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Category: Covid-19

Synthesis too slow? Let this robot do it. | MIT News
January 12, 2022

Researchers in the lab of Bradley Pentelute, MIT professor of chemistry, have invented a fully automated fast-flow instrument that can synthesize peptide-nucleic acids in a single shot. By automating the process of synthesizing CPP-conjugated peptide-nucleic acids (PPNAs) using the robot dubbed “Tiny Tides” by the research team, typical PPNA synthesis time was reduced from multiple days to just two hours. “This new...

Physics and the machine-learning “black box” | MIT News
January 11, 2022

Machine-learning algorithms are often referred to as a “black box.” Once data are put into an algorithm, it’s not always known exactly how the algorithm arrives at its prediction. This can be particularly frustrating when things go wrong. A new mechanical engineering (MechE) course at MIT teaches students how to tackle the “black box” problem, through a combination of data science and physics-based...

MIT in the media: 2021 in review | MIT News
December 22, 2021

From Institute-wide efforts to address the climate crisis to responding to Covid-19, members of the MIT community made headlines this year for their innovative work in a variety of areas. Faculty, students, and staff were on the front lines of addressing many pressing issues this year, raising their voices and sharing their findings. Below are highlights of news stories that spotlight the many efforts underway at MIT to...

MIT community in 2021: A year in review | MIT News
December 22, 2021

During 2021, the Covid-19 pandemic continued to color much of the year, as MIT saw both the promise of vaccines as well as the rise of troubling new variants. The Institute also made new commitments to climate action, saw the opening of new and renovated spaces, continued in its efforts to support its diverse voices, and celebrated new Nobel laureates and astronaut candidates. Here are some of the top stories in the MIT...

MIT’s top research stories of 2021 | MIT News
December 22, 2021

Despite the pandemic’s disruptions, MIT’s research community still found a way to generate a number of impressive research breakthroughs in 2021. In the spirit of reflection that comes with every new orbit around the sun, below we count down 10 of the most-viewed research stories on MIT News from the past year. We’ve also rounded up the year’s top MIT community-related stories. 10. Giving cancer treatment a...

Sensor based on quantum physics could detect SARS-CoV-2 virus | MIT News
December 20, 2021

A novel approach to testing for the presence of the virus that causes Covid-19 may lead to tests that are faster, less expensive, and potentially less prone to erroneous results than existing detection methods. Though the work, based on quantum effects, is still theoretical, these detectors could potentially be adapted to detect virtually any virus, the researchers say. The new approach is described in a paper published...

Research finds potential mechanism linking autism, intestinal inflammation | MIT News
December 9, 2021

Though many people with autism spectrum disorders also experience unusual gastrointestinal inflammation, scientists have not established how those conditions might be linked. Now MIT and Harvard Medical School researchers, working with mouse models, may have found the connection: When a mother experiences an infection during pregnancy and her immune system produces elevated levels of the molecule Interleukin-17a (IL-17a),...

New 10-minute test detects Covid-19 immunity | MIT News
November 23, 2021

Researchers have successfully developed a rapid point-of-care test for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies (NAbs). This simple test, only requiring a drop of blood from a fingertip, can be performed within 10 minutes without the need for a laboratory or specially trained personnel. Currently, no similar NAb tests are commercially available within Singapore or elsewhere. The work was led by the...

In MIT visit, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston ’05 explores the accelerated shift to distributed work | MIT News
November 22, 2021

When the cloud storage firm Dropbox decided to shut down its offices with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, co-founder and CEO Drew Houston ’05 had to send the company’s nearly 3,000 employees home and tell them they were not coming back to work anytime soon. “It felt like I was announcing a snow day or something.” In the early days of the pandemic, Houston says that Dropbox reacted as many others did to...

Exploring the human stories behind the data | MIT News
November 20, 2021

Shaking in the back of a police cruiser, handcuffs digging into his wrists, Brian Williams was overwhelmed with fear. He had been pulled over, but before he was asked for his name, license, or registration, a police officer ordered him out of his car and into back of the police cruiser, saying into his radio, “Black male detained.” The officer’s explanation for these actions was: “for your safety and...

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