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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.”

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Ruth Reader writes that researchers from MIT and other institutions have developed a new miniaturized detector that could be used to detect diseases by smell. “This paper was about integrating all the techniques that we know can work independently and finding out what of all this can go and become [part of] an integrated smartphone-based diagnostic,” says research scientist Andreas Mershin.

Tech Briefs

Graduate student Benjamin Jenett speaks with Tech Briefs about his work developing a new kind of airplane wing that can adapt in the air to changing conditions. "If you can have an aircraft that can actively change its shape, then you can optimize its performance," says Jenett.

TechCrunch

MIT researchers have created an ambulatory motor that can “walk” back and forth or make the gears of another machine move. “On its own, this little moving microbe is impressive enough,” writes Darrell Etherington for TechCrunch, “but its real potential lies in what could happen were it to be assembled with others of its ilk, and with other building-block robotics components made up of simple parts.”

Economist

MIT researchers have developed a new system to 3-D print scaffolding for biological cultures, making it possible to grow uniform cells with specific functions, reports The Economist. “This discovery could help those trying to find ways of encouraging stem cells to generate tissue and organs for transplant.”

Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Rob Verger writes that MIT and NASA researchers have developed a new design for a plane wing that can change shape mid-flight. As the plane wing is assembled from hundreds of different parts, it could be programmed in a specific way to control the “response that it has to an aerodynamic load,” explains graduate student Benjamin Jenett.

Newsweek

MIT and NASA researchers have designed an airplane wing assembled from hundreds of identical parts that could add greater flexibility to the manufacturing process, reports Aristos Georgiou for Newsweek. “We hope that our approach improves performance, and thus saves resources, for a variety of future transport modes,” explains graduate student Benjamin Jenett.

Popular Mechanics

Popular Mechanics reporter Eric Limer spotlights how MIT and NASA researchers have developed a new shape-shifting airplane wing. Limer explains that the new wing, “made up of hundreds of identical pieces, is the foundation for aircraft with flexible wings that transform dynamically in flight to create the optimal shape for their moment-to-moment flight conditions.”

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Melissa Locker writes that researchers from MIT and NASA have developed a new kind of airplane wing made up of hundreds of tiny identical pieces that can change shape mid-flight. Locker explains that the new design “means the wing could transform to be optimal for each step, making flying much more efficient.”