Skip to content ↓

In the Media

Displaying 15 news clips on page 4

Financial Times

An opinion piece by Katie Martin of the Financial Times explores how Prof. Emil Verner and colleagues have found that climate pledges made by banks and other financial institutions are not effective at reducing carbon emissions. “We find no evidence of reduced financed emissions through engagement,” the paper states. “We conclude that net zero commitments do not lead to meaningful changes in bank behavior.”

HealthDay News

MIT researchers have developed microneedle patches that are capable of restoring hair growth in alopecia areata patients, reports Ernie Mundell for HealthDay. The team’s approach includes a, “patch containing myriad microneedles that is applied to the scalp,” writes Mundell. “It releases drugs to reset the immune system so it stops attacking follicles.” 

The New York Times

Researchers from MIT and elsewhere have used quantitative and computational methods to analyze animal communication, reports Emily Anthes for The New York Times.

The Guardian

An analysis by MIT researchers has identified “wide-ranging instances of AI systems double-crossing opponents, bluffing and pretending to be human,” reports Hannah Devlin for The Guardian. “As the deceptive capabilities of AI systems become more advanced, the dangers they pose to society will become increasingly serious,” says postdoctoral associate Peter Park. 

The Atlantic

An analysis by The Atlantic’s Ronald Brownstein notes despite Republican resistance to electric vehicles, many new production facilities are located in GOP-represented states. MIT Innovation Fellow Brian Deese explains EV companies are simply seeking space and nearby manufacturing and construction capacity, but said “it’s pretty hard to think of a technology where there was a cheaper, better technology to solve a consumer need and consumers prioritized a cultural or political patina over lower costs and higher quality.”

Associated Press

Alex Viega of the Associated Press reports on the death of former MIT Prof. James Simons '58, a life member emeritus of the MIT Corporation and “a renowned mathematician and pioneering investor who built a fortune on Wall Street and then became one of the nation’s biggest philanthropists.” Simons and his wife Marilyn co-founded the Simons Foundation, whose president said, “Jim was an exceptional leader who did transformative work in mathematics and developed a world-leading investment company.” 

Bloomberg

Researchers from MIT and elsewhere have found that “showing AI-generated images of a less car-reliant American city boosted support for sustainable transportation policies,” reports Linda Poon for Bloomberg. “Let’s help them imagine what it would actually be like to live in a car-less neighborhood, and a car-less city,” says postdoctoral associate Rachit Dubey. 

Scroll.in

Scroll.in reporter Deepa Gahlot reviews “Srikanth,” a biopic highlighting the life of Srikanth Bolla '13, the blind founder of Bollant Industries. Bolla is “by any measure a poster boy of unflinching determination and never taking no for an answer,” writes Gahlot. “The film is so earnest, so sunshine-y, [and] the hero so inspiring.”

Quanta Magazine

MIT researchers have developed a new procedure that uses game theory to improve the accuracy and consistency of large language models (LLMs), reports Steve Nadis for Quanta Magazine. “The new work, which uses games to improve AI, stands in contrast to past approaches, which measured an AI program’s success via its mastery of games,” explains Nadis. 

STAT

Writing for STAT, Prof. Kevin Esvelt explores how, “the immense potential benefits of biotechnology are profoundly vulnerable to misuse. A pandemic caused by a virus made from synthetic DNA — or even a lesser instance of synthetic bioterrorism — would not only generate a public health crisis but also trigger crippling restrictions on research.” Esvelt adds: “The world has too much to gain from the life sciences to continue letting just anyone obtain DNA sufficient to cause a pandemic.” 

Smithsonian Magazine

MIT researchers have used advancements in machine learning and computing to help decode whale vocalizations, reports Sarah Kuta of Smithsonian Magazine. “If researchers knew what sperm whales were saying, they might be able to come up with more targeted approaches to protecting them,” Kuta explains. “In addition, drawing parallels between whales and humans via language might help engage the broader public in conservation efforts.”

BBC Science Focus

BBC Science Focus reporter Alex Hughes spotlights a new study by MIT scientists that suggests more heavy snowfall and rain linked to climate change could increasingly contribute to earthquakes worldwide. “The researchers made these conclusions based on how weather patterns in northern Japan have seemingly contributed to a new 'swarm' of earthquakes,” writes Hughes, “a pattern of multiple, ongoing quakes – that is thought to have begun in 2020.”

The Economist

Prof. Kripa Varanasi and Vishnu Jayaprakash SM '19, PhD '21 co-founded AgZen, an MIT spinoff that is developing new technologies to improve the performance and effectiveness of pesticide treatments, reports The Economist. The new technologies “could reduce the total amount of fungicides and insecticides sprayed over complete crops by some 90%, as well as cutting the amount of adjuvants required,” writes The Economist.

NBC News

A new study conducted by MIT researchers suggests “heavy snowfall could be a factor in triggering swarms of earthquakes,” reports Evan Bush for NBC News. "Those big snowfall events seem to correlate well with the start of these big earthquake swarms," says Prof. William Frank. "We shouldn’t forget the climate itself can also play a role in changing the stress state at depth where earthquakes are happening." 

TechCrunch

Researchers from MIT and elsewhere have uncovered a phonetic alphabet used by sperm whales, which provides “key breakthroughs in our understanding of cetacean communication,” reports Brain Heater for TechCrunch. “This phonetic alphabet makes it possible to systematically explain the observed variability in the coda structure,” says Prof. Daniela Rus, director of CSAIL. “We believe that it’s possible that this is the first instance outside of human language where a communication provides an example of the linguistic concept of duality of patterning. That refers to a set of individually meaningless elements that can be combined to form larger meaningful units, sort of like combining syllables into words.”