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Guardian

Zofia Niemtus writes for The Guardian about tech startups focused on helping breastfeeding mothers. Niemtus notes that MIT’s second “Make The Breast Pump Not Suck!” hackathon, which focused on marginalized groups in society, resulted in projects like “a pop-up shelf for pumping in unsanitary public places; a lactation kit for use in disaster zones; and a virtual reality app.” 

BBC

The BBC’s Jane Wakefield attends a breast pump hackathon at MIT, where she meets with “a group of women determined to improve this old-fashioned tech.” MIT research affiliate Catherine D’Ignazio highlights matters like comfort, discretion and milk tracking capabilities as the type of issues the hackathon looks to solve.

The Atlantic

Writing for The Atlantic, MIT lecturer Amy Carleton describes the focus on public policy, as well as engineering and product design, at this year’s “Make the Breast Pump Not Suck” hackathon. “What emerged [at the inaugural hackathon] was an awareness that the challenges surrounding breastfeeding were not just technical and equipment-based,” explains Carleton.

TechCrunch

Katie Rae, managing director of The Engine, has collaborated with other Boston-based female investors to create FemaleFounders.org. The group will hold “office hours” that will encourage “entrepreneurs to get to know women investors and build a community,” writes Ron Miller for TechCrunch.

Today Show

Dr. Joseph Coughlin, director of the AgeLab, speaks with Today Show reporter A. Pawlowski about his new book and why females are uniquely positioned to handle life after middle age. “One of the greatest under-appreciated sources of innovation and new business may in fact be women over 50,” says Coughlin. 

The Boston Globe

Prof. Harvey Lodish and Prof. Emeritus Nancy Hopkins explain in The Boston Globe that the lack of women in the biotech industry stems from the exclusion of women at the venture capital firms that fund those companies. “Including more women in the pool of venture and biotech leaders will insure the success of the Massachusetts biopharmaceutical ecosystem,” Profs. Lodish and Hopkins conclude.

US News & World Report

MIT postdoc Ritu Raman is one of five recipients of the 2017 For Women in Science Fellowship from L’Oreal USA, writes Claire Hansen of U.S. News & World Report. The $60,000 grants are awarded to the women “based on the strength of their research and scientific excellence, but also on their commitment to supporting other women and girls in science,” explains Hansen.

The Washington Post

Prof. Richard Nielsen writes for The Washington Post that while women in Saudi Arabia have been granted the authority to issue state-sanctioned Islamic legal rulings, this move will probably not improve women’s rights. “It is likely that the fatwas coming from female Salafi muftis will be just as restricting to women as those from their male counterparts,” writes Nielsen.

CNBC

Prof. Regina Barzilay’s research group is working with MGH to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve cancer diagnoses, reports CNBC’s Meg Tirrell. The group also hopes to allow doctors to use “the huge quantities of data available on patients to make more personalized treatment decisions,” explains Tirrell.

New York Times

A study by Prof. Tanveet Suri shows that a mobile-money service called M-Pesa had a long-term impact on poverty in Kenya, writes Tina Rosenberg for The New York Times. The researchers found that M-Pesa “helped women graduate from subsistence agriculture to small business, perhaps because having an M-Pesa account gives a woman her own money…and a greater sense of agency.”

The Wall Street Journal

Melvin Konner writes for The Wall Street Journal about new MIT research that shows mobile-money services helped lift at least 194,000 Kenyan households out of extreme poverty. The researchers found that the services significantly helped women, and estimated that mobile banking “induced 185,000 women to switch into business or retail” from farming, and increased saving. 

The Wall Street Journal

Writing for The Wall Street Journal, Visiting Lecturer Irving Wladawsky-Berger praises MIT’s Inclusive Innovation Competition, a contest that honors companies aimed at improving economic opportunities for all workers. Wladawsky-Berger writes that it’s heartening that MIT is “searching for breakthrough innovations to help improve [the] economic prospects” of workers impacted by advanced technologies. 

The Washington Post

Robert Gebelhoff writes for The Washington Post about a study by Prof. Tavneet Suri that shows mobile-money services helped reduce poverty in Kenya. The study “offers good evidence that having a place to put money that’s safe and easily accessible can make the lives of poor people considerably more efficient than cash-reliant economies,” Gebelhoff explains. 

NPR

Nurith Aizenman reports for NPR on a new study that shows mobile banking can help lift people out of poverty. Prof. Tavneet Suri says she was “blown away” by the study’s results, which showed that women-led families with access to mobile-money services, “set aside 22 percent more in savings between 2008 and 2014.”

Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Kate Baggaley writes that a new study by MIT researchers shows that mobile money services helped two percent of households in Kenya rise out of poverty. “Women especially have benefitted from the spread of mobile money, which has helped many move from farming into business,” writes Baggaley.