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The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporter Daniela Hernandez spotlights the work of Media Lab Research Scientist Andreas Mershin in developing sensors that can detect and analyze odors. Mershin “is focusing on medical applications of olfaction technology. Inspired by dogs that have demonstrated an ability to sniff out malignancies in humans, he’s working on an artificial-intelligence odor-detection system to detect prostate cancer.”

Forbes

Forbes contributor Jeff Kart writes that a new study by MIT researchers finds that yeast, an abundant waste product from breweries, can filter out even trace amounts of lead. The researchers demonstrated that in just five minutes “a single gram of the inactive, dried yeast cells can remove up to 12 milligrams of lead in aqueous solutions with initial lead concentrations below 1 part per million.”

TechCrunch

MIT startup Volta Labs is developing a new instrument that can automate the processes used to prepare genetic samples, reports Emma Betuel for TechCrunch. CEO and co-founder Udayan Umapathi ’17 is confident that with the right programming, the platform could allow “liquids to be manipulated in even more complex ways, like using magnetic fields to draw certain molecules out of samples for further analysis,” writes Betuel.

New York Times

An international team of scholars, including MIT researchers, has published a new study exploring the history and use of letterlocking, reports William J. Broad for The New York Times. The researchers note that they hope their work prompts “novel kinds of archival research, and allows even very well-known artefacts to be examined anew.”

NPR

Researchers from MIT and other institutions have successfully uncovered the letterlocking technique that Mary, Queen of Scots, used to seal her final letter, reports NPR’s Tien Le. The spiral lock requires more than 30 steps and involves cutting out a ‘lock,’ often resembling a dagger or sword, out of the blank margin of the letter,” writes Le. “The lock acts as a needle and is sewn through the letter after folding it.”

The Guardian

An international team of researchers has found that Mary, Queen of Scots, used a complicated paper-folding technique called letterlocking to conceal the contents of her final letter, reports Alison Flood for The Guardian. MIT Libraries Conservator Jana Dambrogio explains that working on Mary's last letter “and figuring out its unique spiral lock was thrilling as a researcher – and a real a-ha! moment in the study of letterlocking.”

Vox

Research scientist Andreas Mershin speaks with Noam Hassenfeld of Vox about his work developing a new AI system that could be used to detect disease using smell.

Scientific American

A new AI-powered system developed by researchers from MIT and other institutions can detect prostate cancer in urine samples as accurately as dogs can, reports Tanya Lewis and Prachi Patel for Scientific American. “We found we could repeat the training you use for dogs on the machines until we can’t tell the difference between the two,” says research scientist Andreas Mershin.

The Economist

The Economist spotlights how MIT researchers created a virtual technique to decipher the contents of a letter that was sealed 300 years ago. The letter was originally sealed by its sender using the historical practice of securing correspondence called letterlocking. The new virtual technique “seems to hold plenty of promise for future research into a fascinating historical practice.”

Wired

A new imaging technique created by researchers from MIT and other institutions has been used to shed light on the contents of an unopened letter from 1697, writes Matt Simon for Wired. “With fancy letterlocking techniques, you will forcibly rip some part of the paper, and then that will become detectable,” says Prof. Erik Demaine, of the method used to seal the letter.

The Guardian

Guardian reporter Alison Flood explores the new technique created by MIT researchers to virtually unseal an unopened letter written in 1697. The researchers, “worked with X-ray microtomography scans of the letter, which use X-rays to see inside the document, slice by slice, and create a 3D image,” writes Flood.

NPR

Jana Dambrogio, the Thomas F. Peterson Conservator at MIT Libraries, describes the new technique developed by researchers at MIT and other institutions that has allowed for the virtual exploration of a letter that has been sealed since 1697. “It's quite beautiful and it's thrilling that we can read it without tampering with the letter packet, leaving it to study as an unopened object,” says Dambrogio.

ITV

 ITV reporter Liz Summers spotlights how researchers from MIT and other institutions have developed a new system that could eventually be used to help detect diseases via smell. The researchers hope the results could “eventually result in the production of a ‘robotic nose’ perhaps in the form of a smartphone app.”

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brian P. Dunleavy writes that MIT researchers have developed a new system, modeled on a dog’s keen sense of smell, that could be used to help detect disease using smell. “We see the dogs and their training research as teaching our machine learning [sense of smell] and artificial intelligence algorithms how to operate,” says research scientist Andreas Mershin.

BBC News

A team of researchers from MIT and other institutions have created a new sensor that could be used to sniff out disease, reports Charlie Jones for the BBC. Research scientist Andreas Mershin says "Imagine a day when smartphones can send an alert for potentially being at risk for highly aggressive prostate cancer, years before a doctor notices a rise in PSA levels.”