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Popular Science

Scientists from around the world, including researchers at MIT, have found evidence of past chemical reactions between liquid water and carbon-compounds on Mars, reports Laura Baisas for Popular Science. “We believe we have found these kinds of liquid water environments and organic compounds together. That’s sort of the limit to how we can describe what we call habitability,” explains postdoc Eva Linghan Scheller.

The Washington Post

A team of scientists, including researchers from MIT, have found that Martian rocks uncovered by NASA’s Perseverance contain “signs of a watery past and are loaded with the kind of organic molecules that are the foundations for life as we know it,” reports Joel Achenbach for The Washington Post. “On balance, we are actually super lucky that there are igneous rocks in the crater, and that we happened to land right on them, since they are ideal for determining ages and studying the past history of Mars’ magnetic field,” says Prof. Benjamin Weiss.

VICE

NASA’s Perseverance rover has uncovered evidence of habitable conditions that once existed on Mars, reports Becky Ferreira for Vice. “In that kind of environment, we’re seeing very, very strange chemistry which is not common on Earth at all, but seems to be more common on Mars because we’ve seen these kinds of materials in almost all the missions now,” says postdoctoral fellow Eva Scheller.

Scientific American

MIT researchers have found that standard autism diagnostic tests could be “stymieing discovery of sex differences in autism,” reports Ingrid Wickelgren for Scientific American. “To qualify for the study, prospective participants had to take a standard activity-based assessment for autism to confirm their diagnosis,” says Wickelgren. “After testing, half of the 50 girls and women who would otherwise be eligible for the scientists’ study did not meet the test’s criteria for autism.”

Salon

A new study by MIT scientists finds that Earth can self-regulate its temperature thanks to a stabilizing feedback mechanism that works over hundreds of thousands of years, reports Troy Farah for Salon. “The finding has big implications for our understanding of the past, but also how global heating is shaping the future of our home world,” writes Farah. “It even helps us better understand the evolution of planetary temperatures that can make the search for alien-inhabited exoplanets more fruitful.”

CNN

Postdoc Rohan Naidu speaks with CNN reporter Ashley Strickland about the significance of the James Webb Space Telescope. “With Webb, we were amazed to find the most distant starlight that anyone had ever seen, just days after Webb released its first data,” says Naidu.

Nature

Nature reporter Elie Dolgin writes that a new study by MIT researchers explores the role of the gene variant APOE4 in Alzheimer’s, and finds that the gene is linked with faulty cholesterol processing in the brain, impacting the insulation around nerve cells and potentially causing memory and learning deficits. “The work suggests that drugs that restore the brain’s cholesterol processing could treat the disease,” writes Dolgin. 

CNN

CNN reporter Isabelle Gerretsen spotlights Lisa Dyson PhD ’04 and her startup Air Protein, which is developing a new technique to make protein “using just microbes, water, renewable energy and elements found in the air.” Air Protein has created “a new type of agriculture and a new way of growing food that doesn’t require arable land,” Dyson says.

Times Higher Ed

MIT has been named one of the best U.S. universities for physical science degrees, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023. Times Higher Education highlights how MIT students in physics “take a range of core classes such as classical mechanics and quantum mechanics.”

Boston.com

Boston.com reporter Clara McCourt spotlights how three MIT students - Jack Cook ‘22, Matthew Kearney and Jupneet K. Singh - have been selected as Rhodes Scholars. “The selected students — 32 in total — will go to Oxford University in England next October to pursue wide-ranging graduate degrees," writes McCourt, "with two or three years of study free of charge.”

NBC Boston

Matthew Kearney, John “Jack” B. Cook ’22, and Jupneet K. Singh have been named 2023 U.S. Rhodes Scholars, reports NBC Boston 10.

Forbes

Matthew Kearney , John "Jack” B. Cook ’22, and Jupneet K. Singh  are amongst the 2023 Rhodes Scholars, reports Michael T. Nietzel for Forbes. This year’s Rhodes Scholars "will go to Oxford University in England next October to pursue graduate degrees across the breadth of the social sciences, humanities, and biological and physical sciences,” says Elliot Gerson, American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust. “They inspire us already with their accomplishments, but even more by their values-based leadership and selfless ambitions to improve their communities and the world.”

Inside Higher Ed

Prof. Kerstin M. Perez writes for Inside Higher Ed about the challenges posed by balancing inclusive teaching with personal and professional endeavors. “I quickly realized that some tenets of inclusive and antiracist teaching advice can undercut the career trajectories, classroom respect and mental health of instructors who are minoritized in their fields—whether due to race, gender or some other nondominant cultural identity—if those tenets are not thoughtfully adapted to our distinct positions in the academy,” writes Perez.

Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Charlotte Hu writes that MIT researchers have developed a new machine learning model that can depict how the sound around a listener changes as they move through a certain space. “We’re mostly modeling the spatial acoustics, so the [focus is on] reverberations,” explains graduate student Yilun Du. “Maybe if you’re in a concert hall, there are a lot of reverberations, maybe if you’re in a cathedral, there are many echoes versus if you’re in a small room, there isn’t really any echo.”

Boston 25 News

Researchers from MIT and Boston Children’s Hospital are working on developing new technology that could help predict and identify diseases through audio recordings of a patient’s voice, reports Jim Morelli for Boston 25 News. “It’s almost like being Sherlock Holmes to voice, taking voice as a signal and trying to understand what’s going on behind it,” said Satrajit Ghosh, a principal research scientist at the McGovern Institute. “And can we backtrack from voice and say this is ‘Disorder A’ versus ‘Disorder B’?”