Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Science • Space
Scientists detect phosphine in Venus' atmosphere - a possible sign for life
Scientists detect phosphine in Venus' atmosphere - a possible sign for life
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech (Public Domain)

In a new paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy researchers from Cardiff University, the UK around Prof Jane Greaves presents their finding of phosphine 50km up in the clouds of Venus.

Dr William Bains from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has stated that "in principle, a more water-loving life could hide itself away inside a protective shell of some sorts inside the sulphuric acid droplets" adding that "we're talking bacteria surrounding themselves by something tougher than Teflon and completely sealing themselves in. But then how do they eat? How do they exchange gases? It's a real paradox".

Further investigation into the matter needs a probe to be send to Venus.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump administration drops plan to bar international students from US
MIT Building 10 and the Great Dome, Cambridge Massachusetts
MIT Building 10 and the Great Dome, Cambridge Massachusetts Credit: John Phelan (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that it had withdrawn visa guidelines that barred international students from the US if all of their classes were to be conducted online this autumn.

The announcement came during a federal district court hearing Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) chalenging the administration's decision, arguing the policy was created unlawfully and that it contradicted previous guidance from federal immigration officials.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Almost 60 U.S. universities back Harvard, MIT lawsuit against Trump administration
Almost 60 U.S. universities back Harvard, MIT lawsuit against Trump administration
Credit: unsplash.com/Nathan Dumlao

59 U.S. universities are backing the lawsuit filed by Harvard and MIT against the Trump administration trying to block a directive that would force international students to return to their home countries if all of their classes and coursework were taken remotely.

After Harvard and MIT filed their lawsuit on Wednesday in a federal court in Boston, dozens of other universities, including Duke and Standford and five other Ivy League colleges, submitted a so-call amicus brief.

Education • University Education
Universities filed a lawsuit against Trump administration over directive stripping foreign students of their F-1 visas
Universities filed a lawsuit against Trump administration over directive stripping foreign students of their F-1 visas
Credit: Photo by Senthil Balasubramanian. – U.S. Department of Energy from United States / Public domain

In a move that was considered to pressure universities to reopen, the Trump administration announced a directive on Monday that would force international students to return to their home countries if all of their classes and coursework were taken remotely.

"It appears that it was designed purposefully to place pressure on colleges and universities to open their on-campus classrooms for in-person instruction this fall, without regard to concerns for the health and safety of students, instructors, and others," so Lawrence S. Bacow, President of Harvard University.

In response to the directive, Harvard and M.I.T have filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, seeking "a temporary restraining order and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief preventing Defendants from enforcing the policy announced in ICE’s July 6 Directive, or promulgating it as a Final Rule" and "a declaration that the policy announced in the July 6 Directive is unlawful."

Regional News • Americas • United States
Facial-recognition technology banned by Boston City Council
Flat Recognition Facial Face Woman System
Flat Recognition Facial Face Woman System Credit: teguhjatipras

The City Council in Boston has, in a unanimous vote, banned the usage of facial-recognition technology by the police. Councilor Ricardo Arroyo has stated that "It puts Bostonians at risk for misidentification", which is the reason why the technology has not been in use previous to the ban. The second Councilor, Michelle Wu, who co-authored the order with Arroyo said that "Boston should not be using racially discriminatory technology" as a study by the MIT found that facial recognition technology has a racial bias against people with darker skin.

Education • University Education
First black woman student body president elected at MIT
Maclaurin Buildings and Great Dome at MIT, Cambridge
Maclaurin Buildings and Great Dome at MIT, Cambridge Credit: Carol M. Highsmith / Public domain

Danielle Geathers, alongside running mate Yu Jing Chen, was elected as president of the Undergraduate Association at MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Geathers, who previously served as the diversity officer, is the first black woman in the university's 159-year-history to be elected as student body president. “Although some people think it is just a figurehead role, figureheads can matter in terms of people seeing themselves in terms of representation. Seeing yourself at a college is kind of an important part of the admissions process", so Geathers.