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STAT

Prof. Jonathan Weissman and his colleagues have developed a new tool for monitoring changes in human blood cells, which could one day help researchers predict disease risk, reports Megan Molteni for STAT. “The technology paves the way for a day in the not too distant future where it is conceivable that from a simple blood draw, a doctor could get a sense of what’s going on in that patient’s bone marrow,” writes Molteni, “picking up perturbations there that could help predict a diverse range of diseases.”

Nature

Prof. Emerita Evelyn Fox Keller, whose “studies on gender and science, the role of language in shaping how we see and study the world,” and analysis of key concepts in modern biology contributed to the history and philosophy of modern biology, has died at age 87, reports Marga Vicedo for Nature. Keller “proposed abandoning the idea that genes are master molecules that provide the blueprints for and direct the development of an organism,” writes Vicedo. Keller also showed how language, including people’s choice of metaphors, influences the directions of scientific research.”

Science

Prof. Emerita Evelyn Fox Keller, “scientist, feminist scholar, and author of influential publications on genetics, developmental biology and scientific language,” has died at 87, reports Angela N. H. Creager for Science. “After training in physics and working in mathematical biology, Evelyn turned her attention to understanding how societal constructs, especially gender, guide science,” writes Creager. “She brought feminist insights into the history and philosophy of biology and sparked broader interdisciplinary conversations about the role of metaphor and rhetoric in science.”

Nature

MIT researchers have “used an algorithm to sort through millions of genomes to find new, rare types of CRISPR systems that could eventually be adapted into genome-editing tools,” writes Sara Reardon for Nature. “We are just amazed at the diversity of CRISPR systems,” says Prof. Feng Zhang. “Doing this analysis kind of allows us to kill two birds with one stone: both study biology and also potentially find useful things.”

The Guardian

Professor Emerita Evelyn Fox Keller, a MacArthur genius grant recipient, “theoretical physicist, philosopher and writer who viewed science through a feminist lens,” has died at 87, reports Georgina Ferry for The Guardian. Keller’s work explored “how the practice of science had come to be perceived as intrinsically masculine, and to think about what a gender-neutral science might look like,” writes Ferry. 

The Boston Globe

Prof. Emerita Evelyn Fox Keller, a MacArthur genius grant winner who brought attention to gender bias in science has died at 87, writes Bryan Marquard for The Boston Globe. “She was an icon,” says Prof. Sherry Turkle. Turkle notes that Keller’s “analysis was profound because you realized that the very words that you used to talk about doing an experiment — or learning, or what it meant to understand — was deeply gendered.”

New York Times

Prof. Emerita Evelyn Fox Keller, who was known for her work as a “theoretical physicist, a mathematical biologist and, beginning in the late 1970s, a feminist theorist who explored the way gender pervades and distorts scientific inquiry,” has died, reports Clay Risen for The New York Times. “Keller trained as a physicist and focused much of her early work on applying mathematical concepts to biology,” writes Risen. “But as the feminist movement took hold, she began to think critically about how ideas of masculinity and femininity had affected her profession.”

Forbes

Michael Goldberg PhD '08 founded Surge Therapeutics, a company developing a hydrogel immunotherapy treatment aimed at reducing the risk of surgically-removed cancers returning, reports India Rice for Forbes. “Broadly speaking, immunotherapy is a range of cancer treatments that aim to strengthen the immune system’s ability to fight cancer,” explains Rice. “But what makes Surge’s solution different is that it’s applied during surgery as opposed to other immunotherapies that are delivered weeks before or weeks after surgery.”

Forbes

MIT has been selected as the world’s best university in the 2024 QS World University Rankings, reports Cecilia Rodriguez for Forbes. MIT has secured “the top position for the 12th consecutive year,” writes Rodriguez.

Forbes

A new study by MIT scientists uncovers how male sandgrouse are able to soak up large amounts of water in their feathers and carry it over long distances to their chicks, reports Forbes. The researchers found that “when wetted, the coiled portions of the sandgrouse feather barbules unwind and rotate so they end up perpendicular to the vane. This creates a dense forest of fibers that can hold water through capillary action.”

CNN

Callie Gade and Nate Bonham of CNN’s Discovery Daily Podcast spotlight how researchers from MIT developed a 3D printed replica of the human heart that can help doctors customize treatments for patients before conducting open heart surgery or other intrusive procedures. “These more patient-specific heart replicas can help future researchers develop and identify treatments for people with unique health problems,” says Gade.

Forbes

MIT has ranked first in 11 different academic fields in the latest QS World University Rankings, reports Michael T. Nietzel for Forbes.