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The New Yorker

New Yorker reporter Benjamin Wallace-Wells spotlights new research from the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, which shows “just telling people the accurate immunization rates in their country increased, by five per cent, the number who said that they would get the vaccine.”

CNN

CNN reporter Jacque Smith highlights Prof. Amy Moran-Thomas’ work calling attention to how pulse oximeters can overestimate oxygen levels in darker-skinned patients.

The Washington Post

Washington Post reporter Christopher Ingraham spotlights a study co-authored by research affiliate Christos Makridis that finds communities with higher levels of interconnectedness and communal trust experienced less severe Covid-19 outbreaks in 2020. Makridis and his co-authors found “when individuals have a greater concern for others, they are more willing to follow hygienic practices and social distancing.”

The New Yorker

Writing for The New Yorker, Sheelah Kolhatkar spotlights Biobot Analytics, an MIT startup that is studying sewage for the purpose of tracking diseases and the spread of Covid-19. “It’s about our health and well-being in general,” says Biobot co-founder and president Newsha Ghaeli. “It’s about understanding nutrition disparities in communities, understanding stress levels, pervasive infectious diseases like influenza or Zika virus.”

Stat

Writing for STAT, Prof. Kevin Esvelt explores how we can stop the spread of the B-117, a variant of SARS-CoV-2. Going forward, Esvelt and his co-author argue that “over the next few years we must build a genomic monitoring system to detect evolutionary changes in viral, bacterial, and other pathogens that could require new measures to protect public health, and that could detect new pandemic pathogens of any provenance early enough to intervene.”

WBUR

In a new white paper, senior lecturer Steve Spear examines how the U.S. can prepare to better handle the next pandemic, reports Carey Goldberg for WBUR. Spear and his co-author are “calling for a system that would be better at amplifying pandemic lessons learned locally, to be sure the best known methods are shared and scaled up.”

New York Times

Marc Zissman, associate division head at Lincoln Lab, speaks with New York Times reporter Jennifer Valentino-DeVries about the challenges associated with encouraging people to use coronavirus tracing apps.

Newsweek

MIT researchers have developed a model that could help people estimate the risks of contracting Covid-19 in different scenarios, reports Emily Czachor for Newsweek. The tool “provides calculations which estimate how many people can remain within an enclosed space, and for how long, before they are theoretically exposed to the virus.”

WBUR

Writing for WBUR, Prof. Kate Kellogg and alumna Noa Ghersin outline how to help prevent outbreaks of Covid-19 at long-term care facilities. “Nursing homes lack the resources of other institutions,” they write. “They aren’t states, they aren’t cities, they aren’t major hospital systems.”

Boston 25 News

MIT researchers have developed a new model that could be used to help determine “how long you will be safe in a room with someone who is positive for COVID-19 based on room type, size and even the ventilation and filtration system,” reports Boston 25 News.

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Mark Sullivan writes that Prof. John Bush and Prof. Martin Z. Bazant have developed a mathematical model that “simulates the fluid dynamics of virus-loaded respiratory droplets in any space, from a cozy kitchen to a gigantic concert hall.”

The New York Times

A new study by MIT researchers finds that “changes in coronavirus levels in wastewater preceded rises and falls in positive test results by four to 10 days,” reports Kim Tingley for The New York Times. The findings suggest that “sewage surveillance could play an important role in helping contain the pandemic.”

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Adele Peters spotlights Particles for Humanity, an MIT spinoff that is developing a new technology that makes it possible to deliver multiple doses of a vaccine in one shot. “The new technology works like traditional drug delivery,” writes Peters, “but with the addition of tiny time-release capsules filled with antigens, the part of the vaccine that stimulates the immune system so that it can later respond to a virus.”

New York Times

Prof. Eric Alm speaks with New York Times Magazine reporter Kim Tingley about how studying wastewater can provide public health officials with advance warning of an uptick in coronavirus cases. “If you want to really understand what’s going on in a city on a basic chemical, biological level, you should be looking at the wastewater," says Alm.

WCVB

Reporting for WCVB-TV, Katie Thompson highlights a new study by MIT researchers that examines the role of super-spreading events in the Covid-19 pandemic. "The main idea is that most people generate zero or one cases, but it's the people generating hundreds of cases that we should perhaps be worried about," says postdoc Felix Wong said.