Smartphone-connected face mask designer wins MIT prize

A smartphone-connected face mask equipped with a sensor that detects COVID-19 particles designed by a Romanian engineer won the top prize at a contest from MIT Media Lab, the Calvert Journal reported.

The MIT’s pandemic response lab launched this contest asking engineers and designers to come up with creative responses that reimagine face coverings and personal protective equipment.

The “social mask” – as called by his creator – is a minimalist and transparent mask featuring a biosensor that can connect to a smartphone, “a real option for the future,” said the award-winning designer, Burzo Ciprian.

Thanks to an app directly connected to the hi-tech mask, users would be able to detect the number of COVID-19 particles around them and to estimate their risk of infection, as well as localising other users of the device around them, according to the Calvert Journal.
“We should know who is infected in
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MIT researchers uncover molecular structure of a protein found in COVID-19

“Our findings could be useful for medicinal chemists to design alternative small molecules that target this channel with high affinity,” said Mei Hong, an MIT chemistry professor and senior author of the research team’s new study, in the statement.

The paper from Hong’s team was published Nov. 11 in the journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology. Its lead author was MIT graduate student Venkata Mandala, the statement said, and additional authors were MIT postdoc Matthew McKay, along with graduate students Alexander Shcherbakov and Aurelio Dregni, as well as Antonios Kolocouris, a pharmaceutical chemistry professor at the University of Athens.

At the outset of the pandemic, the statement said, Hong and her students decided to focus their efforts on one of the COVID-19 proteins. They settled on protein E, the statement said, partly because it’s similar to an influenza protein called the M2 proton channel, which Hong’s studied previously.

“We determined

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Founder of Epic Queen receives the Innovators Under 35 LATAM award from MIT Technology Review magazine

Ana Karen Ramírez standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera

© Cortesía de Epic Queen

  • Each year, the magazine owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) awards 35 young Latinos who positively transform the quality of life.
  • Ana Karen is CEO of Epic Queen, a social enterprise that inspires girls and women to be curious and courageous through STEM education.

Ana Karen Ramírez , founder of Epic Queen , is recognized by MIT Technology Review magazine with the Innovators under 35 (IU35) award , which places her as one of the brightest minds in Latin America for her work in empowering girls and women with training in STEM education (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Each year, the magazine owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) awards 35 young Latinos who positively transform the quality of life around the world in five categories: Inventors, Entrepreneurs, Visionaries, Humanitarians, and Pioneers.

The founder of Epic Queen was awarded in the Visionaries

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MIT Research Examines New Technology Adoption in Manufacturing and its Implications for Work and Workers

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future, a multi-disciplinary initiative examining how emerging technologies are changing the nature of work, is releasing three research briefs today focused on manufacturing. The briefs examine the adoption of new technologies by U.S. manufacturers as well as the development of new transformative manufacturing technologies: additive manufacturing (AM) and industrial robotics. The authors explore several key questions including: What are the current motivations and barriers to adoption of new technologies by manufacturers, particularly small and medium-size firms, and how are skill requirements changing if at all for workers? What are the challenges and opportunities for the role of industrial robots in manufacturing? What is the value of AM and how do we build AM skills and capabilities within and across organizations? These briefs provide an in-depth perspective on some of the themes covered in the Task Force’s recently

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Genetron Health Named One of the “50 Smartest Companies in China 2020” by MIT Technology Review

BEIJING–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Genetron Holdings Limited (“Genetron Health” or the “Company”, Nasdaq: GTH), a leading precision oncology platform company in China that specializes in offering molecular profiling tests, early cancer screening products and companion diagnostics development, has been selected as one of the “50 Smartest Companies in China 2020” (TR50) by MIT Technology Review, a leading technology and business magazine.

Genetron Health was selected for its outstanding performance in the two areas of technological innovation and commercial operations, as well as for its development of precision oncology in China and the U.S. Previous TR50 listed corporations, such as Tesla, Tencent, Apple, IBM Johnson & Johnson, BeiGene, and Wuxi AppTec, are all industry leaders.

Since 2010, MIT Technology Review has published an annual list of the “50 Smartest Companies”, lauding companies for their respective technological innovations, business successes, and future potential. The list covers a variety of different fields, such

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STEM Week event encourages students to see themselves in science and technology careers | MIT News

Covid-19 has given the public a crash course in what it is like to be a medical researcher. The evening news displays graphs and charts describing case counts and statistical data, while the status of vaccine trials is front page news. Now, more than ever, the public is seeing how STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields are rising to the challenge of Covid-19.

It is in this spirit that MIT and the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council encouraged students to “see themselves in STEM” by producing a week of programming aimed at fostering a lifelong love of STEM.

Partnering across the Commonwealth

The Massachusetts STEM Week kicked-off Oct. 19 with opening remarks by MIT President L. Rafael Reif. Speaking to a stream of over 480 viewers, President Reif reflected on how reading MIT textbooks in his native Venezuela put him on a pathway to a career in STEM. “I realized

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MIT.nano Immersion Lab Gaming Program awards 2020 seed grants | MIT News

MIT.nano has announced its second annual seed grants to support hardware and software research related to sensors, 3D/4D interaction and analysis, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), and gaming. The grants are awarded through the MIT.nano Immersion Lab Gaming Program, a four-year collaboration between MIT.nano and video game development company NCSOFT, a founding member of the MIT.nano Consortium.

“We are thrilled to award seven grants this year in support of research that will shape how people interact with the digital world and each other,” says MIT.nano Associate Director Brian W. Anthony. “The MIT.nano Immersion Lab Gaming Program encourages cross-collaboration between disciplines. Together, musicians and engineers, performing artists and data scientists will work to change the way humans think, study, interact, and play with data and information.”

The MIT.nano Immersion Lab is a new, two-story immersive space dedicated to visualizing, understanding, and interacting with large data or synthetic environments, and to measuring

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Robot boats from MIT can now carry passengers

The latest “Roboat” is an autonomous vehicle that’s about six feet long and is being tested for use in Amsterdam.


The Roboat II is an autonomous robotic boat that navigates via artificial intelligence. 

Image: MIT

Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and the Senseable City Lab have recently added a new, larger autonomous vessel to the fleet it has been working on for the city of Amsterdam. Dubbed “Roboat II,” the latest robotic boat is now capable of carrying passengers and is the equivalent of roughly a “COVID-friendly” six feet, CSAIL said.

SEE: Special feature: Autonomous vehicles and the enterprise (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The team has been working to develop the world’s first fleet of autonomous boats in a five-year project. In tandem with the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, the team also created navigation and control algorithms to update the communication and collaboration among

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Deep tech VC fund The Engine raises $230M for its second fund from MIT and new backer Harvard

Deep tech. Hard tech. Or, as The Engine dubs it, Tough Tech.

Venture investing today is essentially identical to what happens on Wall Street, focused on data rooms, spreadsheets, SaaS churn models and cohort analysis. Yet, the history of venture capital firms is heavily interwoven with universities and their research. Some of the most famous VC funds like Kleiner Perkins got their start funding compelling research projects out of laboratories and financing their commercialization toward scale.

Technical risk is something many VCs like to avoid, but The Engine has built an entire brand and thesis around it. Centered around Kendall Square and the broader MIT ecosystem, The Engine debuted a couple of years ago with a focus on “tough tech” problems that are perhaps a touch too early for other VCs. That’s led to investments in companies like Boston Metal, which builds environmentally-friendly steel alloys, WoHo, which is rethinking modular

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MIT tests autonomous ‘Roboat’ that can carry two passengers

We’ve heard plenty about the potential of autonomous vehicles in recent years, but MIT is thinking about different forms of self-driving transportation. For the last five years, MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and the Senseable City Lab have been working on a fleet of autonomous boats to deploy in Amsterdam. Last year, we saw the autonomous “roboats” that could assemble themselves into a series of floating structures for various uses, and today CSAIL is unveiling the “Roboat II.” What makes this one particularly notable is that it’s the first that can carry passengers.

The boat is pretty small, only two meters long, and can carry two passengers through the canals of Amsterdam. Roboat II has four propellors so it can move in any direction, and also includes LiDAR, GPS and inertial sensors to help it navigate. While an individual boat looks rather tiny, they’re modular, like the

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