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Tech Explorist

Tech Explorist reporter Amit Malewar writes that researchers from Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) have “demonstrated a new way to manufacture human red blood cells (RBCs) that cuts the culture time by half compared to existing methods.”

The New York Times

A new study co-authored by MIT researchers finds that the economic damage from Covid-19 is more widespread nationwide than mortality impacts, reports Roni Caryn Rabin and Gina Kolata for The New York Times. “Health crises concentrated in one part of the country and one age group may have substantial economic spillovers that are felt throughout the rest of the country and on other age groups,” the authors wrote.

The Wall Street Journal

The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence has awarded Prof. Regina Barzilay a $1 million prize for her work advancing the use of AI in medicine, reports John McCormick for The Wall Street Journal. "Regina is brilliant, has very high standards, and is committed to helping others,” says Prof. James Collins. “And I think her experience with—her personal experience with cancer—has motivated her to apply her intellectual talents to using AI to advance health care.”

Associated Press

The AP highlights how Prof. Regina Barzilay has been named the inaugural winner of a new award given by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence for her work “using computer science to detect cancer and discover new drugs has won a new $1 million award for artificial intelligence.”

Stat

Prof. Regina Barzilay has been named the inaugural recipient of the Squirrel AI Award for Artificial Intelligence to Benefit Humanity for her work developing new AI techniques to help improve health care, reports Rebecca Robbins for STAT. Robbins writes that Barzilay is focused on turning the “abundance of research on AI in health care into tools that can improve care.”

New York Times

A study co-authored by Prof. Jonathan Gruber finds that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate did not significantly impact coverage rates, reports Sarah Kliff for The New York Times. “The mandate made a difference, but not a huge difference in terms of the numbers of people signing up,” says Gruber.

The Washington Post

Washington Post reporter Rachel Lerman highlights how MIT researchers developed a robotic system that uses UV light to disinfect spaces. “By knowing the geometry of the space — usually represented as a map — the robot can compute a patrolling trajectory and speed to expose all surfaces to the dosage that neutralizes the pathogens,” explains Prof. Daniela Rus, director of CSAIL.

TechCrunch

A wireless system developed by CSAIL researchers can monitor movement and vital signs without using video, while also preserving privacy, reports Darrell Etherington for TechCrunch. “The system has the potential to be used at long-term care and assisted living facilities to provide a higher standard of support, while also ensuring that the privacy of the residents of those facilities is respected,” writes Etherington.

Scientific American

Writing for Scientific American, Carolyn Barber spotlights how researchers from MIT are developing cheap, fast and easy to use diagnostics for Covid-19 that can deliver results in minutes. “They are called lateral flow assays, but manifestly they are paper-strip tests that have an antibody embedded on filter paper,” writes Barber. “If a saliva sample has coronavirus present, the antibody will bind that viral antigen, turning the test positive, much like a pregnancy test works.”

The Washington Post

Writing for The Washington Post, Prof. Robin Wolfe Scheffler underscores the importance of not only pursuing coronavirus vaccine development initiatives, but also “addressing the social and political factors that exacerbate disease and limit the access of many Americans to basic medical care.”

CNN

CNN reporter Allen Kim writes about how CSAIL researchers developed a new system that enables a robot to disinfect surfaces and neutralize aerosolized forms of the coronavirus. In the future, the researchers hope the robot could be used to enable autonomous UV disinfection “in other environments such as supermarkets, factories and restaurants.”

WHDH 7

WHDH reporter Emily Pritchard spotlights how CSAIL researchers have developed a new robotic system that is being used to help disinfect the Greater Boston Food Bank during the coronavirus pandemic. “We believe that is one piece of the puzzle in figuring out how to mitigate the spread of coronavirus,” says research scientist Alyssa Pierson.

TechCrunch

A new robotic system developed by CSAIL researchers uses UV-C light to kill viruses and bacteria on surfaces and aerosols, reports Darrell Etherington for TechCrunch. “Via cameras and sensors, the robot can map an indoor space, then navigate designed waypoints within that mapped area and disinfect as it goes, keeping track of the areas it has to disinfect,” writes Etherington.

WCVB

MIT researchers have developed a new robotic system that uses a UV-C light fixture to disinfect surfaces at the Greater Boston Food Bank’s warehouse staging area, reports Matt Reed for WCVB. Research scientist Alyssa Pierson explains that the ultraviolet light "breaks apart the kind of outer incasing or shell of these pathogens."

Stat

MIT researchers have developed an AI system that can predict Alzheimer’s risk by forecasting how patients will perform on a test measuring cognitive decline up to two years in advance, reports Casey Ross for STAT