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Vox

Vox reporter Kelsey Piper writes that a new report by Prof. Kevin Esvelt provides a roadmap for how to prepare for the next pandemic. In the report, Esvelt emphasizes that: “We’re not helpless, whether against nature or malign actions by human beings. We do have to invest in actually being prepared, but if we’re prepared, we could weather even a worst-case scenario: a deliberate release of a human-made virus engineered to be both extra deadly and extra contagious.”

Madame Architect

Prof. Mary Anne Ocampo speaks with Madame Architect reporter Gail Kutac about what inspired her passion for architecture and urban planning, and her advice for new designers. “The impact I would like to have in this world is creating strong collaborations that promote inclusive and resilient design visions,” says Ocampo. “To me, there’s this combination of understanding design as a process, and design as a commitment that helps us to recognize the ways we value our environment and people.” 

NPR

NPR’s Elizabeth Blair highlights the work of Prof. Danna Freedman, one of the 2022 MacArthur Fellows. Freedman, a synthetic inorganic chemist, is "creating novel molecular materials with unique properties directly relevant to quantum information technologies." Moriba Jah, a Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Scholar, has also been awarded a MacArthur "genius grant" for his work "envisioning transparent and collaborative solutions for creating a circular space economy that improves oversight of Earth's orbital spheres."

The Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, Prof. Carlo Ratti discusses his research exploring the impact of remote work on social relationships. “There does not need to be a complete return to the office; remote work has undeniable benefits, not least flexibility,” writes Ratti. “However, businesses and organizations must develop a new work regime, a methodology that emphasizes the best of what physical space can do for us.”

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times reporter Sammy Roth spotlights Prof. Lawrence Susskind’s study that finds common sources of opposition to delayed or blocked renewable energy projects include concerns over land use and environmental impact. Roth writes that Susskind’s “research has convinced him that speeding up the clean energy transition will be possible only if developers take the time to make a good-faith effort to gather input from communities before dumping solar and wind farms on them.”

Wired

Graduate student Anna Waldman-Brown writes for Wired about the future of automation technology and how it can impact labor dynamics in the future. “While some scholars believe that our fates are predetermined by the technologies themselves, emerging evidence indicates that we may have considerable influence over how such machines are employed within our factories and offices – if we can only figure out how to wield this power,” writes Waldman-Brown.

Times Higher Ed

A new study by MIT researchers examines how different spaces such as cafeterias can help foster collaboration on academic campuses, reports Paul Basken for Times Higher Ed. “The method affirms expectations that colleagues working physically nearer to each other are more likely to find each other, and that the odds of connection are higher between locations with indoor pathways,” writes Basken.

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter David Abel spotlights the Mice Against Ticks project, which is aimed at preventing tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease through immunizing mice.  “With so many people suffering from Lyme every single day, which is an awful disease, we need a solution urgently,” explains graduate student and Mice Against Ticks research director Joanna Buchthal. “This offers a real, if revolutionary, way to tackle the problem.”

Bloomberg News

Bloomberg News reporter Janet Wu speaks with President L. Rafael Reif and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry during the Institute’s Climate Grand Challenges showcase event. “If you can capture the emissions -- literally, genuinely -- then you’re reducing the problem,” said Kerry of the importance of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions.

KUER

Prof. Ekene Ijeoma speaks with KUER’s Ivana Martinez about his group’s art project, “A Counting,” which spotlights people counting to 100 in their native languages. “I think [this is] speaking to ideas of what it means to live in this diverse society,” said Ijeoma. “And whether or not we're able to live up to the dream of this society, which is — we're a multicultural place. Can we actually be that?”

Inverse

Researchers from MIT have developed a new fabric that can hear and interpret what’s happening on and inside our bodies, reports Elana Spivack for Inverse. Beyond applications for physical health the researchers envision that the fabric could eventually be integrated with “spacecraft skin to listen to [accumulating] space dust, or embedded into buildings to detect cracks or strains,” explains Wei Yan, who helped develop the fabric as an MIT postdoc. “It can even be woven into a smart net to monitor fish in the ocean. It can also facilitate the communications between people who are hard of [hearing].”

Popular Science

Using machine learning techniques, MIT researchers analyzed social media sentiment around the world during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic and found that the “pandemic precipitated a dramatic drop in happiness,” reports Charlotte Hu for Popular Science. “We wanted to do this global study to compare different countries because they were hit by the pandemic at different times,” explains Prof. Siqi Zheng, “and they have different cultures, different political systems, and different healthcare systems.”

TechCrunch

Ella Peinovich ’12 co-founded Powered by People, a wholesale e-commerce platform based in Kenya that connects small brands to global markets, reports Annie Njanja for TechCrunch. “We are providing these businesses with new visibility into the specialty retail market in North America,” says Peinovich.

The Hill

Writing for The Hill, Prof. Jinhua Zhao explores how many people, when provided the opportunity to work remotely, work from a location other than their home. “If employers provide the necessary flexibility to their staff, and policymakers engage in smart land use and transportation planning for third-place trips,” writes Zhao, “the result could be a rare win-win-win for workers, businesses, and the public good.”

WHDH 7

Prof. Yoel Fink speaks with WHDH about his team’s work developing an acoustic fabric that can listen to and record sound, a development inspired by the human ear. "The fabric can be inserted into clothes to monitor heart rate and respiration. It can even help with monitoring unborn babies during pregnancy."