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Energy Wire

Researchers at MIT have developed a cathode, the negatively-charged part of an EV lithium-ion battery, using “small organic molecules instead of cobalt,” reports Hannah Northey for Energy Wire. The organic material, "would be used in an EV and cycled thousands of times throughout the car’s lifespan, thereby reducing the carbon footprint and avoiding the need to mine for cobalt,” writes Northey. 

Bloomberg

Prof. Fiona Murray, associate dean for innovation and inclusion at MIT Sloan, speaks with Bloomberg Law reporter Lauren Castle about her recent study that found female PhD students are 17% less likely to become new inventors compared with their male counterparts. “What we can show is relative to the supply into Ph.D. programs, there’s still just this huge difference in the percentage of women on patents coming out of the labs than there are in the university,” says Murray.

NBC Boston

Alumnus Dave Dussault founded Snapchill, a hot coffee company that uses technology to brew, “the best of both hot coffee and cold brew,” reports Grant Welker for NBC Boston. “The technology entails brewing the coffee hot, then dropping the temperature in a matter of seconds from more than 200 degrees to just above freezing,” explains Welker. “It's done using what Dussault said is essentially the same technology used in a refrigerator.”

The Boston Globe

In a cartoon for The Boston Globe, Sage Stossel spotlights how during the Cambridge Science Festival researchers from the MIT AgeLab spoke about their work during a special presentation at the Cambridge Senior Center. As part of an effort to spur innovations aimed at improving the quality of life for people in their later years, AgeLab researchers have “pursued an array of projects, from researching safer, more automated driving systems to collaborating on ‘smart home’ innovations for facilitating aging in place to the development of interactive robo-pets.”

Popular Science

MIT researchers have developed a new programmable, shape-changing smart fiber called FibeRobo that can change its structure in response to hot or cold temperatures, reports Andrew Paul for Popular Science. “FibeRobo is flexible and strong enough to use within traditional manufacturing methods like embroidery, weaving looms, and knitting machines,” writes Paul. “With an additional ability to combine with electrically conductive threads, a wearer could directly control their FibeRobo clothing or medical wearables like compression garments via wireless inputs from a controller or smartphone.”

The Boston Globe

President Biden has awarded Prof. Emeritus Subra Suresh ScD '81, the former dean of the MIT School of Engineering, the National Medal of Science for his “pioneering research across engineering, physical sciences, and life sciences,” reports Alexa Gagosz for The Boston Globe. Prof. James Fujimoto '79, SM '81, PhD '84, research affiliate Eric Swanson SM '84, and David Huang '85, SM '89, PhD '93 were awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, “the nation’s highest award for technical achievement.”

Time Magazine

A number of MIT spinouts and research projects – including the MOXIE instrument that successfully generated oxygen on Mars, a new solar-powered desalination system and MIT spinout SurgiBox – were featured on TIME’s Best Inventions of 2023 list.

STAT

STAT reporter Annalisa Merelli writes that the 2023 Lasker Award has been given to Prof. James Fujimoto, research affiliate Eric Swanson SM ’84 and David Huang PhD ’93 for their work advancing the diagnosis of eye disease. Fujimoto, Swanson and Huang developed “optical coherence tomography (OCT) — the first noninvasive technology allowing doctors to see high-resolution images of the retina.”

The New York Times

Prof. James Fujimoto, research affiliate Eric Swanson SM ’84 and David Huang PhD ’93 have won a Lasker Award for their work inventing optical coherence tomography, which can “detect conditions like macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy earlier than previous methods, preventing blindness,” reports Noah Weiland and Cade Metz for The New York Times. “O.C.T. now is commonly used in ophthalmology offices, where the patient simply rests a chin and forehead against an instrument for a brief scan,” write Weiland and Metz. “The method, invented in 1991, offers a staggering amount of detail about the retina.”

The Boston Globe

Prof. James Fujimoto, research affiliate Eric Swanson SM ’84 and David Huang PhD ’93 have been honored with the Lasker Award for their work for their work inventing “imaging technology that revolutionized how ophthalmologists diagnose diseases of the eye," reports Jonathan Saltzman for The Boston Globe. The scientists were recognized for developing “optical coherence tomography, or OCT, the first technology that enabled doctors to see a two- and three-dimensional cross-sectional image of the retina,” Saltzman explains. “This painless scan takes less than 10 minutes, and is now the standard of care for diagnosing retina diseases.”

Fortune

Fortune has named Katie Rae, CEO of The Engine, as one of the top 13 seed stage, climate tech VCs to watch, reports Lucy Brewster for Fortune. “Rae tops venture firm The Engine, which beyond being a fund, is an investing arm that spun out of MIT,” explains Brewster. “Yet Rae invests in an array of companies and sources founders from beyond just university walls.”

The Boston Globe

Ivan Sutherland PhD ’63, whose work “laid some of the foundations of the digital world that surrounds us today,” speaks with Boston Globe columnist Scott Kirsner about the importance of fun and play in advancing technological research. “You’re no good at things you think aren’t fun,” Sutherland said. If you want to expand the scope of what’s possible today, he noted, “you need to play around with stuff to understand what it will do, and what it won’t do.”

Forbes

At CSAIL’s Imagination in Action event, CSAIL research affiliate and MIT Corporation life member emeritus Bob Metcalfe '69 showcased how the many individual bits of innovation that emerged from the Telnet Protocol later become the foundation for email, writes Prof. Daniela Rus, director of CSAIL, for Forbes. “Looking ahead to the future of connectivity, Metcalfe spoke of the challenges of limited network bandwidth, and the importance of keeping connectivity firmly in mind when developing any new computing technologies,” writes Rus.

Curiosity Podcast

Institute Prof. Bob Langer speaks with Curiosity podcast hosts Immad Akhynd and Raj Suri about his work in the field of biotechnology, delving into how he has co-founded 40 companies. “I wanted to get out and do some good in the world,” says Langer. “That's where patents come in and that's where companies come in. And I think the challenge of the company is very different because you have what I call a platform technology.”