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In the Media

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MIT scientists have created a high-resolution brain map of the neurons that encode the meanings of various words, reports Sara Reardon for Nature. “The results hint that, across individuals, the brain uses the same standard categories to classify words,” Reardon explains, “helping us to turn sound into sense.” 

Nobel Prize Conversations

Prof. Moungi Bawendi, a recipient of the 2023 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, speaks with Nobel Prize Conversations host Adam Smith about the joys of visualizing quantum mechanics, the inspiration for his Nobel-prize winning work and his love of music. “Being in a place like MIT and being exposed to engineering and other scientific fields and medicine across the river and Harvard Medical School and a lot of startups around here, you really are exposed to so many things that are so interesting and I love that,” says Bawendi. “Those things give me ideas of how to go back to the lab and take different directions.” 


Ivan Casadevantre MS '15 and Hasier Larrea MS '15 co-founded ORI Living – a furniture company that uses electromechanics to develop furniture systems designed for space efficiency. “You have to make those small spaces feel and act as if they were much larger,” says Larrea. “And that’s when we started thinking about robotics, thinking about engineering, and how we bring all those technologies to make it possible to live large in a smaller footprint.” 


Prof. Sherry Turkle joins Manoush Zomorodi of NPR’s "Body Electric" to discuss her latest research on human relationships with AI chatbots, which she says can be beneficial but come with drawbacks since artificial relationships could set unrealistic expectations for real ones. "What AI can offer is a space away from the friction of companionship and friendship,” explains Turkle. “It offers the illusion of intimacy without the demands. And that is the particular challenge of this technology." 

Associated Press

Prof. Kerry Emanuel speaks with Associated Press reporter Seth Borenstein about this year’s Atlantic hurricane season. “This year, there’s also a significant difference between water temperature and upper air temperature throughout the tropics,” writes Borenstein. “The Atlantic relative to the rest of the tropics is as warm as I’ve seen,” says Emanuel.  

New York Times

New York Times reporter Siobhan Roberts highlights the various MIT faculty and students who have contributed to the “serious recreational mathematics” behind the Rubik’s Cube phenomenon. Various mathematicians, including Prof. Erik Demaine, organized a two-day special session to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube. 

Popular Science

MIT scientists have created RoboGrocery, a robot prototype that can pack a bag of standard groceries, reports Mack DeGeurin for Popular Science. Using an RGB-D camera equipped with computer vision technology and grippers with pressure sensors, RoboGrocery’s “ability to assess items, determine their delicacy, and pack efficiently without causing damage sets it apart from conventional robotic packers,” explains Prof. Daniela Rus. 

The Guardian

MIT scientists have conducted a trial of a brain controlled bionic limb that improves gait, stability and speed over a traditional prosthetic, reports Hannah Devlin for The Guardian. Prof. Hugh Herr says with natural leg connections preserved, patients are more likely to feel the prosthetic as a natural part of their body. “When the person can directly control and feel the movement of the prosthesis it becomes truly part of the person’s anatomy,” Herr explains. 

The Boston Globe

Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have created a new surgical technique and neuroprosthetic interface for amputees that allows a natural walking gait driven by the body’s own nervous system, reports Adam Piore for The Boston Globe. “We found a marked improvement in each patient’s ability to walk at normal levels of speed, to maneuver obstacles, as well as to walk up and down steps and slopes," explains Prof. Hugh Herr. “I feel like I have my leg — like my leg hasn’t been amputated,” shares Amy Pietrafitta, a participant in the clinical trial testing the new approach.

The Economist

Using a new surgical technique, MIT researchers have developed a bionic leg that can be controlled by the body’s own nervous system, reports The Economist. The surgical technique “involved stitching together the ends of two sets of leg muscles in the remaining part of the participants’ legs,” explains The Economist. “Each of these new connections forms a so-called agonist-antagonist myoneural interface, or AMI. This in effect replicates the mechanisms necessary for movement as well as the perception of the limb’s position in space. Traditional amputations, in contrast, create no such pairings.”  

The Washington Post

A new surgical procedure and neuroprosthetic interface developed by MIT researchers allows people with amputations to control their prosthetic limbs with their brains, “a significant scientific advance that allows for a smoother gait and enhanced ability to navigate obstacles,” reports Lizette Ortega for The Washington Post. “We’re starting to get a glimpse of this glorious future wherein a person can lose a major part of their body, and there’s technology available to reconstruct that aspect of their body to full functionality,” explains Prof. Hugh Herr. 


Researchers at MIT have developed a novel surgical technique that could “dramatically improve walking for people with below-the-knee amputations and help them better control their prosthetics,” reports Timmy Broderick for STAT. “With our patients, even though their limb is made of titanium and silicone, all these various electromechanical components, the limb feels natural, and it moves naturally, without even conscious thought," explains Prof. Hugh Herr. 

Financial Times

A new surgical approach developed by MIT researchers enables a bionic leg driven by the body’s nervous system to restore a natural walking gait more effectively than other prosthetic limbs, reports Clive Cookson for the Financial Times. “The approach we’re taking is trying to comprehensively connect the brain of the human to the electro-mechanics,” explains Prof. Hugh Herr.  

Scientific American

Prof. Larry Guth and University of Oxford Prof. James Maynard have improved a previously discovered mathematical estimate contributing to the process of solving the Riemann hypothesis – an open question in number theory and mathematics, reports Manon Bischoff for Scientific American. Guth and Maynard have “provided new food for thought to tackle the 160-year-old puzzle,” writes Bischoff.  


With Using multimodal sensing and a soft robotic manipulator, MIT scientists have developed an automated system, called RoboGrocery, that can pack groceries of different sizes and weights, reports Brian Heater for TechCrunch. Heater explains that as the soft robotic gripper touches an item, “pressure sensors in the fingers determine that they are, in fact, delicate and therefore should not go at the bottom of the bag — something many of us no doubt learned the hard way. Next, it notes that the soup can is a more rigid structure and sticks it in the bottom of the bag.”