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NPR

Prof. Linda Griffith joins Terry Gross of NPR’s Fresh Air to discuss how studying endometriosis could help unlock some of the mysteries of tissue regeneration. "The regeneration of the endometrium is weirdly not studied as much as it should be," she says. "But it's fascinating because you get about a centimeter of growth of tissue that has beautifully formed blood vessels, an immune system, all of the structures of the tissue — over a period of about two weeks."

The Tech

MIT has announced a new climate action plan aimed at helping the Institute tackle climate change, reports Kristina Chen for The Tech. The plan offers increased opportunities for student involvement and a new organizational structure. Maria Zuber, MIT’s vice president for research, explains that MIT feels “that it’s our responsibility and duty to try to make a genuine difference, and to do that, we’re going to need the help of everyone in the community.” 

Science

In an editorial for Science, Prof. Sangeeta Bhatia, Prof. Emerita Nancy Hopkins and President Emerita Susan Hockfield underscore the importance of addressing the underrepresentation of women and minorities in tech transfer. “The discoveries women and minority researchers are making today have great potential as a force for good in the world,” they write, “but reaching that potential is only possible if paths to real-world applications are open to everybody.”

New York Times

Writing for The New York Times, Profs. Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo underscore the importance of helping other countries avoid a repeat of the coronavirus surge India is facing. “The world needs to look beyond India and avoid yet another mistake of timing,” they write. “We cannot afford to repeat the experience of the first wave, when we didn’t realize just how quickly a virus can travel. Neither should nations be lulled into a sense of false security by the progress of vaccination campaigns in the United States and Europe.”

Inside Higher Ed

In an article for Inside Higher Ed, Joshua Kim writes that “Grasp: The Science Transforming How We Learn,” a book by Sanjay Sarma, MIT’s vice president for open learning, and research associate Luke Yoquinto is “an important contribution to the literature on learning science and higher education change.” Kim adds that “Grasp can provide the foundations of what learning science-informed teaching might look like, with some fantastic real-world examples of constructivist theory in pedagogical action.”

New York Times

Prof. Linda Griffith is on a mission to change the conversation about endometriosis “from one of women’s pain to one of biomarkers, genetics and molecular networks,” writes Rachel E. Gross for The New York Times. “The endometrium is inherently regenerative,” says Griffith. “So studying it, you’re studying a regenerative process — and how it goes wrong, in cases.” 

WSHU

Profs. Elsa Olivetti and Christopher Knittel speak with J.D. Allen of WSHU about the future of renewable energy in New England. Olivetti notes that the MIT Climate & Sustainability Consortium is aimed at “looking at the role of industry in helping to accelerate the transition to reduce carbon emissions, and the idea is that by convening a set of cross economy, leading companies with the MIT community, we can identify pathways towards decarbonization particularly focused on those industries outside of the energy producing sector.”

National Public Radio (NPR)

Prof. Evan Lieberman speaks with NPR’s Michael Martin about how the pandemic’s racial disparities have affected people’s public policy views. “I think it's important for us to keep reminding one another how interconnected we are, how our shared fate exists together depending on the actions we take and don't take, and perhaps that we have a common purpose beyond, you know, national borders and obligations towards one another,” says Lieberman.

Vox

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with Vox contributor David Roberts about the various aspects involved with transforming our world in response to climate change. “There is so much potential, but we really need to be more deliberate about how we are thinking about technology and that means understanding what it is, how it evolves and how we can push it faster towards these beneficial solutions,” says Trancik of the transition to clean energy technologies.

Motherboard

In a new data sonification project, a team of MIT researchers have translated the vibrations of a spider’s web into music, writes Maddie Bender for Motherboard. The team "used the physics of spiderwebs to assign audible tones to a given string’s unique tension and vibration," writes Bender. "Summing up every string’s tone created an interactive model of a web that could produce sound through manipulation or VR navigation."

New Scientist

MIT researchers have created a new audio-visual virtual reality that can provide a sense of what it’s like to be a spider by converting a spider web’s vibrations into sounds that humans can hear, reports Ian Morse for New Scientist. “The spider web can be viewed as an extension of the body of the spider, in that it lives within it, but also uses it as a sensor,” says Prof. Markus Buehler. “When you go into the virtual reality world and you dive inside the web, being able to hear what’s going on allows you to understand what you see.”

CNN

Prof. Yossi Sheffi speaks with CNN’s Zachary Wolf about how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected supply chains, impacting the supply of ketchup packets and causing delays in computer chips. “During the pandemic many industries reduced their orders and suppliers reduced their orders and capacity even further (because they anticipated that future orders will also be reduced),” says Sheffi. “When the economy came back, there was no capacity to snap right back.”

Stat

Prof. Emerita Nancy Hopkins speaks with Rebecca Sohn of STAT about the Boston Biotech Working Group’s goal of increasing the number of women leaders and entrepreneurs in biotech and her hopes for the future of women in biotech and the sciences. “You want people to feel that they are free to participate in all the things wherever it leads them,” says Hopkins. “So I think the goal is just that people who really want to do this [pursue biotech] don’t face any greater barrier than anybody else. That everybody has equal access and education to do as they want to.”

McGonigal's Chronicles: Making Montana Connections

McGonigal’s Chronicles, a new podcast celebrating extraordinary people with Montana connections, recently launched with an appearance by Professor Dava Newman. In conversation with the host, Tim McGonigal of Montana Television Network, Newman discusses growing up in Big Sky Country, her excitement about becoming director of the MIT Media Lab, and the importance of role models. “All little folks have a great dream, and I think it’s all of our responsibility then to help empower them, help their dreams come true,” says Newman.

Boston Globe

A group of MIT scientists has announced a new plan, called the Future Founders Initiative, aimed at addressing gender inequities in the biotech industry, reports Anissa Gardizy for The Boston Globe. “If we can’t advance discoveries at the same rate for women and men, that means there are drugs, therapies, devices, and diagnostics that are not getting to where they can actually benefit people,” says President Emerita Susan Hockfield. “If as a region we want to continue to lead the world, the best thing to do is not squander our resources.”