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New York Times

A new study co-authored by postdoctoral associate Michaël Marsset details how two red objects that have been discovered in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter appear to have originated beyond Neptune, reports Jonathan O’Callaghan for The New York Times. “In order to have these organics, you need to initially have a lot of ice at the surface,” explains Marsset. “So they must have formed in a very cold environment.”

Associated Press

A new study by researchers from MIT and Tulane finds that the MBTA subway network faces the threat of flooding caused by rising sea levels over the new 50 years, reports the Associated Press. “A 100-year storm would completely inundate the Blue Line and large portions of the Red and Orange lines by 2030, researchers found. By 2070, a 100-year storm would flood nearly the entire network.”

The Boston Globe

A new study by researchers from MIT and Tulane University finds that rising seas have the potential to inundate the MBTA’s network and underscores the importance of fortifying the system’s infrastructure, reports Andrew Brinker for The Boston Globe. “Severe flooding is a grave challenge for the T,” explains graduate student Michael Martello.

CNBC

MIT researchers have found that while battery and fuel production for electric vehicles creates higher emissions than traditional cars, those emissions are offset by the greater energy efficiency of EVs. “Currently, the electric vehicle in the U.S., on average, would emit about 200 grams of CO2 per mile,” says senior research scientist Sergey Paltsev. “We are projecting that with cleaning up the grid, we can reduce emissions from electric vehicles by 75%, from about 200 (grams) today to about 50 grams of CO2 per mile in 2050.”

CNBC

CNBC reporter Dain Evans writes about how researchers from MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative and the Federal Reserve of Boston are exploring what a digital currency might look like in America. “I think that if there is a digital dollar, privacy is going to be a very, very important part of that,” says Neha Narula, director of the Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab.

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.”

New York Times

New York Times reporter Sarah Kliff and Margot Sanger-Katz spotlights a study by Prof. Amy Finkelstein that demonstrated how Medicaid coverage could improve Americans’ financial health. “It’s a misnomer — it’s not just to insure your health,” says Finkelstein. “It’s actually to protect you economically in the event of poor health.”

Physics World

MIT researchers have developed a new type of stent based on kirigami, the Japanese art of folding and cutting paper, which is “designed to improve localized drug delivery for diseases that affect tubular organs such as the oesophagus and bowel,” writes Cynthia Keen for Physics World. “We view these approaches as having the capacity to transform the patient experience by reducing the need to take medications and thereby significantly improving drug adherence,” says Prof. Giovanni Traverso.

Inside Science

MIT researchers are developing an electronic skin that can withstand sweating, reports Karen Kwon for Inside Science. The researchers “punched holes on the e-skin to match the size of sweat pores and the distance between them. Then, inspired by kirigami, the team cut away even more material between two holes in an alternating pattern,” writes Kwon. The resulting pattern “could tolerate bending and stretching more than the conventional e-skin with simple holes.”

Salon

Salon reporter Amanda Marcotte spotlights a study by MIT researchers that finds correcting misinformation on social media platforms often leads to people sharing more misinformation. Research affiliate Mohsen Mosleh explains that after being corrected Twitter users " retweeted news that was significantly lower in quality and higher in partisan slant, and their retweets contained more toxic language." 

TechCrunch

Researchers at MIT CSAIL have developed a robotic arm that can put a vest on a human. “The promise of such technology is clear: helping people with mobility issues perform tasks that many of us take for granted,” writes Brian Heater for TechCrunch.

Fast Company

Researchers at MIT have developed a robot that can slide a vest onto a human arm, “which is an early but important step in creating a robot that could completely dress an aging or disabled person,” writes Mark Wilson for Fast Company. “In this work, we focus on a planning technique,” explains PhD candidate Shen Li. “If I dress a kid or adult, they might have different reactions. So you have to predict what they’ll do.”

Issues in Science and Technology

Writing for Issues in Science and Technology, President L. Rafael Reif examines Vannevar Bush’s groundbreaking 1945 Science, the Endless Frontier report and considers how our needs today have changed. “To meet this moment, we need to ensure that our federally sponsored research addresses questions that will enhance our competitiveness now and in the future,” writes Reif. “Our current system has many strengths…but we must not allow these historical advantages to blind us to gaps that could become fatal weaknesses.”

Motherboard

Prof. Nergis Mavalvala, Dean of the School of Science, speaks with Becky Ferreira of Motherboard’s “Space Show” about LIGO’s 2015 discovery of gravitational waves and what researchers in the field have learned since then. “Every one of these observations tells us a little bit more about how nature has assembled our universe,” says Mavalvala. “Really, in the end, the question we're asking is: ‘How did this universe that we observe come about?”

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporters Angus Loten and Kevin Hand spotlight how MIT researchers are developing robots with humanlike senses that will be able to assist with a range of tasks. GelSight, a technology developed by CSAIL researchers, outfits robot arms with a small gel pad that can be pressed into objects to sense their size and texture, while another team of researchers is “working to bridge the gap between touch and sight by training an AI system to predict what a seen object feels like and what a felt object looks like.”