Fossil teeth reveal how brains developed in utero over millions of years of human evolution – new research

Using a new equation based on today’s primates, scientists can take a few molar teeth from an extinct fossil species and reconstruct exactly how fast their offspring grew during gestation.

Tesla Monson, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Western Washington University • conversation
Jan. 25, 2023 ~9 min

New passport rankings show that the world is opening up – but not for everyone

A passport from the United Arab Emirates will get you into far more destinations than one from Afghanistan. Gaps like this have big implications for people’s ability to travel, reside and work.

Patrick Bixby, Associate Professor of English, Arizona State University • conversation
Jan. 24, 2023 ~10 min

Research collaboration to examine parent-child learning interactions’ impact on child skill and curiosity

J-PAL North America and the University of Chicago’s Behavioral Insights and Parenting Lab will evaluate two approaches to text-based parental engagement programs that motivate two distinct kinds of learning interactions.

J-PAL North America • mit
Jan. 10, 2023 ~5 min

The safer you feel, the less safely you might behave – but research suggests ways to counteract this tendency

If you feel safer, you might take more risks – canceling out the benefits of various safety interventions. But educating people about this paradox and allowing for some personal choice might help.

Sogand Hasanzadeh, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, Purdue University • conversation
Jan. 10, 2023 ~8 min

New MIT internships expand research opportunities in Africa

University placements through MISTI aim to help grow the African research ecosystem.

Kristen Wilcox | Office of the Associate Provost for International Activities • mit
Jan. 5, 2023 ~6 min

William Wordsworth and the Romantics anticipated today's idea of a nature-positive life

The idea that human activity threatens nature, and that it is important to protect wild places, dates back to the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.

Jonathan Bate, Foundation Professor of Environmental Humanities, Arizona State University • conversation
Jan. 4, 2023 ~9 min

Five human technologies inspired by nature – from velcro to racing cars

Humans often look to nature for the solutions to complex problems – here are five times where biological processes have inspired innovation.

Amin Al-Habaibeh, Professor of Intelligent Engineering Systems, Nottingham Trent University • conversation
Dec. 30, 2022 ~7 min

Heart rate variability – what to know about this biometric most fitness trackers measure

Tiny fluctuations in the time between each beat of your heart can provide clues about how much stress your body is experiencing.

Anne R. Crecelius, Associate Professor of Health and Sport Science, University of Dayton • conversation
Dec. 26, 2022 ~8 min

MIT’s top research stories of 2022

Popular stories this year covered the detection of radio signals from space, a new battery design, immigrants’ entrepreneurial activity, and more.

Zach Winn | MIT News Office • mit
Dec. 21, 2022 ~5 min

When fishing boats go dark at sea, they're often committing crimes – we mapped where it happens

Understanding when, where and why fishing vessels sometimes turn off their transponders is a key step toward curbing illegal fishing and other crimes on the high seas.

Heather Welch, Researcher in Ecosystem Dynamics, University of California, Santa Cruz • conversation
Dec. 21, 2022 ~9 min