News from the Wyss Institute -- Media Coverage
To see recent stories covered by the press, go to Media Coverage...
Why chemistry matters
Calling him perhaps the most influential chemist alive, EarthSky featured George Whitesides in a video interview about what it means to be a chemist today. In two podcasts -- one that's 90 seconds and one that's eight minutes -- Whitesides spoke about what drew him to the field, what inspires his work, and why chemistry matters. The interviews were part of the Thanks To Chemistry series, produced in cooperation with the Chemical Heritage Foundation and with sponsorship from the BASF Corporation.
Robots: Self-organizing systems
Core Faculty member Radhika Nagpal explained her work developing self-organizing robotics swarms in a podcast hosted by Robots, a nonprofit association that provides free, high-quality, educational information for the robotics community and general public. Nagpal shared the way that insights into mathematics and the theory of self organization can shed light on biological systems. She also talked about several of her projects including kilobots, a self-balancing modular table, and TERMES, in which robots work together to build a structure.
Pam Silver's deep-sea search
In a special series for EarthSky, Pam Silver explained her deep-sea search to find new sources for biofuels. Of particular interest are organisms that thrive in inhospitable environments. Her goal is to genetically program such ocean bacteria to recover carbon from air or water and turn it into fuel.
The brittle star's apprentice
Scientific American dubs Joanna Aizenberg the "Brittle Star's Apprentice" in a story on her work mining the deep sea and forest wetlands for nature's design secrets.
The one cent solution
Popular Science spoke with George Whitesides about his inexpensive paper-based diagnostics, which will soon be used for testing liver function in India. Whitesides hopes that paper diagnostics will eventually emerge as the global standard.
Kit Parker's insights into traumatic brain injuries
Kit Parker explains his groundbreaking research on traumatic brain injuries in Aviation Week's Defense Technology International. He is developing in vitro models of blast injuries to better understand the underlying mechanics in hopes of identifying new therapeutic targets. More...
George Church demystifies gene sequencing
In an effort to demystify gene sequencing, George Church helped a Bloomberg reporter have his own DNA analyzed, pointing out that the process can help identify genetic risks that could be managed through preventive treatment. For instance, someone might be at risk for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an often-silent, dangerous enlargement of the heart that can strike and kill young athletes out of the blue. People identified as having such a risk might want cardiac imaging or preventive treatment.
When shrimp and silk combine
Shrilk -- the Wyss Institute's new low-cost, biodegradable material derived from shrimp shells and silk -- continues to make news. It was the subject of a feature story in the Harvard Gazette and a podcast on Scientific American, and it was also mentioned in the Huffington Post's launch of a new science section.
Making biomimicry fascinating
In an interview with SmartPlanet, Pat Sapinsley noted the "fascinating cross-disciplinary" work being done in biomimicry at the Wyss. Sapinsley was a recent participant at our first workshop on adaptive architecture
Slipperier than Teflon?
Teflon may have once claimed the mantle of world's slipperiest solid material, but that was before SLIPS. SLIPS, the new surface material being developed under the leadership of Joanna Aizenberg, was the subject of a recent report by the Australian Broadcast Corporation.
New Scientist focuses on organs-on-a-chip
Wyss Institute organs-on-chips were the focus of a New Scientist article that explored their potential to reveal human organ responses that traditional cell cultures miss. The article noted that a key discovery -- that breathing itself appears to encourage an inflammatory response to nanoparticles in the human lung -- would not have been possible in a Petri dish. The Wyss effort to connect organ functions in a single system for the first time was also highlighted, as Don Ingber and Kit Parker are working toward in a novel heart-lung micromachine.
BBC asks what's in George Church's DNA?
An article on the BBC news site ponders what it is in George Church's DNA that makes his brain work the way it does. Specifically, how is he able to keep coming up with ways to dramatically advance the field of genomics? The story, part of a special report on ideas that could change the world, explores Church's current goal of not only reading DNA code, but also being able to write and edit it.
IEEE Pulse and C&I articles spotlight the Wyss model
Two feature articles by Don Ingber were published over the summer. In IEEE Pulse, he described the evolution of the Wyss Institute and our novel approaches to innovation, collaboration, and technology translation. And in C&I Magazine he discussed the future of organ-on-a-chip technology.