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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.
 

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Charlie McKenna writes that MIT researchers have used the spin of black holes detected by the LIGO and Virgo detectors to search for dark matter. "In reality, there is a much broader set of theories that predict or relies on the existence of these very ultra-light particles,” says Prof. Salvatore Vitale. “One is dark matter. So they could be dark matter. But they could also solve other open problems in particle physics.”

The Academic Times

A new study by MIT researches finds that some masses of boson particles don’t actually exist, reports Monisha Ravisetti for The Academic Times. “[Bosons] could be dark matter particles, or they could be something that people call axions, which are proposed particles that could solve problems with the magnetic bipoles of particles,” says Prof. Salvatore Vitale. “Because they can be any of these things, that means they could also have an incredibly broad range of masses.”

CNN

Prof. Robert Jaffe speaks with CNN reporter Stephanie Bailey for a piece that explores how the rivalry between Edison, Tesla and Westinghouse helped lead to transformations in the development of electricity. Bailey also features alumnus Joel Jean and his solar tech startup.

New Scientist

New Scientist reporter Layal Liverpool writes that a new study co-authored by MIT researchers finds that “synthetic cells made by combining components of Mycoplasma bacteria with a chemically synthesised genome can grow and divide into cells of uniform shape and size, just like most natural bacterial cells.”

The Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, M.J. Andersen highlights Prof. Sara Seager’s book, “The Smallest Lights in the Universe.” Seager’s memoir is "half hymn to the stars and half guide to grief recovery,” writes Andersen. “Lured by her faith in finding life elsewhere, she continued her research on exoplanets — versions of other star-orbiting Earths — and methods for detecting them.”

The Atlantic

Writing for The Atlantic, Professor of the practice of the humanities Alan Lightman explores the concept of miracles or “supernatural events” and notes that “some recent proposals in physics reveal that believers and nonbelievers may have more in common than they think.”

The Wall Street Journal

Prof. Alan Lightman’s new book, “Probable Impossibilities: Musings on Beginnings and Endings” tackles “big questions like the origin of the universe and the nature of consciousness, always in an entertaining and easily digestible way,” writes Andrew Crumey for The Wall Street Journal.

New York Times

Institute Professor Emeritus Isadore Singer, who became “one of the most important mathematicians of his era,” has died at age 96, reports Julie Rehmeyer for The New York Times. “Dr. Singer created a bridge between two seemingly unrelated areas of mathematics and then used it to build a further bridge, into theoretical physics,” writes Rehmeyer. “The achievement created the foundation for a blossoming of mathematical physics unseen since the time of Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.”

CBS News

Reporting for CBS News, Sophie Lewis spotlights how MIT astronomers have uncovered evidence of what may be one of the earliest incidences of galactic cannibalism in a dwarf galaxy called Tucana II. “The findings suggest that the earliest galaxies in the universe were much more massive than previously believed,” writes Lewis. 

CNN

CNN reporter Ashley Strickland writes that astronomers have identified an extended dark matter halo around Tucana II, an ancient dwarf galaxy. "This probably also means that the earliest galaxies formed in much larger dark matter halos than previously thought," says Prof. Anna Frebel. "We have thought that the first galaxies were the tiniest, wimpiest galaxies. But they actually may have been several times larger than we thought, and not so tiny after all." 

Gizmodo

Astronomers have uncovered evidence of an extended dark matter halo around an ancient galaxy located about 163,000 light years from Earth, reports Isaac Schultz for Gizmodo. “We know [dark matter] is there because in order for galaxies to remain bound, there must be more matter than what we see visibly, from starlight,” explains graduate student Anirudh Chiti. “That led to the hypothesis of dark matter existing as an ingredient that holds galaxies together.” 

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brooks Hays writes that MIT researchers have discovered an extended dark matter halo encircling an ancient dwarf galaxy about 163,000 light years from Earth. “The findings suggest many more of the cosmos' earliest galaxies may have formed within expansive dark matter halos,” writes Hays. 

Ms.

Andrea Ghez ’87 speaks with Carol Stabile of Ms. magazine about the importance of representation in encouraging more women and people of color to pursue careers in STEM fields. Ghez recalls how her science teacher in high school encouraged her to apply to MIT, describing the experience as “'a lovely early lesson in how to persevere,’ that helped her to develop what she described as the muscle to persevere, and to turn problems into opportunities to grow and learn.”