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Nanoparticles Shut Down Cancer Growth

July 3, 2015

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Nanoparticles Shut Down Cancer Growth

Using nanoparticles to deliver a nucleic acid (siRNA) into tumor cells in mouse models, scientists from UCLA and City of Hope have become the first to inhibit the mechanism that drives cancer growth. When scientists develop cancer therapies, they target the features that make the disease deadly: tumor growth, metastasis, recurrence and drug resistance. In […]

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Crystals Grown in Microgravity Lead to New Therapeutics for Disease

July 1, 2015

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Crystals Grown in Microgravity Lead to New Therapeutics for Disease

The newest Benefits for Humanity video highlights how high-quality crystals grown in microgravity lead to new therapeutics for disease. In one of many direct Earth applications of International Space Station research, the newest Benefits for Humanity video in the Benefits series highlights how the investigation of protein crystals in space is helping to treat Duchenne […]

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NASA Supercomputer Shows Exoplanet Making Waves in Nearby Debris Disk

June 26, 2015

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NASA Supercomputer Shows Planet Making Waves

Astrophysicists have created a new supercomputer simulation of the planet and debris disk around the Beta Pictoris. The new supercomputer model reveals that the planet’s motion drives spiral waves throughout the disk, a phenomenon that causes collisions among the orbiting debris. Patterns in the collisions and the resulting dust appear to account for many observed […]

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Discovery May Lead to New Crack-resistant Metal Alloys

June 25, 2015

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The image shows corrosion of a silver-gold alloy spontaneously resulting in the formation of nanoscale porous structures that undergo high-speed cracking under the action of a tensile stress. It helps demonstrate a discovery by an Arizona State University research team about the stress-corrosion behavior of metals that threatens the mechanical integrity of engineered components and structures.

A new discovery by researchers at Arizona State Univeristy points the way to designing crack-resistant metal alloys with different microstructures. Sometimes looking at something at the smallest scale can lead to solutions to big problems. A recent study into the interactions of metal alloys at the nanometer and atomic scales is likely to aid advances […]

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How Laser Frequency Combs Transformed Basic Scientific Research

June 24, 2015

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Precision rulers of light (laser frequency combs) span millions of frequencies of light, and can operate from the mid-infrared through the visible to the extreme ultraviolet. They are at the heart of new technologies such as optical atomic clocks, molecular fingerprinting and a noninvasive breath analyzer.

Although most people have never heard of laser frequency combs, they have become essential to advancing important light-based research and have been instrumental to the development of new technologies over a wide range of applications. It almost sounds like a riddle: What tool has transformed basic scientific research and led to new technologies in so […]

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New Model Explores Exploding Growth in Global Transportation Connectivity

June 24, 2015

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According to a study at MIT using a new model that determines regional connectivity via air travel, global connectivity increased 140% between 1990 and 2012, fueled by intense growth in Europe and Asia. Every time you’ve seen a plane take off or land at a hub airport, you’ve seen the world growing more connected, according […]

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Neuroscientists Show Multiple Cortical Regions Are Needed to Process Information

June 19, 2015

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Scientists Show Multiple Cortical Regions Needed to Process Information

Neuroscientists from MIT show that multiple cortical regions work together simultaneously to process sensorimotor information despite their predetermined specialized roles. Researchers at MIT have proven that the brain’s cortex doesn’t process specific tasks in highly specialized modules — showing that the cortex is, in fact, quite dynamic when sharing information. Previous studies of the brain […]

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Artificially Reactivating Positive Memories Can Reverse Depression

June 18, 2015

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Recalling Happier Memories to Reverse Depression

By artificially reactivating happy memories that were formed before the onset of depression, MIT neuroscientists have shown that they can cure the symptoms of depression in mice. The findings, described in the June 18 issue of Nature, offer a possible explanation for the success of psychotherapies in which depression patients are encouraged to recall pleasant […]

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Scientists Propose Possible Mechanism for Saturn’s Polar Cyclones

June 16, 2015

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Model Predicts Cyclone Activity on Other Planets

Atmospheric scientists from MIT have developed a simple model that may predict cyclone activity on other planets. For the last decade, astronomers have observed curious “hotspots” on Saturn’s poles. In 2008, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft beamed back close-up images of these hotspots, revealing them to be immense cyclones, each as wide as the Earth. Scientists estimate […]

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Scientists Discuss the Search for Life in Our Solar System and Beyond

June 15, 2015

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Researchers Discuss Search for Life in the Solar System and Beyond

Follow along as researchers discuss the search for evidence of habitability in our solar system and beyond during the 2015 Astrobiology Science Conference. NASA and university scientists will discuss at 2 p.m. EDT, Tuesday June 16, astrobiology research activities and technology that are advancing the search for evidence of habitability in our solar system and […]

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Engineers Design Printable Centimeter-long Origami Robot

June 12, 2015

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MIT Builds Tiny Origami Robot

Engineers at MIT have developed a tiny robot that can swim, climb an incline, traverse rough terrain, and carry a load twice its weight while being controlled by external magnetic fields. At the recent International Conference on Robotics and Automation, MIT researchers presented a printable origami robot that folds itself up from a flat sheet […]

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Controlling Surface Topography with Particle-Enhanced Soft Composites

June 11, 2015

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MIT Researchers Produce Soft Material with Controllable Surface Textures

Using a material that is composed of two different polymers with different degrees of stiffness, researchers have developed a soft material with controllable surface textures that can be varied by squeezing. An MIT team has developed a way of making soft materials, using a 3-D printer, with surface textures that can then be modified at […]

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A New Timetable of Evolution – Reappraisal of Hydrocarbon Biomarkers in Archean Rocks

June 4, 2015

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A New Timetable of Evolution

New data show that the first single-celled organisms with a nucleus originated more than a billion years later than biogeochemical evidence had previously indicated. Contaminated samples have evidently created some confusion in the timetable of life. On the basis of ultra-clean analyses, an international team, including scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, has […]

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Ancient Algae Found in Mountaintop Glacier in Peru

June 4, 2015

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Millennium Old Diatoms Discovered

A newly published study reveals the remains of tiny creatures found deep inside a mountaintop glacier in Peru, providing clues to the local landscape from more than a millennium ago. The unexpected discovery of diatoms, a type of algae, in ice cores pulled from the Quelccaya Summit Dome Glacier demonstrate that freshwater lakes or wetlands […]

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New Evidence on the Origins of Life on Earth

June 3, 2015

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New Evidence Emerges on the Origins of Life

Two newly published studies reveal evidence for how the genetic code developed in two distinct stages to help primordial chemicals evolve into cells. Chapel Hill, North Carolina – In the beginning, there were simple chemicals. And they produced amino acids that eventually became the proteins necessary to create single cells. And the single cells became […]

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Study Shows Poor Sleep Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

June 3, 2015

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Poor Sleep Linked to Alzheimer’s and Memory Loss

A newly published study from UC Berkeley reveals a new pathway through which Alzheimer’s disease may cause memory decline later in life. UC Berkeley scientists have found compelling evidence that poor sleep — particularly a deficit of the deep, restorative slumber needed to hit the save button on memories — is a channel through which […]

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NASA Scientists Are Developing Tools to Allow Astronauts to “Live Off the Land”

June 2, 2015

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NASA Astronomers Plan to Live Off the Land

Similar to when early explorers crossed vast oceans to reach new worlds, NASA engineers and scientists now are developing the tools that will allow astronauts to live off the land of an asteroid, the moon or Mars. At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, researchers are studying how to best practice in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), […]

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New Algorithm Lets Robots Autonomously Plan for Tasks

May 27, 2015

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New Algorithm Allows Robots to Plan on the Fly

Researchers from MIT have developed a new algorithm that lets autonomous robots divvy up assembly tasks on the fly, an important step forward in multirobot cooperation. Today’s industrial robots are remarkably efficient — as long as they’re in a controlled environment where everything is exactly where they expect it to be. But put them in […]

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