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The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Pranshu Verma spotlights MIT startup Biobot Analytics, co-founded by Mariana Matus ’18 and Newsha Ghaeli ’17, for their work studying sewage data to better predict the spread of Covid-19 in communities. “For health officials, it [the data] confirms whether Covid spikes in the community are real, and not due to increased testing or other factors,” writes Verma. “Moreover, Covid levels in waste water are a leading indicator for new clinical cases, giving health officials a few days’ notice if they’ll see more sick patients showing symptoms.”

Forbes

Forbes has named Raya Ani ’94, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala MCP PhD ’81, ’78, and former postdoc Shulamit Levenberg to their 50 Over 50 list, which highlights women from Europe, the Middle East and Asia who are leading the way, reports Maggie McGrath for Forbes. “Women around the world are proving that 50 and beyond is the new golden age,” writes McGrath.

Bloomberg

Pierre-Oliver Gourinchas PhD ’96 has been appointed chief economist by the International Monetary Fund, reports Ana Monetiro for Bloomberg. “The economist, a French national who is also program director of international finance and macroeconomics at the National Bureau of Economics Research, was an IMF visiting scholar and the editor-in-chief of the IMF Economic Review from 2009-2016,” writes Monetiro.

TechCrunch

MIT startup Formlabs has announced a new pair of 3D printers featuring an exposure and printing speed increase that is up to 40% faster than previous models, reports Brian Heater for TechCrunch. “The Form 3+ is the next iteration designed to help users go from idea to part in hand as quickly and easily as possible,” says CEO Max Lobovsky MS ’11.

Forbes

Jin Stedge ’13 cofounded TrueNorth, a trucking company aimed at putting truckers in charge of their own companies, reports Igor Bosilkovski for Forbes. “We give truckers a single place to manage their whole business, and that’s everything from finding and booking loads, sending updates to customers, tracking applications, all in one place and charging one clean fee instead of ten different fees,” says Stedge.

Forbes

Renaldo Webb ’10 founded PetPlate, a fresh-cooked pet food company that delivers personalized meal plans directly to pet owners, reports Igor Bosilkcovski for Forbes. “Webb got the idea for the company when he worked with pet food companies as a consultant, and was able to realize that the low quality ingredients in the pet food had been the underlying reason for many health issues with pets, particularly obesity,” writes Bosilkcovski.

Reuters

Prof. Timothy Lu, Prof. Jim Collins and Philip Lee ’03 co-founded Senti Bio, a biotechnology company that uses gene circuit technology to create cell and gene therapies that can sense and respond to ailments inside the body, reports Sohini Podder for Reuters. “The way I like to think about it – just like you can program a computer with different programs or different maps, we can do the same thing with medicines,” says Lu.

NPR

NPR’s Ted Radio Hour spotlights the work of Alicia Chong Rodriguez SM ’17, SM ’18, who is trying to address the gaps that exist in women’s health data through a smart bra that can be used to acquire physiological data. Chong’s startup BloomerTech has “built medical-grade textile sensors that can adapt to multiple bra styles and sizes for continuous, reliable and repeatable data all around her torso and her heart.”

The Boston Globe

The food truck Cassandria Campbell MS ‘11 and Jackson Renshaw started in an effort to bring locally sourced and healthier food options to the Boston area is now being turned into a restaurant, reports Devra First for The Boston Globe. “These are beautiful neighborhoods and people deserve to be able to walk down the street and get something good to eat,” says Campbell. “If I have kids, I want them to be able to do the same.”

Fast Company

Sean Hunt PhD ’16, M. Eng ’13 and Gaurab Chakrabarti co-founded Solugen after discovering a way to make chemicals from corn syrup instead of fossil fuels, reports Adele Peters for Fast Company. “Based on a detailed analysis of current products, the company estimates that it could theoretically produce 90% of the chemicals that are now produced by fossil fuels,” writes Peters.

TechCrunch

Ikigai, an MIT startup, is building automated workflows where human decision making will be a part of the process, reports Ron Miller for Tech Crunch. “What we saw is that there are use cases… [that involve] manual processes in the organizations that were extremely difficult to automate because a fundamental step involved humans making judgements or decisions with data, and where both the data and rules they’re operating on would change very often,” co-founder and CEO Vinayak Ramesh M.Eng ‘18, ‘12 tells Miller.

USA Today

Marcos Berríos ‘06, Christina Birch PhD ’15, and Christopher Williams PhD ’12 are among the ten selected to be a part of NASA’s 2021 astronaut candidate class, reports Emre Kelly for USA Today. “Flanked by T-38 Talon jets to be used over their two-year training course at Johnson Space Center in Houston, NASA officials introduces the 2021 class of six men and four women in front of their families, friends, and soon-to-be colleagues,” writes Kelly.  

WBUR

Marcos Berríos ‘06, Christina Birch PhD ‘15 and Christopher Williams PhD ’12 have been selected as part of NASA’s 2021 astronaut candidate class, reports WBUR’s Bill Chappell. “Alone, each candidate has ‘the right stuff,’ but together they represent the creed of our country: E pluribus unum – out of many, one,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.

The Boston Globe

Marcos Berríos ‘06, Christina Birch PhD ‘15, Christopher Williams PhD ‘12 are among the ten astronauts selected for the 2021 NASA astronaut class, reports Breanna Kovatch for The Boston Globe. “The class of astronauts were selected from among 12,000 candidates and is the first class in four years,” writes Kovatch.

GBH

Graduate student Olumakinde “Makinde” Ogunnaike and Josh Sariñana PhD ’11 join Boston Public Radio to discuss The Poetry of Science, an initiative that brought together artists and scientists of color to help translate complex scientific research through art and poetry. “Science is often a very difficult thing to penetrate,” says Sariñana. “I thought poetry would be a great way to translate the really abstract concepts into more of an emotional complexity of who the scientists actually are.”