Top MIT research stories of 2020

The year’s popular research stories include astronomical firsts, scientific breakthroughs, and engineering milestones addressing Covid-19 and other global problems.

MIT News Office • mit
Dec. 22, 2020 ~5 min

covid-19 pandemic research school-of-architecture-and-planning school-of-engineering school-of-science mit-sloan-school-of-management school-of-arts-humanities-and-social-sciences

SLS: Crucial test for Nasa's 'mega-rocket'

Part of a giant rocket that will send humans back to the Moon has undergone a critical test.

bbcnews
Dec. 21, 2020 ~6 min

nasa mars mississippi human-spaceflight space-exploration boeing artemis the-moon exploration-of-mars exploration-of-the-moon

Thousands of ocean fishing boats could be using forced labor – we used AI and satellite data to find them

Forced labor is a widespread problem in fisheries on the high seas. Between 2012 and 2018, an estimated 100,000 people may have been victims of forced labor on thousands of different boats.

Gavin McDonald, Senior Project Researcher, University of California Santa Barbara • conversation
Dec. 21, 2020 ~8 min

machine-learning artificial-intelligence fisheries fishing human-rights satellite-data slavery forced-labor human-rights-violations

Not so fast: why India’s plan to reintroduce cheetahs may run into problems

India's last cheetah was killed 70 years ago. Should the country import a different subspecies from Namibia?

Simon Evans, Principal Lecturer in Ecotourism, Anglia Ruskin University • conversation
Dec. 18, 2020 ~6 min

india wildlife-conservation human-wildlife-conflict lions tiger big-cats cheetah

Can mammogram screening be more effective?

Study: Healthier women are more likely to follow age-based guidelines, leaving room for better-targeted testing.

Peter Dizikes | MIT News Office • mit
Dec. 17, 2020 ~9 min

medicine economics policy women health-care social-sciences research school-of-humanities-arts-and-social-sciences national-science-foundation-nsf national-institutes-of-health-nih

A better kind of cybersecurity strategy

New model shows why countries that retaliate too much against online attacks make things worse for themselves.

Peter Dizikes | MIT News Office • mit
Dec. 10, 2020 ~7 min

economics policy research cyber-security school-of-humanities-arts-and-social-sciences technology-and-society national-science-foundation-nsf security-studies-and-military game-theory

Artemis: Nasa picks astronauts for new Moon missions

Nasa has announced 18 astronauts who will travel to the Moon under the agency's Artemis programme.

bbcnews
Dec. 9, 2020 ~2 min

human-spaceflight artemis

MISTI pilots conversations in energy

The MISTI Career Conversations: Energy program serves as an innovative pivot from international internships to a virtual seminar series.

Christina Davies | MISTI • mit
Dec. 8, 2020 ~7 min

energy europe research mechanical-engineering school-of-engineering global alumniae school-of-humanities-arts-and-social-sciences international-initiatives materials-science-and-engineering mit-energy-initiative chemical-engineering misti center-for-international-studies mit-india careers

Editing the DNA of human embryos could protect us from future pandemics

We could start making our genomes equipped to deal with more frequent pandemics. But it may come at a cost.

Yusef Paolo Rabiah, PhD Candidate at UCL Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy, UCL • conversation
Dec. 7, 2020 ~7 min

crispr covid-19 coronavirus germline-editing human-genome-editing

Editing the DNA of human embryos could be used to protect us from future pandemics

We could start making our genomes equipped to deal with more frequent pandemics. But it may come at a cost.

Yusef Paolo Rabiah, PhD Candidate at UCL Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy, UCL • conversation
Dec. 7, 2020 ~7 min

crispr covid-19 coronavirus germline-editing human-genome-editing

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