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Wired

Research from Synlogic, a biotech company founded by Profs James Collins and Timothy Lu, has found that it’s the company’s engineered bacteria could provide some benefit to patients with a rare genetic disease, reports Emily Mullin for Wired. “Similar to how you might program a computer, we can tinker with the DNA of bacteria and have them do things like produce a drug at the right time and the right place, or in this case, break down a toxic metabolite,” says Lu.

National Geographic

Prof. Matthew Wilson speaks with National Geographic reporter Brian Handwerk about his research exploring the science behind whether animals have dreams. “We have this idea of dreams being a confabulatory narrative with kind of crazy, vivid elements to it,” says Wilson. “But when we look into animal models, we’re simply trying to understand what goes on during sleep that might influence learning, memory, and behavior.”

Times Higher Ed

Duke Provost Sally Kornbluth has been named the next president of MIT, reports Paul Basken for Times Higher Education. “MIT’s announcement credited Professor Kornbluth with prioritizing investments in faculty, especially from under-represented groups, and strengthening interdisciplinary research and education,” writes Basken.

Forbes

Forbes contributor Michael T. Nietzel spotlights how Sally Kornbluth, the provost of Duke University, has been selected as the 18th President-elect of MIT. “A highly accomplished researcher, Kornbluth is currently the Jo Rae Wright University Professor of Biology at Duke where she has been a member of the faculty since 1994, first in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at the Duke University School of Medicine and then as a member of the Department of Biology in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences,” writes Nietzel.

The Boston Globe

President-elect Sally Kornbluth discusses her hopes and aspirations for her tenure as MIT’s president with Katie Mogg of The Boston Globe. “I just want to continue the excellence of MIT,” she said. “I hope when I turn my head back down the road some years from now that this will have been viewed as a period of continued excellence, but also of the discovery, innovation, and invention of things that continue to really have a huge impact on the world stage.”

The New York Times

New York Times reporter Anemona Hartocollis writes that Sally Kornbluth, the 18th President-elect of MIT, will be the “second female president of the university, and will join a long list of women in its top leadership ranks. The provost, chancellor, dean of science and chair of the M.I.T. Corporation, the school’s governing body, are all women.”

Associated Press

Sally Kornbluth has been named the next president of MIT, reports the Associated Press. “Maybe above all, I was drawn here because this is a moment when humanity faces huge global problems, problems that urgently demand the world’s most skillful minds and hands,” said Kornbluth. “In short, I believe this is MIT’s moment. I could not imagine a greater privilege than helping the people of MIT seize its full potential.”

Science

MIT researchers have found that the number of species and the average interaction strength determine whether different ecosystems would be stable or chaotic, reports Gabriel Popkin for Science. The researchers “grew microbes together in plastic wells and increase and decrease the concentration of nutrients to manipulate how strongly the different species interacted with each other,” explains Popkin. “The more nutrients, the more the different species competed.”

New York Times

Prof. Richard Hynes is one of the winners of this year’s Lasker Award, reports Benjamin Mueller for The New York Times, for his work describing how “cells bind to their surrounding networks of proteins and other molecules — findings that pointed the way toward treatments for a number of diseases.”

Associated Press

Prof. Richard Hynes is one of three honorees for the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, reports Maddie Burakoff for the AP. Hynes and his fellow awardees “helped launch the field of integrin research, which has since led to new strategies for treating diseases,” writes Burakoff.

The Boston Globe

Prof. Richard Hynes is one of the three recipients of the 2022 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for his contributions to the field of integrin research, reports Martin Finucane for The Boston Globe. Hynes and his colleagues “provided a greater understanding of the diseases that can result when integrin function is perturbed.”

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."

Forbes

Forbes contributor Russell Flannery spotlights how Prof. Tyler Jacks has “made a mark in cancer work not only by his research but his ability to bring different organizations together.” Jacks discussed the Biden administration’s “Cancer Moonshot” initiative and noted that: “Having specific goals and an action plan for cancer is important. Having a strategy about how to approach the cancer problem is equally important.”

Fast Company

MIT scientists have used custom software and maple plywood to create “The Cosmic Cliffs Infinite Galaxy Puzzle” based on the newfound images from the James Webb Space Telescope, reports Elissaveta M. Brandon for Fast Company. The 264-count puzzle contains “squiggly pieces that can be reconfigured in endless ways” writes Brandon.

The Boston Globe

CAMP4, a startup founded by Prof. Richard Young, is developing a new class of RNA-based therapies to treat genetic diseases, reports Ryan Cross for The Boston Globe. The “startup’s experimental approach will allow it to dial up the output of genes to treat genetic diseases, with an initial focus on a severe form of epilepsy and life-threatening live diseases,” writes Cross.