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New York Times

New York Times reporter Steve Lohr spotlights the origin and history of MIT startup Gingko Bioworks, a synthetic biology company founded with a “shared belief that biology could be made more like computing with reusable code and standard tools instead of the bespoke experiments of traditional biology." Jason Kelly ’03, PhD ’08, one of the founders of MIT startup Ginkgo Bioworks and the company’s chief executive, explains that “the ultimate goal for Ginkgo is to make it as easy to program a cell as it is to program a computer.”

The Boston Globe

Ginkgo Bioworks founders Jason Kelly PhD ’08, S.B. ’03 and Reshma Shetty PhD ’08 speak with Boston Globe reporter Scott Kirsner about the inspiration for and growth of the company, which is focused on manipulating genetic material to get living cells to perform new jobs. Shetty notes that the Ginkgo Bioworks team is “dedicated to making biology easier to engineer."

New York Times

A new exhibition at the Design Museum in London showcases sneaker design, including the work of several MIT researchers, reports Elizabeth Paton for The New York Times. A sneaker designed by researchers from MIT and Puma “is home to microorganisms that can learn a user’s specific heat emissions and opens up ventilation based on those patterns.”

Financial Times

Financial Times reporter Ellie Pithers spotlights the contributions of several teams of MIT researchers to the future of sneaker design, currently on display at the London Design Museum. The “Breathing Show,” which was developed by designers from the MIT Design Lab and Puma, “is made from a molded material that contains cavities filled with bacteria; responding to heat generated by the foot, the bacteria eats away at the material to create a hole that allows air to enter and circulate.”

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.

New Scientist

New Scientist reporter Layal Liverpool writes that a new study co-authored by MIT researchers finds that “synthetic cells made by combining components of Mycoplasma bacteria with a chemically synthesised genome can grow and divide into cells of uniform shape and size, just like most natural bacterial cells.”

Smithsonian Magazine

Smithsonian reporter Theresa Machemer writes that a new study by MIT researchers shows that C. elegans are able to sense and avoid the color blue.

New York Times

A new study by MIT researchers investigates how roundworms are able to sense the color blue to avoid dangerous bacteria that secrete toxins, reports Veronique Greenwood for The New York Times. Greenwood found that “some roundworms respond clearly to that distinctive pigment, perceiving it — and fleeing from it — without the benefit of any known visual system.”

Boston 25 News

Prof. James Collins speaks with Boston 25 reporter Julianne Lima about the growing issue of antibiotic resistant bacteria and his work using AI to identify new antibiotics. Collins explains that a new platform he developed with Prof. Regina Barzilay uncovered “a host of new antibiotics including one that we call halicin that has remarkable activity against multi drug-resistant pathogens.”

SciDevNet

A study by researchers from MIT’s Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) finds antibiotic resistance in some types of bacteria may be reversed using hydrogen sulphide, reports Melanie Sison for SciDevNet. “This is a very exciting discovery because we are the first to show that H2S can, in fact, improve sensitivity to antibiotics and even reverse antibiotic resistance in bacteria that do not naturally produce the agent,” says Wilfried Moreira, a principal investigator at SMART.

Health Europa

Researchers from the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology have “discovered a way to increase antimicrobial sensitivity in bacteria by exposing them to hydrogen sulphide (H2S),” reports Health Europa.

Forbes

Forbes reporter Amy Feldman spotlights MIT startup Ginkgo Bioworks, which aims to “design, modify and manufacture organisms to make existing industrial processes cheaper and entirely new processes possible.” Feldman notes that the promise of synthetic biology is “not just a proliferation of new products, but also a reduction of the environmental harm that comes from our heavy reliance on petrochemicals.”

Scientific American

Diana Kwon highlights the research of Prof. Katharina Ribbeck in an article for Scientific American about the biological benefits of mucus. “I like to call [mucus] the unsung hero of the body — it’s something that has such powerful effects over our health,” says Ribbeck.

Xinhuanet

Xinhua reports that MIT researchers have “discovered that lung tumors could hijack bacteria within the lung to promote their own survival.” As Tyler Jacks, director of the Koch Institute and the paper’s senior author explains, this research "opens up multiple potential avenues toward lung cancer interception and treatment.”

Forbes

Writing for Forbes, Jeff Kart highlights how MIT researchers have developed a new technique to process samples of bacteria and gauge whether the bacteria can produce electricity. “The vision is to harness the most-powerful bacteria for tasks like running fuel cells or purifying sewage water,” Kart explains.