ENDLESS FRONTIER:
INNOVATIONS IN SCIENCE & ENGINEERING

October 2018

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Image: Christopher Harting

Education

MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing established
MIT will reshape itself to shape the future, investing $1 billion to address the rapid evolution of computing and artificial intelligence — and its global effects. At the heart of this effort: a $350 million gift to found the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing. The Institute aims to bring the power of computing and AI to all fields of study, while allowing the future of computing and AI to be shaped by insights from all other disciplines. Read more at http://news.mit.edu/2018/mit-reshapes-itself-stephen-schwarzman-college-of-computing-1015

Energy & Environment

Self-healing material can build itself from carbon in the air
A material designed by MIT chemical engineers can react with carbon dioxide from the air, to grow, strengthen, and even repair itself. The polymer, which might someday be used as construction or repair material or for protective coatings, continuously converts the greenhouse gas into a carbon-based material that reinforces itself. Read more here http://news.mit.edu/2018/self-healing-material-carbon-air-1011

Convergence/Health

A new way to manufacture small batches of biopharmaceuticals on demand
Biopharmaceuticals, a class of drugs comprising proteins such as antibodies and hormones, represent a fast-growing sector of the pharmaceutical industry. They’re increasingly important for “precision medicine” — drugs tailored toward the genetic or molecular profiles of particular groups of patients.Such drugs are normally manufactured at large facilities dedicated to a single product, using processes that are difficult to reconfigure. This rigidity means that manufacturers tend to focus on drugs needed by many patients, while drugs that could help smaller populations of patients may not be made. To help make more of these drugs available, MIT researchers have developed a new way to rapidly manufacture biopharmaceuticals on demand. Read more at http://news.mit.edu/2018/manufacture-small-batches-biopharmaceuticals-demand-1001

Science & Tech

Detecting fake news at its source
Lately, the fact-checking world has been in a bit of a crisis, employing time-consuming, traditional methods of verifying or debunking specific claims and news; social media companies have also had mixed results limiting the spread of propaganda and misinformation. Researchers from  MIT’s Computer Science (CSAIL) and colleagues believe that the best approach is to focus not only on individual claims, but also on the news sources themselves. Using this tack, they’ve demonstrated a new system that efficiently employs machine learning to determine if a source is accurate or politically biased. Read more at http://news.mit.edu/2018/mit-csail-machine-learning-system-detects-fake-news-from-source-1004

A big new home for the ultrasmall
Nanotechnology, the cutting-edge research field that explores ultrasmall materials, organisms, and devices, has now been graced with the largest, most sophisticated, and most accessible university research facility of its kind in the U.S.: the new $400 million MIT.nano building, which had its official opening ceremonies in October. Read more at http://news.mit.edu/2018/mit-nano-building-open-0924