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The Guardian

A study by graduate student Evan Soltas and Gopi Shah Goda, deputy director of Stanford’s Institute for Economic Policy Research, underlines the pandemic’s impact on labor supply in the United States, reports Richard Luscombe for The Guardian. “Our estimates suggest Covid-19 illnesses have reduced the US labor force by approximately 500,000 people,” say Soltas and Goda.

Fortune

A study by graduate student Evan Soltas and Gopi Shah Goda, deputy director of Stanford’s Institute for Economic Policy Research, explores the economic toll of Covid-19, including acute illness and long Covid, reports Erin Prater for Fortune. The paper “also looks at the impact of other Covid-related medical consequences like organ damage, mental health issues, new kidney and heart problems, and the worsening of preexisting illness, in addition to the phenomenon of Covid forcing older workers into early retirement,” explains Prater.

New Scientist

Professor Eric Alm speaks with Claire Ainsworth at New Scientist about studying wastewater to better understand the health, wealth and environment of various communities. “It’s not about going in and taking a measurement,” said Alm. “It’s about developing a platform that can help you reach insights about what’s going on.”

The Boston Globe

CAMP4, a startup founded by Prof. Richard Young, is developing a new class of RNA-based therapies to treat genetic diseases, reports Ryan Cross for The Boston Globe. The “startup’s experimental approach will allow it to dial up the output of genes to treat genetic diseases, with an initial focus on a severe form of epilepsy and life-threatening live diseases,” writes Cross.

Reuters

Principal Research Scientist Leo Anthony Celi oversaw a study which found that people of color were given significantly less supplemental oxygen than white people because of inaccuracies in pulse oximeter readings, reports Nancy Lapid for Reuters. “Nurses and doctors make the wrong decisions and end up giving less oxygen to people of color because they are fooled [by incorrect readings from pulse oximeters],” says Celi.

Stat

A study co-authored by MIT researchers finds that algorithms based on clinical medical notes can predict the self-identified race of a patient, reports Katie Palmer for STAT. “We’re not ready for AI — no sector really is ready for AI — until they’ve figured out that the computers are learning things that they’re not supposed to learn,” says Principal Research Scientist Leo Anthony Celi.

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.