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Forbes

 Scientists at MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have found that while albatross couples typically mate for life, shy wandering albatross males are more likely to be divorced, reports Forbes. “This link between personality and divorce could help scientists predict the resilience of an albatross population over time."

Scientific American

A new study co-authored by MIT researchers demonstrates that forming weak ties on LinkedIn can help people find new jobs, reports Vivianne Callier for Scientific American.  “One thing the study highlights is the degree to which algorithms are guiding fundamental, baseline, important outcomes, like employment and unemployment,” says Prof. Sinan Aral.

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Sam Becker writes that a study co-authored by MIT researchers finds that weaker social connections on LinkedIn have a greater impact on job mobility than stronger relationships. The findings demonstrate that “the best thing many job seekers can do, as counterintuitive as it sounds, is to mine their lesser-known or secondary connections for opportunities,” writes Becker.

The Guardian

Research by Prof. Sinan Aral and his colleagues has found that having “moderately weak ties” can positively facilitate job shifts, reports Nicola Davis for The Guardian. Aral said that as well as examining the importance of weak ties, the study highlighted the degree to which social media algorithms “are turning the knobs on our economies and fundamental indicators like employment." 

Forbes

Prof. Hari Balakrishnan speaks with Forbes contributor Stuart Anderson about his decision to leave India to pursue a PhD in computer science in the U.S., his love for teaching students as a professor at MIT and his work co-founding Cambridge Mobile Telematics, a software company that utilizes technology to make roads safer. “Immigration and immigrants make the United States stronger,” said Balakrishnan. “Immigration is the biggest strength that we have. We need to be able to attract and retain talent, no matter where people come from.”

The Guardian

Researchers at MIT have discovered that pictures of food appear to stimulate strong reactions among specific sets of neurons in the human brain, a trait that could have evolved due to the importance of food for humans, reports Sascha Pare for The Guardian. “The researchers posit these neurons have gone undetected because they are spread across the other specialized cluster for faces, places, bodies and words, rather than concentrated in one region,” writes Pare.

Fast Company

Craig Ferguson, a full stack developer at the MIT Media Lab, has developed a mobile mental health game, dubbed Paradise Island, that sends users on real-life missions in exchange for rewards and is based on a type of therapy called behavioral  activation, reports Elissaveta Brandon for Fast Company. “One of the goals behind the app is to teach people a lesson, to help them build skills and resilience,” Ferguson says. “If you do this enough, that reflection step is to make people realize ‘When I was feeling bad, I really didn’t think running would help, but it did,’ and remember that.”

NPR

A new study by MIT researchers provides evidence that babies and toddlers understand people have a close relationship if they are willing to share saliva via sharing food or kissing, reports Nell Greenfieldboyce for NPR. "From a really young age, without much experience at all with these things, infants are able to understand not only who is connected but how they are connected," says postdoc Ashley Thomas. "They are able to distinguish between different kinds of cooperative relationships."

Stat

MIT scientists have discovered that infants use saliva sharing as a cue in distinguishing close relationships, reports Andrew Joseph for STAT. “Saliva-sharing interactions provide externally observable cues of thick relationships, and young humans can use these cues to make predictions about subsequent social interactions,” the researchers explain.

Science

Science reporter Bridget Alex spotlights a new study by MIT researchers that finds children as young as 8-months-old can infer the social significance in swapping saliva with those they are closely bonded with. This is a “big step in this new science of what preverbal infants already know about human sociality,” explains Prof. Alan Fiske of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Gizmodo

Gizmodo reporter Shoshana Wodinsky spotlights a new study by MIT researchers that finds videos are not likely to sway public political opinion more than their textual counterparts. “It’s possible that as you’re scrolling through your newsfeed, video captures your attention more than text would,” says Prof. David Rand. “You might be more likely to look at it. This doesn’t mean that the video is inherently more persuasive than text – just that it has the potential to reach a wider audience.”

Forbes

Forbes contributor Bruce Y. Lee writes that MIT researchers have found that lack of sleep can affect a person’s gait and that catching up on sleep can improve gait control for those who are chronically sleep deprived. Lee writes that the findings demonstrate how, “lack of sleep may affect your ability to move your body and navigate in subtle ways.”

Boston Globe

A study by MIT researchers finds that crowdsourced fact-checking of news stories by laypeople tend to be just as effective as professional fact-checkers, writes David Scharfenberg for The Boston Globe. The researchers found that “even when pooling a relatively small number of laypeople’s evaluations, the correlation between laypeople’s and fact-checkers’ evaluations was about the same as the correlation among the fact-checkers’.”

Mashable

Mashable reporter Matt Binder writes that a new study by MIT researchers finds that crowdsourced fact-checking of news stories can be as effective as using professional fact-checkers. “The study is positive news in the sense that everyday newsreaders appear to be able to, mostly, suss out misinformation,” writes Binder.

Fast Company

A new study by MIT economists finds that sleeping more may not improve performance or well-being, especially if night-time sleeping is often interrupted, reports Arianne Cohen for Fast Company. “The researchers say their findings suggest that sleep quality may be essential,” writes Cohen. “Participants experienced many nightly sleep interruptions, a saga familiar to anyone who lives with children.”