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Writing for Nature, graduate student Jelle van der Hilst offers advice on determining whether the data resulting from an experiment is meaningful and useful. “Although in research it is crucial that you don’t fully trust your data until it has been triple-proven and peer-reviewed,” writes van der Hilst, “we do have to gain some operational confidence in our methods and results. Otherwise, crippled by self-doubt, we’d never bring any new research into the world.”

National Geographic

In a new MIT study, researchers found that people were less likely to order a menu item when it was specifically labeled as "vegan" compared to when it was not, reports Meryl Davids Landau for National Geographic. “The research is not trying to tell anyone they need to strictly transition into these diets in order to make an impact,” says graduate student Alex Berke. “This is about people eating more sustainably, more often, and what can we do to guide people towards those practices.”


In an article he co-authored for Fortune, postdoctoral associate Matthew Hughes explains how extreme heat affects different kinds of machines. “In general, the electronics contained in devices like cellphones, personal computers and data centers consist of many kinds of materials that all respond differently to temperature changes,” they write. “So as the temperature increases, different kinds of materials deform differently, potentially leading to premature wear and failure." 


Graduate student Turga Ganapathy is studying the best ways to grow spirulina at home so that the microalgae can be used as a food source, reports WCVB-TV. Spirulina “are complete proteins, meaning that they produce amino acids that the human body cannot synthesize that we usually get from animals or a combination of different plant-based proteins,” says Ganapathy.

The Washington Post

Writing for The Washington Post, graduate student Thomas Roberts underscores the importance of investing in new technologies to mitigate the risks posed by space debris. “Space operators can control how some large objects return to Earth. But this requires extra fuel reserves and adaptive control technologies, which translate into higher costs,” writes Roberts. 


Researchers from MIT and BU have developed the Cleana toilet seat, a set of non-electric automatic lifting and lowering toilet seats that aim to make bathrooms more sanitary, reports Rob Way for WHDH.   

USA Today

A working paper co-authored by Prof. John Horton and graduate students Emma van Inwegen and Zanele Munyikwa has found that “AI has the potential to level the playing field for non-native English speakers applying for jobs by helping them better present themselves to English-speaking employers,” reports Medora Lee for USA Today. “Between June 8 and July 14, 2021, [Inwegen] studied 480,948 job seekers, who applied for jobs that require English to be spoken but who mostly lived in nations where English is not the native language,” explains Lee. “Of those who used AI, 7.8% were more likely to be hired.”


A number of MIT alumni including Elaheh Ahmadi, Alexander Amini, and Jose Amich have been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Local Boston list.

Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Jon Kelvey writes that astronomers from MIT and elsewhere recently captured views of a galaxy cluster as it existed when it was 5 billion years old, and found it is one of the few relaxed galaxy clusters from that time period in the cosmos. The findings “could be telling us that galaxies are forming at a younger age than we thought,” in the early universe, explains graduate student Michael Calzadilla. “That’s challenging our timeline of when things happened.”


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.


In conversation with Matthew Huston at Science, Prof. John Horton discusses the possibility of using chatbots in research instead of humans. As he explains, a change like that would be similar to the transition from in-person to online surveys, “"People were like, ‘How can you run experiments online? Who are these people?’ And now it’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, of course you do that.’”


Researchers from MIT have found that using generative AI chatbots can improve the speed and quality of simple writing tasks, but often lack factual accuracy, reports Richard Nieva for Forbes. “When we first started playing with ChatGPT, it was clear that it was a new breakthrough unlike anything we've seen before,” says graduate student Shakked Noy. “And it was pretty clear that it was going to have some kind of labor market impact.”


A study by researchers from the Broad Institute and others have found that cancer in humans and dogs share genomic similarities, reports Nicole Karlis for Salon. “Specifically, the study identified 18 genetic mutations that are likely a primary driver of the cancer in canine patients, eight of which overlapped with so-called "hotspots" in human cancers,” writes Karlis.


Prof. Daron Acemoglu and graduate student Todd Lensman have created “the first economic model of how to regulate transformative technologies,” like artificial intelligence, reports Tim Fernholz for Quartz. “Their tentative conclusion is that slower deployments is likely better, and that a machine learning tax combined with sector-specific restrictions on the use of the technology could provide the best possible outcomes,” writes Fernholz.