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Popular Science

Researchers from MIT and the Rhode Island School of Design have developed a wearable fabric microphone that can detect and transmit soundwaves and convert them into electrical signals, reports Shi En Kim for Popular Science. “Computers are going to really become fabrics," says Prof. Yoel Fink. "We’re getting very close.”

The Daily Beast

MIT researchers have created a flexible fiber that can generate electrical impulses that are conveyed to the brain as sound, reports Miriam Fauzia for The Daily Beast. “The researchers see endless possibilities for their smart fabric,” writes Fauzia. “The obvious application is in improving hearing aids, which Fink said have trouble discerning the direction of sound, particularly in noisy environments. But the fabric could also help engineers design wearable fabrics that can measure vital signs, monitor space dust in new kinds of spacecraft, and listen for signs of deterioration in buildings like emerging cracks and strains.”

Forbes

Forbes contributor David Bressan writes that a new study by MIT researchers proposes that oxygen began accumulating in early Earth’s atmosphere due to interactions between marine microbes and minerals in ocean sediments. The researchers hypothesize that “these interactions helped prevent oxygen from being consumed, setting off a self-amplifying process where more and more oxygen was made available to accumulate in the atmosphere,” writes Bressan.

The Hill

Smoke from Australian wildfires in 2019 and 2020 appears to have contributed to the breakdown of the ozone layer, according to a new study by MIT scientists, reports Sharon Udasin for The Hill. “The new study establishes the first direct link between wildfire smoke and ozone depletion,” writes Udasin. 

The Daily Beast

Daily Beast reporter Miriam Fauzia writes that a new study by MIT scientists finds that smoke particles from wildfires are slowing the recovery of the ozone layer.

BBC News

BBC News correspondent Helen Briggs writes that MIT scientists have found that increasing wildfires may slow the recovery of the ozone layer. "All the hard work that the world went to to reduce chlorofluorocarbons (ozone-depleting chemicals once used in aerosol sprays) is not paying off as well in the areas that experience extreme wildfires," explains Prof. Susan Solomon. "The best hope would be that we reduce global warming gases also and stop increasing the wildfires, but that's obviously more difficult."

The Guardian

A new study by MIT scientists finds that smoke emitted into the atmosphere from Australian wildfires in 2019 and 2020 resulted in depletion of the ozone layer, reports Donna Lu for The Guardian. The findings suggest “rising fire intensity and frequency due to the climate crisis may slow the recovery of the ozone layer.”

Science

Prof. Mircea Dincǎ, Prof. Evelyn Ning-Yi Wang, Prof. Ian W. Hunter, Prof. Guoping Feng, and Senior Research Scientist David H. Shoemaker were elected as Fellows of AAAS for their efforts on behalf of the advancement of science and its applications to better serve society, reports Science.

Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Nikita Amir writes that a new study co-authored by MIT researchers finds has identified a chemical pathway by which life could make a home for itself in Venus’ toxic clouds by producing ammonia. “Life on Venus, if it exists, is not like life on Earth,” says research affiliate Janusz Petkowski. “It’s life as we don’t know it. The only question is, to what degree it is different?”

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Devin Coldewey writes that MIT researchers have created a new nanoengineered material that could prove tougher than Kevlar or steel. “Made of interconnected carbon ‘tetrakaidecahedrons,’ the material absorbed the impact of microscopic bullets in spectacular fashion,” writes Coldewey.

TopUniversities.com

Provost Marty Schmidt speaks with TopUniversities.com reporter Chloe Lane about how MIT has maintained its position as the top university in the world on the QS World University Rankings for 10 consecutive years. “I am honored to have been a part of the MIT community for almost 40 years,” says Schmidt. “It’s a truly interdisciplinary, collaborative, thought-provoking place that encourages experimentation and pushes you to expand your mind. I think it’s a wonderful place to call home.”

NOVA Next

Hanna Ali of NOVA Next speaks with Prof. Desiree Plata about methane emissions and Prof. Tim Swager about his work developing sensors that could allow users to “see” methane, track down its source and mitigate impacts. “You probably hear headlines all the time, ‘Everywhere we look for plastics in the environment, we find them,’” Plata says. “The same is true of most industrial chemicals, but the problem is I can’t pull out my cell phone and take a picture of [them]. Tim’s sensors are helping to close that gap.”

Forbes

To better understand what gives mucus its disease-protecting properties, MIT researchers created synthetic mucins, writes Forbes contributor Jackie Rocheleau. Understanding the antimicrobial properties of mucus “could offer a whole new way of treating infectious disease,” says Prof. Laura Kiessling.

The Boston Globe

MIT researchers have discovered the molecular structure of a protein that plays a key role in the coronavirus’ ability to replicate itself and stimulate the host cell’s inflammation response, reports Travis Anderson for The Boston Globe. “If researchers can find a way to ‘block this channel,’” writes Anderson, “then they might be able to reduce the ‘pathogenicity of the virus’ and also obstruct viral replication.”

Popular Mechanics

Popular Mechanics reporter Kyro Mitchell spotlights how MIT researchers have created a new material, inspired by camel fur, that could be used to help insulate food and medical supplies. “Field tests on the new material show that it can provide cooling of more than seven degrees Celsius,” writes Mitchell. “It can also maintain that low temperature for five times longer than using hydrogel alone.”