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BBC News

Graduate student Ashley Beckwith speaks with BBC Radio 5 about her work developing a new concept for growing wood in the lab, as part of an effort to supplement traditional forestry methods. "We dedicate a lot of resources to growing whole plants, when all we use really is a very small portion of the plant,” says Beckwith. “So somehow we needed to figure out a more strategic way to reproduce materials that isn't so reliant on the land."

Wired

Writing for Wired, Keith Gillogly spotlights how MIT researchers have devised a new technique that could lead to the development of lab-grown wood and other biomaterials. “The hope is that, if this becomes a developed process for producing plant materials, you could alleviate some of [the] pressures on our agricultural lands. And with those reduced pressures, hopefully we can allow more spaces to remain wild and more forests to remain in place,” says graduate student Ashley Beckwith,

The Washington Post

In an article for The Washington Post, graduate student Aidan Milliff and Saksham Khosla of Dalberg Advisors explore why farmers are protesting in India. Milliff and Khosla write that farmers are concerned that new laws aimed at deregulating agricultural markets in India could create a situation where “farmers would see less long-term stability, and could be at the mercy of big business.”

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Kristin Toussaint writes about how MIT researchers have developed a new technique for growing wood-like plant tissues in the lab. The work, they say, is still in its very early stages, but provides a starting point to a new way of producing biomaterials. “It’s a process that eventually could help accelerate our shift away from plastics and other materials that end up in landfill toward materials that can biodegrade,” writes Toussaint.

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Darrell Etherington writes that MIT researchers have developed a new method for growing plant tissues in a lab. “Potential applications of lab-grown plant material are significant,” writes Etherington, “and include possibilities in both agriculture and in construction materials.”

BBC

The BBC series “Follow the Food” spotlights how MIT researchers are tackling the issue of runoff pesticide pollution by developing a technology that helps pesticide better adhere to plant leaves. “What we are trying to do is come up with a technology that can help farmers and significantly reduce the amount [of pesticide] sprayed,” explains Prof. Kripa Varanasi.

NBC Mach

Reporting for NBC Mach, Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky writes that MIT researchers are developing augmented plants that can serve as sensors. Jeffrey-Wilensky explains that the researchers believe the plants could one day be used to “guard our homes, connect us to distant friends and send us gentle push notifications without the sensory overload of a computer screen.”

Popular Mechanics

Popular Mechanics reporter Dave Grossman writes that MIT researchers are “utilizing plants' natural abilities of sensory detection and attempting to co-join them with modern tech.”

The Daily Beast

Daily Beast reporter David Axe spotlights how MIT researchers developed an algorithm that determines the optimal growing conditions for basil. “The goal was to duplicate—and improve upon—the kind of industrial farming setups that are becoming increasingly popular in crowded countries with limited arable land,” writes Axe.

Quartz

MIT researchers developed a machine learning system that has identified the ideal growing conditions for basil, reports Chase Purdy for Quartz. The new system, which is available to the public for free, “could lead to an interesting new era of urban farming, in which cities can more efficiently feed themselves without relying on the costly supply chain networks that currently exists.”

The Verge

Verge reporter Angela Chen spotlights Prof. Michael Strano’s work using nanobionics to engineer plants. “It’s long overdue that we start to look at plants as the starting point of technology,” explains Strano. “As an engineering platform, they have a number of untapped advantages.”

TechCrunch

MIT researchers have developed a machine learning system that uncovered the ideal growing conditions for producing the most flavorful basil, reports Devin Coldewey for TechCrunch. Coldewey explains that the system recommended keeping UV lights on the plants 24/7 and found that “this produced a massive increase in flavor molecules, doubling the amount found in control plants.”

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Martin Finucane writes that MIT researchers used machine learning systems and a controlled environment to create the optimal growing conditions for basil. Principal research scientist Caleb Harper explains that the experiment showed “we can use a controlled environment plus machine learning to predict forward flavor.”

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Hiawatha Bray spotlights how MIT alumnus Josh Lessing has co-founded a company that is “developing technology to solve some of the most enduring challenges in agriculture — a sector that has long struggled with labor shortages, seasonal schedules, and compressed harvesting periods.”

Atlas Obscura

A study by MIT researcher provides evidence that large-scale corn production in the U.S. impacts weather patterns, reports Eric J. Wallace for Atlas Obscura. “By increasing yields,” writes Wallace, “farmers have unintentionally created weather patterns that seem to be protecting their crops and helping them grow more corn.”