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New Scientist

New Scientist reporter Alex Wilkins writes that MIT researchers have developed a robotic pill that can propel itself through mucus in the intestines and could enable some injection-only medications to be taken orally. “The pill is 2.5-centimeters long and 1-centimeter wide – about the size of a large multivitamin ­– and encased in a gelatin capsule that dissolves in stomach acid,” writes Wilkins. “The pH in the lower intestine activates the motor, which is powered by a small battery.”

7 News

Prof. Paulo Lozano speaks with 7 News about NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft, which slammed into an asteroid Monday night, demonstrating how an asteroid threatening Earth could be deflected. Lozano notes that there are millions of space rocks in the solar system, “many of them are characterized but the grand majority are not, and these objects can basically take out a city. Being prepared for these kinds of events will be very important.”

The Boston Globe

Prof. Emeritus Donald Sadoway and his colleagues have developed a safer and more cost-effective battery to store renewable energy, reports David Abel for The Boston Globe. The battery is “ethically sourced, cheap, effective and can’t catch fire,” says Sadoway.

The Boston Globe

MIT researchers have developed a new in-home device that can help monitor Parkinson’s patients by tracking their gait, reports Hiawatha Bray for The Boston Globe. “We know very little about the brain and its diseases,” says Professor Dina Katabi. “My goal is to develop non-invasive tools that provide new insights about the functioning of the brain and its diseases.”

Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Philip Kiefer writes that MIT researchers have developed an in-home device that could be used to track the progression of symptoms in Parkinson’s patients. “We can’t really ask patients to come to the clinic every day or every week,” explains graduate student Yingcheng Liu. “This technology gives us the possibility to continuously monitor patients, and provide more objective assessments.”

Reuters

VulcanForms, an MIT startup co-founded by Prof. John Hart, is a 3D printing company that aims to provide cutting edge, clean and futuristic manufacturing, reports Timothy Aeppel for Reuters. “VulcanForms builds metal parts by layering on and fusing together materials bit by bit – rather than cutting them out of blocks of metal or stamping them out in metal foundries,” writes Aeppel.

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Kyle Wiggers spotlights DynamoFl, a company founded by Christian Lau PhD ’20 and Vaikkunth Mugunthan PhD ’22 that is developing a federated learning platform, a technique for preserving data privacy in AI systems. 

Wired

Research led by Prof. Michael Howland has found that adjusting the orientation of wind turbines on a farm can reduce the wake effect and boost the total output, reports Maria Perez Ortiz for Wired. “Howland and his team’s algorithm first uses atmospheric physics and operational farm data—such as temperature and wind conditions—to estimate the wakes that turbines are creating and how these are impacting other turbines,” writes Ortiz. 

The Washington Post

The MIT Educational Justice Initiative has developed a 12-week program called Brave Behind Bars that teaches inmates “basic coding languages such as JavaScript and HTML in hopes of opening the door for detainees to one day pursue high-paying jobs,” reports Washington Post reporter Emily Davies. “The level of 21st century technology skills they just learned, I can’t do those things,” said Amy Lopez, deputy director of college and career readiness for the D.C. Department of Corrections. “They are transferrable, employable skills.”

The Boston Globe

W. Gerald Austen ’51 - a prolific researcher, and devoted chief of surgery - has died at the age of 92, reports Bryan Marquard for The Boston Globe. Austen, who was a life member of the MIT Corporation, often noted that his bachelor’s degree from MIT came in handy during his career in medicine. “My field in engineering was fluid mechanics, and what could be better, it turned out,” he told The Globe. “Fluid mechanics is fluid flow through pipes, and cardiovascular surgery is also fluid flow through pipes and pumps.”

Fortune

Researchers from MIT’s Research Laboratory for Electronics have developed a portable desalinator that can turn seawater into safe drinking water, reports Ian Mount for Fortune. Research scientist Jongyoon Han and graduate student Bruce Crawford have created Nona Technologies to commercialize the product, writes Mount.

NIH

Lawrence A. Tabak, who is currently performing the duties of the NIH Director, spotlights a new study by Prof. James Collins and his colleagues aimed at exploring the potential of AI to streamline the process of selecting new antibiotics. “In future studies, the Collins lab will continue to incorporate and train the computers on even more biochemical and biophysical data to help with the predictive process," Tabak writes. "That’s why this study should be interpreted as an interim progress report on an area of science that will only get better with time.”

New York Times

Alumna Yue Chen has been named the chief climate risk office for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, reports Emily Flitter for The New York Times. “Dr. Chen will focus on developing a new system to assess climate-driven risks to banks, and figure out how to monitor and manage them,” says the agency.

Associated Press

Institute Professor Robert Langer has been honored as one of the recipients of this year’s Balzan Prize for his “pioneering research and advances in mRNA vaccines and tissue engineering,” the Associated Press reports. Langer has paved the way “for breakthroughs in the controlled release of macromolecules with many medical applications,” the Balzan Foundation noted in its citation.

CNN

MIT researchers have “developed a free-floating desalination unit consisting of a multilayer evaporator that recycles the heat generated when the water vapor condenses, boosting its overall efficiency,” reports Nell Lewis for CNN. “Researchers suggested it could be configured as a floating panel on the sea, delivering freshwater through pipes to the shore, or it could be designed to serve a single household, using it atop a tank of seawater,” writes Lewis.