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Fast Company

MIT researchers developed a suitcase-sized, portable desalination device that can turn salt water into drinking water with the push of a button, reports Elissaveta M. Brandon for Fast Company. Brandon writes that the device could be a “vital tool for remote island communities, seafaring cargo ships, and even refugee camps located near water.”

Motherboard

Motherboard reporter Audrey Carleton writes that MIT researchers have developed a “filter-less portable desalination device that uses an electrical field generated by solar energy to repel charged particles like salt, bacteria, and viruses.” Research Scientist Junghyo Yoon explains that: “All indicators tell us that water scarcity is a growing problem for everyone due to rising sea levels. We don’t hope for a grim future, but we want to help people be prepared for it.” 

The Daily Beast

A new portable, solar-powered desalination device developed by MIT researchers can create potable drinking water with the push of a button, reports Tony Ho Tran for The Daily Beast. “The device doesn’t rely on any filters like traditional desalination machines,” writes Tran. “Instead, it zaps the water with electric currents to remove minerals such as salt particles from the water.”

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.

Mashable

Mashable reporter Emmett Smith spotlights how MIT researchers have developed a new technique to clear dust from solar panels without using water. The new method uses “electrostatic repulsion, where an electrode that glides above the panel electrically charges dust particles and subsequently repels them.”

Science

A campaign led by RRS Discovery, and Prof. Raffaele Ferrari has found that deep-ocean water rises due to the turbulence created by undersea mountains, reports Paul Voosen for Science. “The turbulence that was found tended to grow with depth. Like a spoon stirring milk into coffee, it was driving water down, not up, says Ferrari,” writes Voosen.

Popular Science

MIT engineers have developed a new contactless method to clean solar panels that could save billions of gallons of water, reports Anuradha Varanasi for Popular Science. “I was amazed at the sheer amount of pure water that is required for cleaning solar panels,” says Prof. Kripa Varanasi. “The water footprint of the solar industry is only going to grow in the future. We need to figure out how to make solar farms more sustainable.”

Tech Briefs

Prof. Kripa Varanasi, graduate student Sreedath Panath, and a team of researchers are developing a water-free way to clear dust off of solar panels, reports Billy Hurley and Ed Brown for Tech Briefs. “Water is such a precious commodity, and people need to be careful about how to make use of this resource that we have,” says Varanasi. “The solar industry really needs to keep this in mind; we don’t want to be solving one problem and creating another.”

The Daily Beast

MIT researchers have developed a new water-free system that uses static electricity to clear dust from solar panels, reports Miriam Fauzia for The Daily Beast. “By using this technique, we can recover up to 95 percent of a solar panel’s power output,” explains graduate student Sreedath Panat.

New Scientist

New Scientist reporter Chen Ly writes that MIT researchers have developed a new technique that uses static electricity to remove the dust from solar panels, which could save around 45 billion liters of water annually. “I think water is a precious commodity that is very undervalued,” says Prof. Kripa Varanasi. “What I’m hoping is this will spur more people to think about water issues.”

The Daily Beast

MIT researchers have developed a solar-powered desalination system that “avoids salt buildup and could provide a family with continuous drinking water for only $4,” reports Miriam Fauzia for The Daily Beast. “The researchers hope to develop their device into something that can be mass produced and used by individuals and families, especially for those living in remote communities,” writes Fauzia.

The New York Times

One year after NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully landed on Mars, scientists are preparing to investigate a dried-up river delta along the west rim of the Jezero crater to search for rocks and microscopic fossils, reports Kenneth Chang for The New York Times. If Perseverance undercovers fossils, “we have to start asking whether some globs of organic matter are arranged in a shape that outlines a cell,” says Prof. Tanja Bosak.

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

The Washington Post Editorial Board highlights a new report co-authored by MIT researchers that finds keeping the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in California open would help the state reach its climate goals. "The experts project that keeping Diablo Canyon open just one more decade would cut California’s power-sector emissions by more than 10 percent, because it would burn far less gas, and save the state $2.6 billion in power system costs."