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Reuters

A new study co-authored by Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu finds that countries with older workforces are seeing a larger increase in the use of robots, reports Timothy Aeppel for Reuters. Acemoglu and his colleague Pascual Restrepo of Boston University found that “age alone accounted for 35% of the variation between countries in their adoption of robots, with those having older workers far more likely to adopt the machines.”

La Repubblica

Professor Gio Traverso speaks with Irma D'Aria of La Repubblica about his work on a capsule that can deliver drugs orally that typically need to be injected. “This technological innovation could apply to chronic conditions that require regular dosing of drugs, but also to medical situations that require more sporadic interventions,” said Traverso. “Mass administration of an otherwise injectable drug also becomes much easier if it can be administered orally.”

Mashable

MIT researchers are using magnets to help improve control of prosthetic limbs, reports Emmett Smith for Mashable. “The researchers inserted magnetic beads into muscle tissue to track the specific movements of each muscle,” reports Smith. “That information is then transferred to the bionic limb, giving the users direct control over it.”

The Wall Street Journal

In an article for The Wall Street Journal about efforts to help repair or prevent cartilage damage before osteoarthritis sets in, Laura Landro spotlights how MIT researchers are developing “ways to get drugs into the cartilage tissue and keep them there. They are using microscopic particles called nanocarriers to deliver IGF-1, an insulin like growth factor, to the tight mesh that holds cartilage in joints.”

Wired

Wired reporter Max G. Levy writes that MIT researchers have developed a glue inspired by barnacles that can adhere to wet tissues and stop bleeding in seconds. “For us, everything is a machine, even a human body,” says research scientist Hyunwoo Yuk. “They are malfunctioning and breaking, and we have some mechanical way to solve it.”

Inside Science

Inside Science reporter Tom Metcalfe writes that MIT researchers have developed a new method for taking the Earth’s temperature by examining basaltic rocks, and used the method to create a model of the Earth's oceanic ridges. "We are constantly stressing how [plate] tectonics operated in the past," says postdoc Stephanie Brown Krein. "And so I think it's really important for us to be able to understand how tectonics are working in the present day.”

Popular Mechanics

Researchers from MIT and other institutions have been able to observationally confirm one of Stephen Hawking’s theorems about black holes, measuring gravitational waves before and after a black hole merger to provide evidence that a black hole’s event horizon can never shrink, reports Caroline Delbert for Popular Mechanics. “This cool analysis doesn't just show an example of Hawking's theorem that underpins one of the central laws affecting black holes,” writes Delbert, “it shows how analyzing gravitational wave patterns can bear out statistical findings.”

The Wall Street Journal

MIT researchers have developed a new robot that can help locate hidden items using AI and wireless technologies, reports Benoit Morenne for The Wall Street Journal. “The latest version of the robot has a 96% success rate at finding and picking up objects in a lab setting, including clothes and household items,” writes Morenne. “In the future, this home helper could also retrieve a specific wrench or screwdriver from a toolbox and assist a human in assembling a piece of furniture.”

Popular Mechanics

MIT researchers have developed new programmable fibers that could help transform clothing into wearable computers, reports Kyle Mizokami for Popular Mechanics. “The polymer fibers contain hundreds of tiny silicon microchips that, once electrified, can sustain a digital connection across tens of meters,” Mizokami writes.

Forbes

Forbes contributor Eric Tegler spotlights how MIT researchers are developing a fiber with digital capabilities. “Individuals wearing garments with digital fibers could be alerted to vital information about their physiology and environmental exposures, and share health/injury and location data with support forces,” Tegler explains.

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brooks Hays writes that MIT researchers have developed a new technique for labeling and retrieving DNA files, “a breakthrough that could help shrink the carbon footprint of the rapidly expanding digital world.”

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brooks Hays writes that researchers from MIT and other institutions have developed a programmable digital fiber that can capture, store and analyze data. The technology could “be paired with machine learning algorithms and used to make smart fabrics to record health data and aid medical diagnosis,” writes Hays.

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brooks Hays writes that a new study by MIT researchers finds that people tend to follow a predictable travel pattern that remains consistent in countries around the world. The findings could help urban planners “better understand how populations interact with their surroundings, as well as assist city planners with zoning, infrastructure and other development decisions,” writes Hays.

Motherboard

Researchers from the MIT Senseable City Lab have uncovered a new travel pattern in human mobility that remains consistent across four continents, reports Beck Ferreira for Motherboard. “The notion that distance and frequency of visitation are related is in accordance with intuition,” the researchers explain. “What is surprising is that the relationship between these two quantities can be described by a simple and clean mathematical law.” 

The Washington Post

Washington Post reporter Dalvin Brown spotlights Nextiles, a company spun out of MIT and the NSF that has crafted machine-washable smart fabrics that capture biometric data. “Just imagine all the biochemicals that come out of you and get released into your clothes,” says Prof. Yoel Fink of the future of e-textiles. “Today, all of that stuff gets erased in the washing machine. But at some point, your fabric could learn, listen to subtle changes, and alert you to go to the doctor for a checkup.”