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Xinhuanet

A new study by MIT researchers provides evidence that the first life on Earth likely came from shallow ponds, not oceans, reports the Xinhua news agency. The researchers found that primitive ponds that were about “10 centimeters deep had higher concentrations of nitrogen, a key ingredient for life on Earth.”

Forbes

Prof. John Deutch proposes a demonstration project to show how renewable energy could provide 95 percent of electricity generation, reports Jeff McMahon for Forbes. Deutch suggests “setting up a competition between energy developers, allowing them to bid on a 20-year contract to provide a system that meets 95 percent of demand in an area using solar, wind and storage alone.”

Smithsonian Magazine

Writing for Smithsonian, Leila McNeill spotlights Ellen Swallow Richards, the first female student at MIT, who was known for her work using chemistry as a tool to help empower women. “By harnessing the knowledge that women in the home already had and then applying scientific principles,” writes McNeill, “Richards believed women would spark a change that would resonate beyond the kitchen table and transform society.”

Xinhuanet

MIT researchers have developed a new technique to measure cancer cells that provides insight into how certain cells respond to treatment, reports the Xinhua news agency. The findings could be used to help develop new drug targets, making current treatments more effective.

American History Magazine

Writing for the American History Magazine, Sarah Richardson highlights the trailblazing path of Ellen Swallow Richards. Richardson notes that Swallow Richards was a “one-woman parade of firsts: first female student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, first female fellow of the American Association of Mining and Metallurgy, first female professor at MIT.”

United Press International (UPI)

Researchers from MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have found that cellular changes lead to chronic sinus inflammation, reports Allen Cone for UPI. Cone explains that the findings could also “help patients with chronic inflammatory diseases of barrier tissues, such as asthma, eczema, and inflammatory bowel disease.”

Xinhuanet

By analyzing thousands of human cells and creating a cellular map of human barrier tissue, MIT researchers have identified the mechanism that may cause chronic allergic inflammation in the sinus, according to Xinhua News Agency. The findings could have “implications on treatment of other chronic inflammatory diseases of barrier tissues, such as asthma, eczema, and inflammatory bowel disease.”

Boston Globe

Elise Takahama writes for The Boston Globe that MIT researchers have developed a new technique to create “xenoproteins,” manmade proteins that could be used to battle infectious diseases like Ebola. Unlike drugs developed with natural proteins, the xenoproteins, “are more stable, easier to administer, and manufactured more quickly,” Takahama explains.

co.design

Researchers at the Tangible Media Group have developed “programmable droplets” of water that can be used to communicate words. “One potential application is a mirror that, when steamed, allows someone to display a message from a smartphone” writes Jesus Diaz for Co.Design. “The larger idea is to provoke surprise and delight, the way only the natural world can.”

The Boston Globe

Writing in The Boston Globe, Elise Takahama describes new research by MIT’s Sukrit Ranjan and colleagues that suggests sulfudic anion molecules provide evidence for the origins of life. Takahama also highlights the varying disciplines in the research team, which joined molecular chemistry experts with planetary scientists. “One of the most exciting things,” says Ranjan, is “how different communities, when they talk to each other, can really make dramatic advances.”

Reuters

In this video, Reuters reporter Elly Park spotlights a new technique developed by MIT researchers to purify contaminated water. Park explains that the, “highly-selective process can even capture micropollutants, things that can exist in small, but potentially dangerous amounts in water.” 

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Alyssa Meyers writes that MIT researchers have observed how the flu spreads between cells in the body. “Once it’s infected a cell and has commandeered its inner workings, the virus makes copies of itself that gather into buds attached to the membrane. The buds then break free from their host and go on to infect other cells.”

Newsweek

MIT researchers have developed a new material that harvests sunlight and converts it into energy, reports Sydney Pereira for Newsweek. “Inspired by the structures that plants use to gather sunlight and turn it into energy, the material mimics circuitry found in nature for harvesting light,” Pereira explains.

Bloomberg

Sara Clemence writes for Bloomberg that MIT is working with Lamborghini on developing a new electric supercar. Working with two labs at MIT, Lamorghini plans to essentially turn the car into a battery by making “supercapacitors out of carbon fiber panels that can be used to form the body of the car,” explains Clemence. 

Boston.com

Researchers from MIT and Lamborghini have unveiled a new concept supercar incorporating futuristic design elements and new technologies, writes Nicole Wakelin for Boston.com. Led by Profs. Mircea Dinca and Anastasios John Hart, the teams are “focused on the development of energy storage systems and the use of innovative materials,” writes Wakelin.