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Fast Company

Rob Morris PhD ’14 has dedicated his career to easing access to mental health services online, reports Shalene Gupta for Fast Company. “When you search for a flight on Google, you get directed to these options that make you instantly buy a flight,” he says. “The interface is beautiful. But when you look up mental health, it’s not great. I want to do for mental health what Google did for flights.”

The Conversation

Writing for The Conversation, John Reilly, co-director emeritus of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, outlines a roadmap for how the U.S. can meet the Biden administration’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions 50% by 2030 below 2005 levels. “By exploiting declining costs of zero- and low-carbon energy sources in a more aggressive and focused way, the U.S. can meet its target within eight years,” writes Reilly, “all while substantially reducing its dependence on fossil fuels, including high-priced gasoline, and cutting back the air pollution, climate and health impacts resulting from their combustion.”

USA Today

Based on data from the MIT Election Data and Science Lab and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers have found that mortality rates are improving faster in Democratic counties than Republican ones, reports Adrianna Rodriguez for USA Today. “Democratic counties also saw greater reductions in deaths from chronic lower respiratory tract diseases, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, and kidney disease,” writes Rodriguez.

WCVB

Information from MIT’s Election Data and Science Lab and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were used in a new study that found mortality rates in Democratic and Republican counties are growing further apart, reports WCVB. The study found “that mortality rates decreased more in Democratic counties than in Republican counties,” writes WCVB.

BBC

Prof. Lydia Bourouiba speaks with BBC CrowdSource presenter Marnie Chesterton about her work in understanding how bodily fluids such as snot and spittle spread after leaving the body using high speed cameras.  “What is very clear is that we emit… droplets of a continuum of sizes but they are not coming out alone,” explains Bourouiba. “They are coming out with an air that is in our lungs, that is hot and moist and turbulent, which changes the physical dynamics of the emission and how the drops will evolve.”

The Wall Street Journal

InsideTracker - a personalized-nutrition company founded by scientists from MIT, Harvard, and Tufts University - utilizes blood tests to calculate biological age, reports Betsy Morris for The Wall Street Journal. The company analyzes blood samples for “markers of conditions like inflammation, heart health and liver or kidney disorder,” explains Morris. “Those who test as older than their years get recommendations to adjust diet, exercise and supplements.”

The Daily Beast

Researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School have created an artificial intelligence program that can accurately identify a patient’s race based off medical images, reports Tony Ho Tran for The Daily Beast. “The reason we decided to release this paper is to draw attention to the importance of evaluating, auditing, and regulating medical AI,” explains Principal Research Scientist Leo Anthony Celi.

Stat

J-PAL research manager Jesse Gubb writes for STAT about how voluntary innovation tests can lead to providers favoring profitable programs over what is best for patients and can make potential reforms harder to evaluate. “The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is in the rare position of being empowered to develop innovative payment models and prospectively evaluate them,” writes Gubb. “Mandatory, national randomized evaluations ensure that the already significant effort to develop the models will yield the rigorous evidence needed to support decisions on whether to scale and adopt them broadly.”

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Michael Blanding spotlights Prof. Hugh Herr’s work with Dr. Matthew Carty in developing a new amputation surgery called agonist-antagonist myoneural interface (AMI) procedure, which reconnects muscles to amplify electrical signals sent along the nerves. “My dream as a scientist is that a person with an arm amputation could play a Beethoven piece at normal speeds and dexterity – and for legs, that a person could dance ballet,” says Herr.

GBH

Prof. Jonathan Gruber speaks with Boston Public Radio hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan about his latest research on a program designed to increase health care access to immigrants across New York. “We reached out through a variety of mechanisms through non-government organizations through social media and we offered them a program to improve their healthcare. We brought them in and what we did was basically just connect them with doctors,” says Gruber.

Los Angeles Times

Writing for The Boston Globe, Prof. Edward Scolnick and La Jolla Institute for Immunology Prof. Erica Ollmann Saphire share their insights on the future and potential challenges in developing a universal Covid-19 vaccine. “Success will require two principles that the world has not yet sufficiently grasped in fighting this virus: a focus on the long term over the short term, and a sustainable structure and support for collaboration,” write Scolnick and Saphire.

WBUR

Professor Linda Griffith speaks with Radio Boston host Tiziana Dearing about her research on endometriosis. The dream is “that we get diagnosis at the start, and you get your therapy at the start, and you don’t even develop the disease,” says Griffith.

Stat

Researchers from MIT and journalists from STAT conducted a months long investigation and found that “subtle shifts in data fed into popular health care algorithms — used to warn caregivers of impending medical crises — can cause their accuracy to plummet over time, raising the prospect AI could do more harm than good in many hospitals,” reports Casey Ross for STAT.

PBS NOVA

PBS Nova premiered “Augmented,” a documentary film that features Prof. Hugh Herr and his research team’s work in developing brain controlled robotic limbs and reimagining amputation procedures. “Herr is teaming up with an injured climber and a surgeon at a leading Boston hospital to test a new approach to surgical amputation that allows prosthetic limbs to move and feel like the real thing,” writes PBS Nova.

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporter John Anderson spotlights “Augmented” a new PBS documentary featuring Prof. Hugh Herr and his work in robotic limbs and surgery.