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Scientific American

MIT researchers have developed new technology that allows vaccines to be directly inserted into the lymph nodes to target two of the most common mutations in the KRAS gene, which cause roughly one third of all cancers, reports Jaimie Seaton for Scientific American. “The team modified the small vaccine components to include a fatty acid, which enables the vaccine to effectively hitch a ride on albumin, a common protein found throughout the body,” explains Seaton. “Albumin serves as a molecular shuttle bus, with pockets on its surface where fatty acids can bind to it.”

Fast Company

Sublime Systems, an MIT startup, is developing new technology to fully decarbonize the cement manufacturing process, reports Adele Peters for Fast Company. “Instead of using heat to break down rocks for cement, the startup uses chemistry to dissolve them, and then blends the components back together into what it calls ‘Sublime Cement,’” explains Peters. “The process can replace limestone with other minerals, including rocks found at high volumes in industrial waste, so it’s also possible to eliminate the emissions from limestone.”

Axios

Graduate student Zhichu Ren has developed CRESt (Copilot for Real-World Experimental Scientist), a lab assistant which “suggests experiments, retrieves data, manages equipment and guides research to the next steps in an experiment,” reports Ryan Heath for Axios.

ClimateWire

ClimateWire reporter John Fialka writes that MIT engineers have developed a new process to convert carbon dioxide into a powder that can be safely stored for decades. “The MIT process gets closer to an ambitious dream: turning captured CO2 into a feedstock for clean fuel that replaces conventional batteries and stores electricity for months or years,” writes Fialka. “That could fill gaps in the nation's power grids as they transition from fossil fuels to intermittent solar and wind energy.”

Time Magazine

Prof. Yet-Ming Chiang has been named to the TIME 100 Climate list, which highlights the world’s most influential climate leaders in business. “When it comes to cleantech, if it won’t scale, it doesn’t matter,” Chiang says. “This is a team sport—companies large and small, and governments state and federal, need to work together to get these new technologies out there where they can have impact.” 

The Boston Globe

President Biden has awarded Prof. Emeritus Subra Suresh ScD '81, the former dean of the MIT School of Engineering, the National Medal of Science for his “pioneering research across engineering, physical sciences, and life sciences,” reports Alexa Gagosz for The Boston Globe. Prof. James Fujimoto '79, SM '81, PhD '84, research affiliate Eric Swanson SM '84, and David Huang '85, SM '89, PhD '93 were awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, “the nation’s highest award for technical achievement.”

WBUR

WBUR reporter Daniel Ackerman spotlights Sublime Systems, an MIT startup working to develop “construction-ready, emissions-free cement.” Ackerman explains that: “Sublime’s new approach uses electricity instead of heat. That means the process can be powered with renewable energy rather than fossil fuels. The method also prevents carbon dioxide from escaping the carbon-rich limestone during combustion.”

IEEE Spectrum

Researchers from MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center and Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) are using high-temperature superconducting tape as a key part of the design for their tokamak reactor, reports Tom Clynes for IEEE Spectrum. The researchers believe that “this novel approach will allow it to build a high-performance tokamak that is much smaller and less expensive than would be possible with previous approaches,” Clynes notes.

Popular Science

Researchers at MIT have developed a soft robot that can be controlled by a weak magnetic field and travel through tiny spaces within the human body, reports Andrew Paul for Popular Science. “Because of their soft materials and relatively simple manipulation, researchers believe such mechanisms could be used in biomedical situations, such as inching through human blood vessels to deliver a drug at a precise location,” explains Paul.

Technology Review

Sublime Systems, a startup founded by Prof. Yet-Ming Chiang and former MIT postdoc Leah Ellis, is working to decarbonize cement making – a process which currently accounts for eight percent of global carbon emissions. The world has a huge appetite for cement, and Sublime is working to scale its production to meet it,” writes Casey Crownhart for The SparkMIT Technology Review’s weekly climate newsletter. 

Forbes

MIT has been selected as the world’s best university in the 2024 QS World University Rankings, reports Cecilia Rodriguez for Forbes. MIT has secured “the top position for the 12th consecutive year,” writes Rodriguez.

CNBC

Prof. Yet-Ming Chiang co-founded Sublime Systems, a company that has developed a new method for producing cement that is powered by electrochemistry instead of fossil fuel-powered heat, reports Catherine Clifford for CNBC. “I believe climate change has pushed all of us into an extremely fertile, creative period that will be looked back on as a true renaissance,” says Chiang. “After all, we're trying to re-invent the technological tools of the industrial revolution. There's no shortage of great problems to work on!  And time is short.”

The Boston Globe

Sublime Systems, an MIT startup, is on a mission to manufacture emissions-free cement, writes David Abel for The Boston Globe. “If we’re successful, this could be a way of making cement for millennia to come,” said Leah Ellis, chief executive of Sublime Systems. “What we’ve found is that we can bring tools from our technical training to these problems, and use them in new and creative ways,” said Prof. Yet-Ming Chiang, co-founder of Sublime Systems. “I believe it’s a very fertile time for this kind of reinvention.”

Scientific American

Commonwealth Fusion Systems, MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center and others are working to build SPARC, a prototype device that aims to extract net energy from plasma and generate fusion power, reports Philip Ball for Scientific American. “SPARC will be a midsize tokamak in which the plasma is tightly confined by very intense magnetic fields produced by new high-temperature superconducting magnets developed at MIT and unveiled in 2021.”  

Forbes

A new study by MIT scientists uncovers how male sandgrouse are able to soak up large amounts of water in their feathers and carry it over long distances to their chicks, reports Forbes. The researchers found that “when wetted, the coiled portions of the sandgrouse feather barbules unwind and rotate so they end up perpendicular to the vane. This creates a dense forest of fibers that can hold water through capillary action.”