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GBH

Prof. Evan Lieberman speaks with Craig LeMoult of GBH about his new study, which finds there are mixed reactions when people are informed of the racial disparities in Covid-19 outcomes in the U.S. “We are so interconnected as a society - economically, socially, politically,” says Lieberman, “and [it’s important] to remind everyone that we are all potential vectors for this epidemic so it really behooves all of us to cooperate and to be able to end this pandemic as soon as possible.”

New York Times

Writing for The New York Times, Profs. Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo underscore the importance of helping other countries avoid a repeat of the coronavirus surge India is facing. “The world needs to look beyond India and avoid yet another mistake of timing,” they write. “We cannot afford to repeat the experience of the first wave, when we didn’t realize just how quickly a virus can travel. Neither should nations be lulled into a sense of false security by the progress of vaccination campaigns in the United States and Europe.”

Inside Higher Ed

In an article for Inside Higher Ed, Joshua Kim writes that “Grasp: The Science Transforming How We Learn,” a book by Sanjay Sarma, MIT’s vice president for open learning, and research associate Luke Yoquinto is “an important contribution to the literature on learning science and higher education change.” Kim adds that “Grasp can provide the foundations of what learning science-informed teaching might look like, with some fantastic real-world examples of constructivist theory in pedagogical action.”

University World News

Curt Newton, director of MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW), and Krishna Rajagopal, dean for Digital Learning, explore how open educational resource tools are reaching students in Africa, spotlighting MIT OCW’s efforts to extend knowledge worldwide. “We aim to support learners with a wide range of backgrounds and goals. They may be students enrolled in a formal programme, or dedicated independent learners following their curiosities and improving their lives,” they write.

The Washington Post

Professor Martin Bazant and Professor John Bush have developed a new safety guideline to limit the risk of airborne Covid-19 transmission in different indoor settings. “For airborne transmission, social distancing in indoor spaces is not enough, and may provide a false sense of security,” says Bazant. “Efficient mask use is the most effective safety measure, followed by room ventilation, then filtration,” adds Bush.

CNN

CNN reporter Maggie Fox writes that MIT researchers have developed a new formula for calculating the risk of airborne Covid-19 transmission in indoor settings. "To minimize risk of infection, one should avoid spending extended periods in highly populated areas. One is safer in rooms with large volume and high ventilation rates," write Profs. Martin Bazant and John Bush.
 

National Public Radio (NPR)

Prof. Evan Lieberman speaks with NPR’s Michael Martin about how the pandemic’s racial disparities have affected people’s public policy views. “I think it's important for us to keep reminding one another how interconnected we are, how our shared fate exists together depending on the actions we take and don't take, and perhaps that we have a common purpose beyond, you know, national borders and obligations towards one another,” says Lieberman.

Quartz

MIT researchers are applying machine learning algorithms typically used for natural language processing to identify coronavirus variants, reports Brian Browdie for Quartz. “Besides being able to quantify the potential for mutations to escape, the research may pave the way for vaccines that broaden the body’s defenses against variants or that protect recipients against more than one virus, such as flu and the novel coronavirus, in a single shot,” writes Browdie. 

Associated Press

Hashim Sarkis, dean of the School of Architecture and Planning, speaks with AP reporter Colleen Barry about the Venice Biennale for architecture, which was postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Sarkis, who is serving as the curator, notes that he used the extra year to expand the show to seven sections “to deepen the discussion about architecture and its vital role in today’s society.”

CNN

Prof. Yossi Sheffi speaks with CNN’s Zachary Wolf about how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected supply chains, impacting the supply of ketchup packets and causing delays in computer chips. “During the pandemic many industries reduced their orders and suppliers reduced their orders and capacity even further (because they anticipated that future orders will also be reduced),” says Sheffi. “When the economy came back, there was no capacity to snap right back.”

Gizmodo

Gizmodo reporter Andrew Liszewski spotlights MIT startup OPT Industries, which has created a new type of Covid-19 nasal swab “that’s faster at absorbing samples, and better at releasing it for analysis.”

The Atlantic

A new study by Prof. Jeffrey Harris finds that the extensive research invested in developing a vaccine for HIV has contributed to the successful development of Covid-19 vaccines, writes Derek Thompson for The Atlantic. Nearly 90 percent of COVID-19 vaccines that made it to clinical trials used technology that “could be traced back to prototypes tested in HIV vaccine trials,” Harris found.

HealthCare Asia Daily

Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) researchers have developed a new lab-free immune profiling assay that can be used “to better profile aggressive, rapidly changing host immune response in cases of infection, for example COVID-19,” reports HealthCare Asia Daily.

Wired

Wired reporter Matt Reynolds spotlights how several MIT researchers have been studying the neurological impacts of loneliness and social isolation.

Forbes

Writing for Forbes, Joseph Coughlin, director of the Age Lab, explores some of the surprises that Millennials, Gen X’ers, and younger Boomers have learned living at home for an extended period during the Covid-19 pandemic. "While Covid quarantine is certainly not entirely like retirement, there are more than a few similarities,” writes Coughlin. “The friction and complexities it has added to daily life are enough for many to question brochure-based thinking of what retirement might be.”