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In the Media

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The Wall Street Journal

Dr. Jay Last ’56, the founder of Fairchild Semiconductor Corp, died on Nov. 11, reports James R. Hagerty for The Wall Street Journal. Dr. Last figured out “ways to manufacture integrated circuits in bulk, helping to put the silicon into Silicon Valley and make the region a synonym for digital technology,” writes Hagerty.

CNN

A new report by researchers from MIT’s Civic Data Design Lab, the Migration Policy Institute and the World Food Programme investigates the motivations and costs of migration from Central America, and finds that migrants spend $2.2 billion every year trying to reach the U.S., reports Catherine E. Shoichet for CNN.  "That is an extreme amount of money," explains Prof. Sarah Williams. "That $2.2 billion is all paid for by the migrants themselves, so the risks, both in terms of debt and personal risk, is borne by the migrant."

Diverse: Issues in Higher Ed

Provost Martin A Schmidt has been named the 19th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI),  reports Diverse Issues in Higher Education reporter Jessica Ruf. “MIT has been a remarkable home for me,” Schmidt told Ruf. “It has allowed me to pursue my research and teaching passion, and I’ve been presented with outstanding opportunities.”  

Wired

Wired reporter Adam Rogers spotlights Prof. Nancy Kanwisher’s research on the fusiform face area, which becomes active when a person sees a face, and what would happen if the area were intentionally activated.  Kanwisher’s experiment “certainly suggested the possibility, the power, of jacking directly into the brain,” writes Rogers.  

Newsweek

A team of astronomers, including MIT researchers, has discovered an ultrahot Juppiter that orbits its star in just 16 hours, reports Robert Lea for Newsweek. “Ultrahot Jupiters such as TOI-2109b constitute the most extreme subclass of exoplanet,” explains former MIT postdoc Ian Wong. “We have only just started to understand some of the unique physical and chemical processes that occur in their atmospheres – processes that have no analogs in our own solar system.” 

CNET

CNET science writer Monisha Ravisetti spotlights MIT researchers who have successfully recorded the scale formation of butterfly wings during its transformation. “Understanding their schematics could ultimately benefit constructed materials like windows and thermal systems and even bring an ethereal quality to textiles,” writes Ravisetti.

Forbes

Joseph Coughlin, director of the MIT AgeLab, writes for Forbes about the importance of comprehensive longevity planning. “As younger adults in their 30s, 40s, and 50s today, Millennials and Gen X’ers are catching a glimpse of their possible future selves in their parents aging,” writes Coughlin. “Now is the time to ask how are today’s choices and behaviors defining their older self tomorrow?” 

Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Hannah Seo writes that MIT researchers have developed a way to watch and record how the microscopic scales on a butterfly’s wings grow and tile themselves as the butterfly develops inside its chrysalis. The researchers hope to “use butterfly scales as inspiration for the design of new materials,” writes Seo. “Butterfly scales have other fascinating properties such as water repellency and the ability to regulate temperature.”

The Boston Globe

Andy Rivkin ’91 speaks with Boston Globe reporter Andrew Brinker about his work on NASA’s DART mission, which is aimed at testing whether a rocket could be used to help steer an asteroid away from Earth. “I’ve always been interested in stars and space and planets since I was a kid,” said Rivkin. “At MIT, I was in the earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences department, and that’s when I started looking at asteroids. And then as a graduate student, I studied asteroids. And then I ended up doing my dissertation on them. It sort of all started [at MIT].”

New Scientist

Researchers from MIT have developed a 3-D printable ink made from bacterial cells that can release anti-cancer drugs or remove toxins from the environment, reports Carissa Wong for New Scientist. This is the first of its kind,” says research affiliate Avinash Manjula-Basavanna. “A living ink that can respond to the environment. We have repurposed the matrix that these bacteria normally utilise as a shielding material to form a bio-ink.”

Associated Press

MIT Provost Martin Schmidt has been named the next president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), where he received his undergraduate degree, reports the Associated Press. “Marty is a unifying, visionary leader, and a renowned scholar in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science," said Arthur F. Golden, chair of the Rensselaer Board of Trustees.

Ars Technica

ARS Technica senior writer Jennifer Ouellette spotlights MIT researchers who have successfully recorded the structural growth of butterfly wings inside its chrysalis for the first time. “A lot of these stages were understood and seen before, but now we can stitch them all together and watch continuously what’s happening, which gives us more information on the detail of how scales form,” says research assistant Anthony McDougal. 

CNN

As a research assistant at MIT, Ai Hasegawa designed a project meant to help same-sex couples have a baby that shares both parents’ DNA, writes Jacqui Palumbo for CNN. “With progressing stem cell research and technology – such as the gene-editing technique CRISPR – it is only a matter of time,” writes Palumbo.

Slate

Research fellow Laura Grego speaks with Slate reporter Seth Stevenson about the growing need to implement policies that help preserve space for all. “It’s not exactly any one person’s responsibility, it’s a shared resource,” says Grego. “We don’t have all of the laws and strategies and approaches to work on the military parts of space. We also don’t have all the regulations to work on the environmental aspects, what people call space sustainability, how do you create space that you can use for generations ahead? How do we make sure that we don’t pollute it? We have a lot of work to do.”

Mashable

MIT researchers developed a new control system for the mini robotic cheetah that allows the robot to jump and traverse uneven terrain, reports Jules Suzdaltsev for Mashable. “There’s a camera for processing real-time input from a video camera that then translates that information into body movements for the robot,” Suzdaltsev explains.