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Fluid dynamics

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The Washington Post

Professor Martin Bazant and Professor John Bush have developed a new safety guideline to limit the risk of airborne Covid-19 transmission in different indoor settings. “For airborne transmission, social distancing in indoor spaces is not enough, and may provide a false sense of security,” says Bazant. “Efficient mask use is the most effective safety measure, followed by room ventilation, then filtration,” adds Bush.

CNN

CNN reporter Maggie Fox writes that MIT researchers have developed a new formula for calculating the risk of airborne Covid-19 transmission in indoor settings. "To minimize risk of infection, one should avoid spending extended periods in highly populated areas. One is safer in rooms with large volume and high ventilation rates," write Profs. Martin Bazant and John Bush.
 

Financial Times

Financial Times reporter Clive Cookson writes that researchers from MIT and Penn State have developed a technique to make clear droplets produce iridescent colors. Cookson explains that the phenomenon is a previously unknown example of ‘structural color,’ produced not by pigments but the internal reflections of light within the tiny droplets.”

Scientific American

Assistant Prof. Lydia Bourouiba is highlighted in a documentary series that aims to inspire future generations of women in STEM. Producer Emily Driscoll writes in Scientific American that Bourouiba’s work studying droplets from sneezes and toilet flushes “could mean new designs for hospitals and our understanding of disease transmission.”

NBC News

Kate Baggaley of NBC News highlights a team of MIT researchers who have developed a computer model to explain how albatrosses fly so efficiently. “Unlike other birds that flap their wings frequently, the albatross rides the wind,” which researchers are hoping to duplicate as they attempt to create drones that fly by harnessing power from the wind and sun, she explains.

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brooks Hays writes that MIT researchers have developed a set of mathematical equations to help identify patterns that can lead to extreme events. “If researchers can anticipate the warning signs of extreme events, mitigation efforts could be instigated sooner, potentially preventing loss of life and property,” Hays explains. 

New Scientist

New Scientist reporter Sam Wong writes that MIT researchers used high-speed cameras to examine how raindrops can spread soil bacteria. “The researchers estimate that a single raindrop can transfer 0.01 per cent of bacteria on the soil surface into the air, and up to a quarter of bacteria emitted from the land might become airborne in this way.” 

National Public Radio (NPR)

Using high-speed cameras and fluorescent dye, MIT researchers have uncovered how rain drops can spread soil bacteria, reports Rae Ellen Bichell for NPR. The researchers found that in a few microseconds “a single raindrop can create hundreds of tiny airborne droplets, each one carrying as many as several thousand live bacteria.”

Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Kendra Pierre-Louis writes about a new study by MIT researchers that examines how rain drops help spread soil bacteria. The researchers found that “a single rain drop can transfer 0.01 percent of bacteria on the soil surface to the atmosphere.”

Popular Science

Kelsey Atherton of Popular Science writes that MIT researchers have created a hydrogel robot that could be used to create “soft, gentle hands that can help surgeons when they’re working inside squishy, delicate human bodies."

Wired

In this Wired video, Prof. Anette “Peko” Hosoi explains how she and her team designed a material, inspired by semiaquatic mammals, to help keep surfers warm. “We want to understand the physical mechanisms behind the biological solution and then adapt those mechanisms into engineering design." 

CBC News

CBC reporter Nora Young explores how MIT researchers have developed a new material, inspired by beaver fur, that could help keep surfers warm. “In sports technology there's a great need for textiles that have great insulating properties in water, but still let you stay agile and nimble,” explains graduate student Alice Nasto. 

Scientific American

Graduate student Alice Nasto speaks with Cynthia Graber of Scientific American about her research designing a material inspired by the fur that keeps beavers and sea otters warm. Nasto explains that the fur "evolved to trap air, and this air provides a layer of insulation for them in water.”

ABC News

ABC News reporter Gillian Mohney writes that Prof. Lydia Bourouiba has captured footage of a person sneezing, showing how far sneeze droplets can travel. Bourouiba found that “large droplets tended to land within 1 to 2 meters (about 3 to 6 feet) and that small droplets could get as far as 6 to 8 meters away (19 to 26 feet).”

Nature

In this article and video, Nature reporter Corie Lok spotlights Prof Lydia Bourouiba’s work studying the fluid dynamics of coughing and sneezing. Bourouiba explains that her research combines “fluid mechanics to problems that are relevant in health and epidemiology to understand better how pathogens are transmitted.”