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BBC News

BBC News reporter Helen Briggs writes that MIT researchers have developed a technique to create fabrics from polythene, a plastic found in food packaging and plastic bags. "There's no reason why the simple plastic bag cannot be made into fibre and used as a high-end garment," says research scientist Svetlana Boriskina. "You can go literally from trash to a high-performance garment that provides comfort and can be recycled multiple times back into a new garment."

BBC News

Graduate student Ashley Beckwith speaks with BBC Radio 5 about her work developing a new concept for growing wood in the lab, as part of an effort to supplement traditional forestry methods. "We dedicate a lot of resources to growing whole plants, when all we use really is a very small portion of the plant,” says Beckwith. “So somehow we needed to figure out a more strategic way to reproduce materials that isn't so reliant on the land."

Wired

Writing for Wired, Keith Gillogly spotlights how MIT researchers have devised a new technique that could lead to the development of lab-grown wood and other biomaterials. “The hope is that, if this becomes a developed process for producing plant materials, you could alleviate some of [the] pressures on our agricultural lands. And with those reduced pressures, hopefully we can allow more spaces to remain wild and more forests to remain in place,” says graduate student Ashley Beckwith,

Popular Mechanics

Popular Mechanics reporter Kyro Mitchell explores how MIT researchers have created a biodegradable medical patch that could be used to repair internal injuries. Mitchell notes that the patch “can be easily wrapped around robotic tools like a balloon catheter and a surgical stapler and then be inserted into the patient.”

Mashable

Mashable reporter Kellen Beck spotlights how MIT researchers have developed a new medical patch that could be used to repair tears in organs and tissues.” Because internal surgeries involve small, specialized tools, the patch was created to fold around these tools and make insertion and use in tight spaces simpler. The patch resists contamination and biodegrades over time,” writes Beck.

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Kristin Toussaint writes about how MIT researchers have developed a new technique for growing wood-like plant tissues in the lab. The work, they say, is still in its very early stages, but provides a starting point to a new way of producing biomaterials. “It’s a process that eventually could help accelerate our shift away from plastics and other materials that end up in landfill toward materials that can biodegrade,” writes Toussaint.

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Darrell Etherington writes that MIT researchers have developed a new method for growing plant tissues in a lab. “Potential applications of lab-grown plant material are significant,” writes Etherington, “and include possibilities in both agriculture and in construction materials.”

Scientific American

Scientific American reporter Prachi Patel spotlights how MIT researchers have developed a solar-powered system that can extract drinkable water from the air. “The $100 setup yields almost six liters an hour in the lab and about half of that outdoors,” writes Patel. 

CBS News

Reporting for CBS News, Grace Segers spotlights how Alex Padilla ’94 has been selected for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ Senate seat. “Alex Padilla worked his way from humble beginnings to the halls of MIT, the Los Angeles City Council and the State Senate, and has become a national defender of voting rights as California's Secretary of State,” said California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

National Public Radio (NPR)

Alex Padilla ’94 has been selected to replace Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the Senate, and will be the first Latino from California to join the Senate, reports Domenico Montanaro for NPR. “From those struggling to make ends meet to the small businesses fighting to keep their doors open to the health care workers looking for relief, please know that I am going to the Senate to fight for you,” said Padilla. “We will get through this pandemic together and rebuild our economy in a way that doesn't leave working families behind."

New York Times

Alex Padilla ’94 has been appointed to fill the Senate seat held by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, reports Shawn Hubler for The New York Times. Padilla, who will be the first Latino senator from California, said of his appointment: “I love public service and I’ve been doing it for more than 20 years, and I’d like to continue as long as I’m effective and they’ll continue to have me.”

Wired

Prof. Giovanni Traverso has been highlighted by Wired as one of 32 innovators who are changing the world, writes Sanjana Varghese for Wired. Prof. Robert Langer notes that Traverso is “transforming how we interact with medications, for example through the development of pills that remain in the body for multiple weeks or months to address medication non-adherence, or the creation of small, swallowable devices enabling the delivery of biologics like insulin.”

Economist

Research scientist Brian Subirana speaks with The Economist’s Babbage podcast about his work developing a new AI system that could be used to help diagnose people asymptomatic Covid-19.

The Economist

MIT researchers have developed a new system that uses solar power to sterilize medical tools, according to The Economist. The system “should cost just a tenth as much to make commercially as a conventional autoclave of equivalent potency.”

New Scientist

New Scientist reporter Donna Lu writes that MIT researchers have developed a new portable, solar-powered device that could be used to sterilize medical instruments in resource-limited areas. “The new tool works even in hazy or cloudy conditions,” writes Lu. “It consists of a solar component that heats water to generate steam, which is then connected to a pressure chamber.”