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In the Media

BBC

Prof. Neil Gershenfeld and graduate student Amira Abdel-Rahma speak with BBC Digital Planet reporters Gareth Mitchell and Ghislaine Boddington about their research developing tiny robots that can assemble themselves into structures, vehicles or even larger robots. “The main objective of this research is the robot can have a few choices,” says Abdel-Rahma. “First it can build the structure, the second choice is it could self-replicate or clone… the third, it could evolve and build a bigger robot.”

Boston 25 News

Katin Miller ’99, general manager for the Amazon fulfillment center in Fall River, speaks with Boston 25 reporter Robert Goulston about how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted holiday shopping. “What has changed a lot is people buy bigger things online than they used to,” says Miller. “Every year is bigger than the previous year so these are record breaking volumes absolutely.”

The Boston Globe

Jake Becraft PhD ’19 and former postdoctoral associate Tasuku Kitada co-founded Strand Therapeutics, a biotech firm developing mRNA therapies for cancer, reports Ryan Cross for The Boston Globe. They created “a way to activate mRNA in the presence of particular microRNAs – a much more useful application for therapies,” writes Cross. 

Fox News

Paul Best reports for Fox Business on how MIT researchers are developing tiny robots with built-in intelligence that can allow them to assemble into structures, vehicles or even larger robots.

WCVB

WCVB reporter Karen Holmes Ward spotlights Joshua Reed-Diawuoh MBA ’20, founder of Gria Food Co., a U.S.-based food company that provides locally sourced snacks from Africa to customers around the world. Ward highlights Diawuoh’s work with Commonwealth Kitchen, a commercial kitchen that aims to uplift local businesses.

Forbes

Forbes reporter John Cumbers spotlights Jasmina Aganovic ’09 for her work in combining biotechnology with skincare. "Biotechnology enables us to expand the ingredient palette of the beauty industry to molecules in all parts of the tree of life, ethically and sustainably," says Aganovic.

The Washington Post

Washington Post columnist Karen Attiah emphasizes the importance of representation in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” which featured Riri Williams (Ironheart) as a Black female engineer at MIT. Attiah notes that she is “grateful that ‘Black Panther 2’ exists to show us what #BlackGirlGenius looks like.” 

The Boston Globe

Researchers at MIT have developed new gene-editing technology that can move large sequences of DNA into the human genome, reports Ryan Cross for The Boston Globe. “The molecular tool gives scientists a new way to completely replace broken genes, paving the way to potential cures for diseases such as cystic fibrosis,” writes Cross.

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Brian Heater spotlights a new study by Prof. Daron Acemoglu that examines the impact of automation on the workforce. “We’re starting with a very clear premise here: in 21st-century America, the wealth gap is big and only getting bigger,” writes Heater. “The paper, ‘Tasks, Automation, and the Rise in U.S. Wage Inequality,’ attempts to explore the correlation between the growing income gap and automation.”

VICE

NASA’s Perseverance rover has uncovered evidence of habitable conditions that once existed on Mars, reports Becky Ferreira for Vice. “In that kind of environment, we’re seeing very, very strange chemistry which is not common on Earth at all, but seems to be more common on Mars because we’ve seen these kinds of materials in almost all the missions now,” says postdoctoral fellow Eva Scheller.

The Washington Post

A team of scientists, including researchers from MIT, have found that Martian rocks uncovered by NASA’s Perseverance contain “signs of a watery past and are loaded with the kind of organic molecules that are the foundations for life as we know it,” reports Joel Achenbach for The Washington Post. “On balance, we are actually super lucky that there are igneous rocks in the crater, and that we happened to land right on them, since they are ideal for determining ages and studying the past history of Mars’ magnetic field,” says Prof. Benjamin Weiss.

Forbes

Alumna Geeta Sankappanavar founded Akira Impact, an investment firm that directs capital to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals, reports Cheryl Robinson for Forbes. “The firm invests in companies that support gender equality, clean water and sanitation, clean energy and responsible consumption and production,” writes Robinson.

Popular Science

Researchers from MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms are developing fully autonomous robots that can work together to assemble “almost any conceivable structure or product, including bigger iterations of themselves as their projects scale larger,” reports Andrew Paul for Popular Science. “Potential uses include building structures to aid in protection against sea level rise and coastal erosion,” writes Paul, “as well as 3D printed houses and space habitat construction.”

Popular Science

Scientists from around the world, including researchers at MIT, have found evidence of past chemical reactions between liquid water and carbon-compounds on Mars, reports Laura Baisas for Popular Science. “We believe we have found these kinds of liquid water environments and organic compounds together. That’s sort of the limit to how we can describe what we call habitability,” explains postdoc Eva Linghan Scheller.

Vox

Vox reporter Kelsey Piper writes that a new report by Prof. Kevin Esvelt provides a roadmap for how to prepare for the next pandemic. In the report, Esvelt emphasizes that: “We’re not helpless, whether against nature or malign actions by human beings. We do have to invest in actually being prepared, but if we’re prepared, we could weather even a worst-case scenario: a deliberate release of a human-made virus engineered to be both extra deadly and extra contagious.”