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Fast Company

Researchers from MIT and Harvard have developed “a new type of electrically conductive hydrogel ‘scaffold’ that could eventually be used to create a soft brain-computer interface (or BCI) that translates neural signals from the brain into machine-readable instructions,” reports Adam Bluestein for Fast Company.

U.S. News & World Report

MIT researchers have found that in the U.S., “fires started by people account for a majority of premature deaths related to inhalation of tiny smoke particles,” writes Cara Murez for U.S. News & World Report. “Fires not only threaten human lives, infrastructure and ecosystems, but they are also a major cause for concern in terms of air quality,” says Therese Carter PhD ’22. 

Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Natalia Rodriguez ’09 speaks with Diverse Issues in Higher Education reporter Pearl Stewart about her work as a biomedical engineer focused on community healthcare. “I work to bring health technologies from the lab to the people, and I also work to bring the needs, the priorities and the strengths of communities back to engineers so they know who they’re designing for,” Rodriguez explains. 

Wired

Prof. Joshua Tenenbaum speaks with Wired reporter Will Knight about AI image generators and the limitations of AI tools. “It's amazing what they can do,” says Tenenbaum, “but their ability to imagine what the world might be like from simple descriptions is often very limited and counterintuitive.”

TechCrunch

Kevin Hu SB ’13, SM ’15, PhD ’19 co-founded Metaplane, a startup aimed at providing users with data analytics-focused tools, reports Kyle Wiggers for TechCrunch. “Metaplane monitors data using anomaly detection models trained primarily on historical metadata. The monitors try to account for seasonality, trends and feedback from customers, Hu says, to minimize alert fatigue, “writes Wiggers.

Gizmodo

Research Scientist Mary Knapp’s proposal for a Great Observatory for Long Wavelengths (GO-LoW), a space-based observatory consisting of thousands of satellites that could study the magnetic fields of distant and rocky exoplanets, has been selected for NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts programs, writes George Dvorsky for Gizmodo.

The Atlantic

Prof. Evelina Fedorenko speaks with Atlantic reporter Matteo Wong about her research exploring how “the brain behaves when an individual speaks different languages.” Fedorenko explains that “it seems like languages provide us with mappings between forms and meanings.”

The Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, Prof. Emeritus Ernest Moniz writes that the National Ignition Facility’s fusion energy advancement “is exciting because when the journey from science demonstration to a commercially viable power plant is completed, the electricity grid will be revolutionized.” Moniz continues, “To meet widely accepted climate objectives, we must double the clock speed of the clean energy innovation process.”

Forbes

Forbes has named Commonwealth Fusion Systems one of the biggest tech innovations and breakthroughs of 2022, reports Bernard Marr. “Commonwealth Fusion Systems is now working with MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center on plans to build a factory that can mass-produce components for the first commercial fusion reactors,” writes Marr.

Forbes

Researchers at MIT have found that those with an E4 variant display abnormalities in cholesterol metabolism, reports William A. Haseltine for Forbes. “The MIT team suggest that the disruption of cholesterol metabolism could be a fundamental reason why those with the E4 variant are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease symptoms,” writes Haseltine.

Gizmodo

Gizmodo reporter Isaac Schultz writes that researchers from MIT, Caltech and elsewhere have found that “quantum systems can imitate wormholes, theorized shortcuts in spacetime, in that the systems allow the instantaneous transit of information between remote locations.” Grad student Alexander Zlokapa explains that: “We performed a kind of quantum teleportation equivalent to a traversable wormhole in the gravity picture. To do this, we had to simplify the quantum system to the smallest example that preserves gravitational characteristics so we could implement it.”

The New York Times

New York Times reporter Siobhan Roberts spotlights the work of Jessica Rosenkrantz ’05 and her husband Jesse Louis-Rosenberg, who create laser-cut, wooden jigsaw puzzles inspired by natural forms. “Inspired by how shapes and forms emerge in nature, they write custom software to ‘grow’ intertwining puzzle pieces,” writes Roberts. “Their signature puzzle cuts have names like dendrite, amoeba, maze and wave.”

Economist

MIT scientists have found that silent synapses - a type of memory-forming synapse - are present in the adult brain, reports The Economist. The discovery of these silent synapses, explains Prof. Mark Harnett, “is a lever for us to get into understanding learning in adults and how potentially we can get access to make it not degrade over the course of aging or disease.”

Scientific American

Using data from the James Webb Space Telescope, postdoc Rohan Naidu and his colleagues discovered a candidate galaxy in the early universe that is one of two candidate galaxies older than any others known before, reports Jonathan O'Callaghan for Scientific American.

Physics Today

Prof. Robert Langer and his colleagues write for Physics Today about how physics could help contribute to predicting tissue behaviors and accelerate the regeneration of human tissues and organs. “The physics of tissue engineering in general and of bioprinting in particular is a relatively new field that could provide numerous opportunities for tissue and organ fabrication and regeneration,” they write.