determine a person’s immune response to Covid-19. “The researchers believe that the new test can not only help folks find out if they should get boosted,” writes Tran, “but also help the most vulnerable populations make sure they’re protected against the coronavirus, and help people make more informed decisions on what kinds of activities they should feel safe doing.”

The Boston Globe

Prof. Seth Mnookin, director of the MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing, writes for The Boston Globe about the debate over the banning and then unbanning of Juul e-cigarettes. “The reactions to those two moves ­ — first banning Juul to combat youth vaping and then reversing course to further study the science ­ — represent an unprecedented division in the field of tobacco control,” writes Mnookin.

Nature

Nature reporter Neil Savage spotlights Prof. Michael Strano’s work developing a new technique to use nanoparticles to alter the biology of living plants. Savage writes that the new technique can allow for "the design of nanoparticles that carry gene-editing machinery to targeted areas to rewrite the plant’s genome and imbue it with properties such as pest and disease resistance,” writes Savage.

Forbes

Prof. Andrew Lo speaks with Forbes contributor Russell Flannery about his work using finance to help lower the cost of drug development for cancer treatment and therapies. “I started thinking about how we could use finance pro-actively to lower the cost of drug development, increase success rates, and make it more attractive for investors,” says Lo. “Because that's really what the issue is: you need investors to come into the space to spend their billions of dollars in order to get these drugs developed.”

The Daily Beast

Researchers from MIT and other institutions have developed a postcard-sized test that can detect a Covid-19 infection and the presence of antibodies resulting from an infection, reports Maddie Bender for the Daily Beast.  “What excites me about this diagnostic device is that it combines a high level of accuracy with a flexible design that could make it a major tool in our arsenal for addressing future pandemics,” explains Prof. James Collins.

Boston Herald

Boston Herald reporter Rick Sobey writes that MIT researchers have developed a blood test that can predict Covid-19 immunity. “The MIT researchers created a paper test that measures the level of neutralizing antibodies in a blood sample, which could help people decide what protections they should take against infection,” writes Sobey. “Their test uses the same type of 'lateral flow' technology as most rapid antigen tests for Covid.”

The Boston Globe

Gradiant, an MIT startup founded by Anurag Bajpayee PhD ’12, S.M. ‘08 and Prakash Govindan PhD ’12, has developed an energy efficient system that purifies water by mimicking natural rainfall cycles, reports Aaron Pressman for The Boston Globe. “Nature has the advantage of having all the surface area of the oceans available freely and a free source of energy from the sun,” Govindan said. “We have to engineer this into a compact, highly efficient, and energy-efficient industrial device.”

Forbes

Forbes contributor Russell Flannery spotlights how Prof. Tyler Jacks has “made a mark in cancer work not only by his research but his ability to bring different organizations together.” Jacks discussed the Biden administration’s “Cancer Moonshot” initiative and noted that: “Having specific goals and an action plan for cancer is important. Having a strategy about how to approach the cancer problem is equally important.”

Fast Company

Craig Ferguson, a full stack developer at the MIT Media Lab, has developed a mobile mental health game, dubbed Paradise Island, that sends users on real-life missions in exchange for rewards and is based on a type of therapy called behavioral  activation, reports Elissaveta Brandon for Fast Company. “One of the goals behind the app is to teach people a lesson, to help them build skills and resilience,” Ferguson says. “If you do this enough, that reflection step is to make people realize ‘When I was feeling bad, I really didn’t think running would help, but it did,’ and remember that.”