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New Technique Reveals Internal Characteristics of Photonic Crystals

November 29, 2016

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A New Method for Analyzing Crystal Structure

Scientists at MIT have developed a new technique that reveals the inner details of photonic crystals, synthetic materials whose exotic optical properties are the subject of widespread research. Photonic crystals are generally made by drilling millions of closely spaced, minuscule holes in a slab of transparent material, using variations of microchip-fabrication methods. Depending on the […]

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Electricity-Powered Molecular Catalysts May Improve Fuel Cells

November 14, 2016

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Better Catalysts Make Better Fuel Cells

A team of chemists from Yale University have developed a framework for designing electricity-powered molecular catalysts that may prove vital for a new generation of fuel cells. Also called electrocatalysts, these substances boost the rate of a chemical reaction by decreasing the energy input along the way. In fuel cells, electrocatalysts can be used to […]

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MIT Develops Nanobionic Plants That Can Detect Explosives

November 3, 2016

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Nanobionic Plants Can Detect Explosives

By embedding spinach leaves with carbon nanotubes, engineers transformed spinach plants into sensors that can detect explosives and wirelessly relay that information to a handheld device similar to a smartphone. Spinach is no longer just a superfood: By embedding leaves with carbon nanotubes, MIT engineers have transformed spinach plants into sensors that can detect explosives […]

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New “Morphing” Wing Could Enable More Efficient Plane Flight

November 3, 2016

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Morphing Wing Could Enable More Efficient Plane Manufacturing and Flight

Engineers at MIT and NASA have developed a new kind of bendable, “morphing” wing that could enable more efficient plane manufacturing and flight. When the Wright brothers accomplished their first powered flight more than a century ago, they controlled the motion of their Flyer 1 aircraft using wires and pulleys that bent and twisted the […]

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Harvard Engineers Create the First Fully 3D-Printed Heart-on-a-Chip

October 25, 2016

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The First 3D-Printed Heart on a Chip

Engineers from Harvard University have made the first entirely 3D-printed organ-on-a-chip with integrated sensing. Using a fully automated, digital manufacturing procedure, the 3D-printed heart-on-a-chip can be quickly fabricated and customized, allowing researchers to easily collect reliable data for short-term and long-term studies. This new approach to manufacturing may one day allow researchers to rapidly design […]

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Heme Molecule May Be The Key To More Effficient Batteries

October 19, 2016

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Lithium-Oxygen (Li-O2) Batteries

New research from Yale University shows that a molecule that transports oxygen in blood could be key to developing the next generation of batteries. Lithium-oxygen (Li-O2) batteries have emerged in recent years as a possible successor to lithium-ion batteries — the industry standard for consumer electronics — due to their potential for holding a charge […]

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New Beaver-Inspired Wetsuits May Help Keep Surfers Warm

October 5, 2016

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Beaver-Inspired Wetsuits

Inspired by semiaquatic mammals such as beavers and sea otters, MIT engineers are fabricating fur-like rubbery hair-lined wetsuits that may help keep surfers warm. Beavers and sea otters lack the thick layer of blubber that insulates walruses and whales. And yet these small, semiaquatic mammals can keep warm and even dry while diving, by trapping […]

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Yale Engineers Develop A New Chip That Could Advance Quantum Technology

October 5, 2016

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New Chip Could Advance Quantum Technology

Yale engineers have developed a new device that converts visible light to infrared light suitable for fiber-optic transmission without destroying the light’s quantum state. The lab of Hong Tang, Llewellyn West Jones, Jr. Professor of Electrical Engineering & Physics, has developed a device that converts visible light to infrared light, a crucial step in building […]

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MIT Develops Nanosensors That Can Profile Tumors

September 29, 2016

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New Nanosensors Can Profile Tumors

Engineers at MIT have developed new nanosensors that can profile tumors and may yield insight into how they will respond to certain therapies. MIT researchers have designed nanosensors that can profile tumors and may yield insight into how they will respond to certain therapies. The system is based on levels of enzymes called proteases, which […]

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MIT Researchers Develop a New Way of Managing Memory on Computer Chips

September 26, 2016

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MIT Improves Cache Management

Engineers from MIT have found a new way of managing memory on computer chips, using circuit space much more efficiently and more consistent with existing chip designs. A year ago, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory unveiled a fundamentally new way of managing memory on computer chips, one that would use circuit […]

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SEAS Engineers 3D Print the First Autonomous, Entirely Soft Robot

September 1, 2016

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The First Autonomous Entirely Soft Robot

Using a 3D printer, Harvard engineers have demonstrated the first autonomous, untethered, entirely soft robot. The small robot — nicknamed the “octobot” — could pave the way for a new generation of such machines. Soft robotics could help revolutionize how humans interact with machines. But researchers have struggled to build entirely compliant robots. Electric power […]

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Engineers Design a New Solar Cell That is More Efficient and Costs Less

August 31, 2016

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New More Efficient Solar Cell

Engineers from MIT and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology have developed a new solar cell that combines two different layers of sunlight-absorbing material to harvest a broader range of the sun’s energy. The cost of solar power is beginning to reach price parity with cheaper fossil fuel-based electricity in many parts of the […]

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MIT Aerospace Engineers Develop Carbon Nanotube “Stitches” to Strengthen Composites

August 8, 2016

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Carbon Nanotube Stitches

Using carbon nanotube “stitches,” aerospace engineers from MIT have found a way to strengthen composites, helping make airplane frames lighter and more damage-resistant. The newest Airbus and Boeing passenger jets flying today are made primarily from advanced composite materials such as carbon fiber reinforced plastic — extremely light, durable materials that reduce the overall weight […]

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New Battery Could Overcome Key Drawbacks of Lithium-Air Batteries

July 26, 2016

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New Battery Could Overcome Key Drawbacks of Lithium-Air Batteries

Engineers from MIT propose that a new lithium-oxygen battery material could be packaged in batteries that are very similar to conventional sealed batteries yet provide much more energy for their weight. Lithium-air batteries are considered highly promising technologies for electric cars and portable electronic devices because of their potential for delivering a high energy output […]

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Engineers Reveal a ‘New Universe’ of Organic Molecules That Can Store Energy in Flow Batteries

July 20, 2016

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A New Battery Inspired by Vitamins

Engineers from Harvard University have identified a whole new class of high-performing organic molecules, inspired by vitamin B2, that can safely store electricity from intermittent energy sources such as solar and wind power in large batteries. The development builds on previous work in which the team developed a high-capacity flow battery that stored energy in […]

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A New Design Strategy for Better Lithium Oxygen Batteries

July 12, 2016

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Yale Engineers Charging Toward Better Lithium Oxygen Batteries

Yale researchers have devised a method that brings marketable Li-O2 batteries closer to reality, improving both the batteries’ performance and the ability to study them. In recent years, lithium-oxygen batteries have intrigued researchers with their potential. They can store at least two to three times the energy as lithium-ion batteries can, which are the current standard […]

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A Peek Inside the Fuel Tank For World’s Largest Rocket

July 11, 2016

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A Peek Inside the Fuel Tank For World’s Largest Rocket

This image gives us a look up inside a nearly complete fuel tank for NASA’s powerful, new rocket—the Space Launch System – that will take humans to destinations never explored by people before. At over 300-feet tall and 5.75 million pounds at liftoff, SLS needs plenty of fuel to leave Earth. Once a final dome […]

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Yale Engineers Turn Wasted Heat Into Power

July 1, 2016

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Researchers Turn Wasted Heat Into Power

Yale University engineers have developed a new technology that makes energy from the low-temperature wasted heat produced by industrial sources and power plants. It is estimated that recoverable waste heat in the U.S. alone could power tens of millions of homes. Although existing technologies can reuse high-temperature heat or convert it to electricity, it is […]

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