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Vox

Newsha Ghaeli ’17 - president and co-founder of Biobot, a public health research, data and analytics firms that has developed and promoted wastewater surveillance technology - speaks with Vox reporter Muizz Akhtar about how wastewater surveillance can be used to predict and prepare for future pandemics. “Our vision is that this is a permanent infrastructure layer on our sewer systems, so that it becomes one of the core kinds of pandemic preparedness in this country and disease surveillance globally,” says Ghaeli.

The Boston Globe Magazine

Boston Globe Magazine reporter Courtney Humphries spotlights MIT startup Biobot Analytics, co-founded by Mariana Matus ’18 and Newsha Ghaeli ’17, for using their wastewater and sewage tracking technology to identify Covid -19 in communities across the United States. “Because people shed the virus in their stool before they test positive, Biobot’s data are often a leading indicator of where the infection is heading, arriving ahead of case counts by a few days,” writes Humphries.

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Pranshu Verma spotlights MIT startup Biobot Analytics, co-founded by Mariana Matus ’18 and Newsha Ghaeli ’17, for their work studying sewage data to better predict the spread of Covid-19 in communities. “For health officials, it [the data] confirms whether Covid spikes in the community are real, and not due to increased testing or other factors,” writes Verma. “Moreover, Covid levels in waste water are a leading indicator for new clinical cases, giving health officials a few days’ notice if they’ll see more sick patients showing symptoms.”

The Washington Post

MIT researchers are developing innovations aimed at improving Covid-19 diagnostics, including an atomic-level test designed to increase testing accuracy, reports Steven Zeitchik for The Washington Post. Professor James Collins and his team are developing “a mask that uses freeze-dried technology to detect the coronavirus.”

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Kay Lazar spotlights how the Broad Institute “has become the region’s powerhouse for monitoring shifts in the genetic makeup of the coronavirus.”

The Washington Post

Writing for The Washington Post, Prof. Kevin Esvelt argues that research aimed at creating pandemic-causing viruses should be considered a matter of international security. “Natural pandemics may be inevitable. Synthetic ones, constructed with full knowledge of society’s vulnerabilities, are not,” writes Esvelt. “Let’s not learn to make pandemics until we can reliably defend against them.”

Nature

Nature reporter Eric Bender spotlights MIT startup Kytopen, which has developed a microfluidic platform to create induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and other forms of cell therapy. We want to do minimally invasive surgery,” says Kytopen co-founder Prof. Cullen Buie.

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporter Sara Castellanos spotlights Prof. Markus Buehler’s work combining virtual reality with sound waves to help detect subtle changes in molecular motions. Castellanos notes that Buehler and his team recently found, “coronaviruses can be more lethal or infectious depending on the vibrations within the spike proteins that are found on the surface of the virus.”

ABC News

Prof. Lydia Bourouiba speaks with ABC News about how schools can use ventilation and masks to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. “If we're not wearing a mask, that contamination is building up, particularly when we're in a classroom for hours," says Bourouiba. "But there are simple measures when we bring in fresh air from the outside that are very effective."

Stat

Writing for STAT, Prof. Susan Silbey and Prof. Ruthanne Huising of Emlyon Business School make the case that to prevent lab leaks, there should be a greater emphasis placed on biosafety. “The global research community does not need more rules, more layers of oversight, and more intermediary actors,” they write. “What it needs is more attention and respect to already known biosafety measures and techniques.”

WHDH 7

WHDH spotlights how MIT and Harvard researchers are creating wearable biosensors that could be used to detect Covid-19 in a person’s breath. “At the end of the day, what we wanted to do was basically to blend both to potentially produce a product that was more easily incentivized patients to both wear a mask and to get tested,” explains Luis Soenksen of the Abdul Latif Jameel Clinic for Machine Learning in Health.

CBS Boston

A new sensor developed by MIT and Harvard researchers can be embedded in a face mask and used to alert the wearer if they have Covid-19, reports CBS Boston. “Small disposable sensors can diagnose the wearer of the mask within 90 minutes," reports CBS Boston. "The technology has been used before to detect Ebola and Zika, but now researchers are embedding it into face masks and lab coats as a new method to safeguard health care workers.”

Boston Globe

Researchers from MIT and Harvard have developed a new sensor technology that can be embedded in a face mask to detect whether the wearer has Covid-19, reports Pranshu Verma for The Boston Globe. “We worked hard, sometimes bringing nonbiological equipment home and assembling devices manually,” says Luis Soenksen of the Abdul Latif Jameel Clinic for Machine Learning in Health. “It was definitely different from the usual lab infrastructure we’re used to working under, but everything we did has helped us ensure that the sensors would work in real-world pandemic conditions.”

Fast Company

Researchers from MIT and Harvard have developed a face mask outfitted with sensors that can detect if the wearer has Covid-19, reports Adele Peters for Fast Company. “If testing and sensing at a biological molecular level could be done in a format that can follow people around instead of people having to go to the clinic, maybe you can encourage people to get more testing done,” says Luis Soenksen, a Venture Builder at MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Clinic for Machine Learning in Health.

Quartz

MIT researchers are applying machine learning algorithms typically used for natural language processing to identify coronavirus variants, reports Brian Browdie for Quartz. “Besides being able to quantify the potential for mutations to escape, the research may pave the way for vaccines that broaden the body’s defenses against variants or that protect recipients against more than one virus, such as flu and the novel coronavirus, in a single shot,” writes Browdie.