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Forbes

To better understand what gives mucus its disease-protecting properties, MIT researchers created synthetic mucins, writes Forbes contributor Jackie Rocheleau. Understanding the antimicrobial properties of mucus “could offer a whole new way of treating infectious disease,” says Prof. Laura Kiessling.

Popular Science

MIT researchers have created a new filter from tree branches that could provide an inexpensive, biodegradable, low-tech option for water purification, writes Shaena Montanari for Popular Science. “We hope that our work empowers such people to further develop and commercialize xylem water filters tailored to local needs to benefit communities around the world,” says Prof. Rohit Karnik.

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brooks Hays writes that MIT researchers have created a new water filter from tree branches that can remove bacteria. “The filter takes advantage of the natural sieving abilities of xylem -- thin, interconnected membranes found in the sapwood branches of pine, ginkgo and other nonflowering trees,” writes Hays.

Smithsonian Magazine

Smithsonian reporter Theresa Machemer writes that a new study by MIT researchers shows that C. elegans are able to sense and avoid the color blue.

New York Times

A new study by MIT researchers investigates how roundworms are able to sense the color blue to avoid dangerous bacteria that secrete toxins, reports Veronique Greenwood for The New York Times. Greenwood found that “some roundworms respond clearly to that distinctive pigment, perceiving it — and fleeing from it — without the benefit of any known visual system.”

Boston 25 News

Prof. James Collins speaks with Boston 25 reporter Julianne Lima about the growing issue of antibiotic resistant bacteria and his work using AI to identify new antibiotics. Collins explains that a new platform he developed with Prof. Regina Barzilay uncovered “a host of new antibiotics including one that we call halicin that has remarkable activity against multi drug-resistant pathogens.”

Forbes

Forbes reporter Amy Feldman spotlights MIT startup Ginkgo Bioworks, which aims to “design, modify and manufacture organisms to make existing industrial processes cheaper and entirely new processes possible.” Feldman notes that the promise of synthetic biology is “not just a proliferation of new products, but also a reduction of the environmental harm that comes from our heavy reliance on petrochemicals.”

New Scientist

Prof. Eric Alm speaks with New Scientist reporter Elie Dolgin about his work building a repository of gut microbes. “What we are doing is taking a snapshot of the biodiversity of human gut microbes on Earth today,” Alm explains, “and then preserving that for future generations so that we always have the biodiversity that co-evolved with us stored somewhere.”

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Jesus Diaz writes that MIT researchers have developed a computer model that shows that rising water temperatures will cause the color of the world’s oceans to change.

Motherboard

MIT researchers have found that climate change will cause half of the world’s oceans to change color by 2100, reports Becky Ferreira for Motherboard. “Monitoring ocean color could yield valuable insights into the effects of climate change on phytoplankton,” Ferreira explains.

The Washington Post

The Washington Post spotlights an MIT study examining how climate change will alter the color of the oceans. “Changes are happening because of climate change,” says principal research scientist Stephanie Dutkiewicz. “The change in the color of the ocean will be one of early warning signals that we really have changed our planet.”

BBC News

BBC News reporter Matt McGrath writes that MIT researchers have found rising temperatures caused by climate change will cause the world’s oceans to become bluer, as the increased temperatures alter the mixture of phytoplankton. The color change “will likely be one of the earliest warning signals that we have changed the ecology of the ocean,” explains principal research scientist Stephanie Dutkiewicz.

USA Today

A study by MIT researchers shows that climate change will have a significant impact on phytoplankton, which will cause the oceans to change color, reports Brett Molina for USA Today. The researchers “developed a model simulating how different species of phytoplankton will grow and interact, and how warming oceans will have an impact,” Molina explains.

CNN

CNN reporter Jen Christensen writes that a new study by MIT researchers finds that climate change will impact phytoplankton, causing the color of the world’s oceans to shift. “The change is not a good thing, since it will definitely impact the rest of the food web,” says principal research scientist Stephanie Dutkiewicz.

WBUR

A new study by MIT scientists provides evidence that climate-driven changes in phytoplankton will cause more than half of the world’s oceans to shift in color by 2100, reports Barbara Moran for WBUR. Principal research scientist Stephanie Dutkiewicz explains that the color changes are important “because they tell us a lot about what's changing in the ocean.”