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Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab (J-WAFS)

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TechCrunch

MIT researchers have developed a new robot, dubbed RF Grasp, that can sense hidden objects using radio waves, reports Brian Heater for TechCrunch. “The tech allows RF Grasp to pick up things that are covered up or otherwise out of its line of vision,” writes Heater.

Popular Science

MIT researchers have created a new filter from tree branches that could provide an inexpensive, biodegradable, low-tech option for water purification, writes Shaena Montanari for Popular Science. “We hope that our work empowers such people to further develop and commercialize xylem water filters tailored to local needs to benefit communities around the world,” says Prof. Rohit Karnik.

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brooks Hays writes that MIT researchers have created a new water filter from tree branches that can remove bacteria. “The filter takes advantage of the natural sieving abilities of xylem -- thin, interconnected membranes found in the sapwood branches of pine, ginkgo and other nonflowering trees,” writes Hays.

Scientific American

Scientific American reporter Prachi Patel spotlights how MIT researchers have developed a solar-powered system that can extract drinkable water from the air. “The $100 setup yields almost six liters an hour in the lab and about half of that outdoors,” writes Patel. 

Fortune- CNN

A working paper from Prof. Arnold Barnett shows that keeping the middle seat open on an airplane significantly lowers the spread of Covid-19. “Such a policy lowers the risk of contracting COVID from 1 in 4,400 to 1 in 7,300,” writes Jeff John Roberts for Fortune.

Reuters

In this video, Reuters reporter Elly Park spotlights a new technique developed by MIT researchers to purify contaminated water. Park explains that the, “highly-selective process can even capture micropollutants, things that can exist in small, but potentially dangerous amounts in water.” 

Sceptical Chymist

Amit Kumar, a research scientist at MIT and director of strategy and impact for the MIT Energy Club, speaks with Marshall Brennan of Nature Chemistry’s “Sceptical Chymist” blog. Kumar notes that he hopes his research will “help provide environmentally sound and sustainable solutions to the pressing need for clean water and energy.”

New York Times

Prof. John Lienhard and Dr. Kenneth Strzepek write for The New York Times about the need for Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to successfully share water from the Nile. “The world needs to get good at sharing water, and right away,” they write. “The alternative is frequent regional conflicts of unknowable proportions.”

The Washington Post

Washington Post reporter Joby Warrick writes that a team of MIT engineers has won the Desal Prize for a solar-powered desalination system they developed. “The system, when fully operational, can supply the basic water needs of a village of between 2,000 and 5,000 people,” Warrick explains. 

Bloomberg News

A group of experts convened by MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Laboratory recently published a report on plans for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, reports William Davison of Bloomberg News. The report’s authors urge greater coordination between Egypt and Ethiopia “to ensure water is shared fairly during periods of reduced flows.”

Salon

In a piece about potential global catastrophes, Sarah Gray of Salon highlights new research from Prof. Colette Heald that indicates future global food production is threatened by climate change and air pollution. The study found that the impacts of climate change and ozone pollution on crop production could cause malnutrition rates to rise significantly in developing countries in the coming decades.

CBS News

Eliene Augenbraun of CBS News examines MIT findings on the impact of climate change and pollution on crops. Prof. Colette Heald says the study explored climate and ozone effects “because we thought this was an important contrast to draw, and because these effects are better quantified.”

Greenwire

Greenwire reporter Amanda Peterka examines the new MIT study showing that ozone pollution could increase the impact of climate change on food supply. “The study warns that the interplay between climate change and ozone could stand in the way of meeting an expected 50 percent increase in global food demand between 2010 and 2050,” Peterka writes. 

Reuters

Writing for Reuters, Megan Rowling reports on findings from a new MIT study that finds rising temperatures associated with climate change, coupled with ozone pollution, could increase damage to crops. The researchers found that curbing air pollution could ease projected declines in global food supplies.  

HuffPost

Huffington Post reporter Katherine Boehrer reports on a new study showing that ozone pollution may increase the impact of climate change on crops. “The study showed that climate change is likely to reduce crop yields at least 10 percent by 2050 from 2000 levels,” writes Boehrer.