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The Boston Globe

Nation

MIT at center of political power play

The school’s prized fusion reactor was dead; its federal funding axed. Then its political allies went to work.

CAMBRIDGE — Senator Elizabeth Warren placed her hand atop a large red button and pressed firmly, restarting a nuclear experiment that MIT believes could help save the planet — but which the Obama administration considered superfluous and tried to kill year after year.

More than 100 scientists, engineers, and technicians — most of whom had, until recently, been under layoff notices — had gathered on campus that cold February day, their eyes glued to the three projection screens hanging from the front of the control room.

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