Research shows the success of a bacterial community depends on its shape.
Environmental negotiation book
For 14 years, scholars from MIT, Harvard and Tufts have taught a graduate-level seminar sponsored by the Inter-University Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. Each year, graduate students in "International Environmental Negotiation" selected a particular environmental negotiation case to analyze and present. The best of the papers were included in an annual series published by the program; now, a collection of the "best-of-the-best" from that series is available in a new book, "Transboundary Environmental Negotiation: New Approaches to Global Cooperation" (Jossey-Bass, 2002). The seminar is co-taught by Lawrence E. Susskind, the Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Studies at MIT and a co-founder of the Program on Negotiation.
Scholars in the seminar have analyzed how global issues including ozone depletion, climate change, deforestation, acid rain, ocean dumping and expansion of the world's deserts can be addressed through transboundary negotiation. The book is available directly from the publisher (http://www.josseybass.com) or from the clearinghouse of the Program on Negotiation (http://www.pon.org).
Tissue scaffolding a bright idea
Biodegradable organ tissue scaffolding, invented by Robert Langer and Jay Vacanti in 1986, was placed in the company of Tupperware, the paper bag and the telephone last month in Boston magazine's list of the Commonwealth's brightest ideas, displayed under the heading "Revenge of the Nerds." The list was on the same page as an article about the Eureka Club, a suburban support group for inventors. Other items on the eclectic list were the sewing machine, coffee percolator, carbon-filament light bulb, basketball, frozen food, rocket, chocolate-chip cookie and the bar code. Langer is the Germeshausen Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, and a winner of the Draper Prize for engineering.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 19, 2003.