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Engineers Are Developing Robotic Spacecraft to Assist Satellite Repairs in Orbit

November 4, 2015

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Engineers Are Developing Robotic Satellites to Assist Satellite Repairs in Orbit

NASA engineers are developing robotic spacecraft to help service and repair satellites in distant orbits. NASA is developing and demonstrating technologies to service and repair satellites in distant orbits. Robotic spacecraft — likely operated with joysticks by technicians on the ground — would carry out the hands-on maneuvers, not human beings using robotic and other […]

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Engineers Design Nanoparticles to Track Cells and Interactions Within Them

November 2, 2015

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Engineers Design Nanoparticles to Track Cells and Interactions

Engineers from MIT have developed new protein nanoparticles that allow scientists to track cells and interactions within them. MIT engineers have designed magnetic protein nanoparticles that can be used to track cells or to monitor interactions within cells. The particles, described today in Nature Communications, are an enhanced version of a naturally occurring, weakly magnetic […]

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Scientists Reveal New Lithium-Oxygen Battery Design

October 30, 2015

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New Design May Lead to the Ultimate Battery

Using a highly porous graphene electrode, scientists have developed a lab-based demonstrator of a lithium-oxygen battery which has higher capacity, increased energy efficiency and improved stability over previous designs. Scientists have developed a working laboratory demonstrator of a lithium-oxygen battery which has very high energy density, is more than 90% efficient, and, to date, can […]

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NASA Space Launch System Completes Design Review, Ready to Meet the Challenges of the Journey to Mars

October 23, 2015

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Critical Design Review for Space Launch System Completed

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) has completed all steps needed to clear a critical design review. It is the first vehicle designed to meet the challenges of the journey to Mars and the first exploration class rocket since the Saturn V. SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built and, with the agency’s Orion […]

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Nanoscientists Improve the Stability of Perovskite Solar Cells

October 19, 2015

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Engineers Develop Next-Generation Perovskite Solar Cells

UCLA researchers have taken a step towards next-generation perovskite solar cells by using a metal oxide “sandwich.” The new design extends the cell’s effective life in air by more than 10 times, with only a marginal loss of efficiency converting sunlight to electricity. UCLA professor Yang Yang, member of the California NanoSystems Institute, is a […]

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“Data Science Machine” Replaces Human Intuition with Algorithms

October 16, 2015

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Automated Data Science Machine Set to Replace Replace Human Intuition in Big-Data Analysis

Engineers from MIT have developed a new system that replaces human intuition with algorithms. The “Data Science Machine” outperformed 615 of 906 human teams in three recent data science competitions. Big-data analysis consists of searching for buried patterns that have some kind of predictive power. But choosing which “features” of the data to analyze usually […]

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A Light-Reflecting Balloon Catheter Repairs the Heart without Surgery

October 14, 2015

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New Technique Repairs Holes in the Heart Without Surgery

Using a catheter aided by UV light, researchers have developed a new technique to repair holes in the heart without surgery. Harvard-affiliated researchers have designed a specialized catheter for fixing holes in the heart by using a biodegradable adhesive and patch. The team reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine that the catheter has been […]

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NASA Engineers Successfully Test Heat Shield for Future Mars Exploration Vehicles

October 6, 2015

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NASA Completes Heat Shield Test for Mars Exploration Vehicles

NASA engineers have successfully completed heat shield testing of an Adaptive Deployable Entry and Placement Technology (ADEPT) model under conditions akin to entering the Martian atmosphere. As NASA missions to Mars progress with science and complex human exploration missions, spacecraft will require larger heat shields to protect against the extreme heat of entering a planet’s […]

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New Nanotechnology Allows for Touchless Optical Finger Motion Tracking

October 1, 2015

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Scientists Are Developing Advanced Touchless Displays

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute have developed nanostructures that change their electrical and even their optical properties as soon as a finger comes anywhere near them, making touchless optical finger tracking possible. While touchscreens are practical, touchless displays would be even more so. That’s because, despite touchscreens having enabled the smartphone’s advance into our […]

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New Protein-Based Sensor Detects Viral Infection, Kills Cancer Cells

September 22, 2015

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Protein-Based Sensor Detects Viral Infection and Kills Cancer Cells

Biological engineers from MIT have designed a modular system of proteins that can detect a particular DNA sequence in a cell and then trigger a specific response, such as cell death. This protein-based sensor can be customized to detect any DNA sequence in a mammalian cell and then trigger a desired response, including killing cancer […]

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Engineers from Brown Develop Key Component for Terahertz Wireless

September 17, 2015

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Engineers Develop Key Component for Terahertz Wireless

Engineers from Brown University have made progress on a key component for terahertz wireless: multiplexing and de-multiplexing a terahertz stream. Terahertz radiation could one day provide the backbone for wireless systems that can deliver data up to one hundred times faster than today’s cellular or Wi-Fi networks. But there remain many technical challenges to be […]

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New System Converts MRI Scans into 3D-Printed Heart Models for Surgical Planning

September 17, 2015

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New System Can Convert MRI Scans into 3D-Printed Models

Engineers and computer scientists at MIT and Boston Children’s Hospital have developed a new system that can convert MRI scans of a patient’s heart into 3D-printed models. The models could provide a more intuitive way for surgeons to assess and prepare for the anatomical idiosyncrasies of individual patients. “Our collaborators are convinced that this will […]

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NASA Thrusters Propelled by New Green Propellants Complete Milestones

September 15, 2015

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NASA Testing Thrusters Propelled by Green Propellants

NASA is testing thrusters propelled by green propellants that can provide better performance without the toxicity while helping to lower costs by eliminating infrastructure needed for handling toxic fuels. To stay in the proper orbit, many satellites have thrusters–small rocket engines–that fire to change altitude or orientation in space. On Earth where gravity dominates, 5 […]

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A New Frontier in 3D Printing, Engineers Print Transparent Glass in 3D

September 14, 2015

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New Technique for Printing Transparent Glass in 3D

Engineers from MIT have developed a new system to print transparent glass in 3-D. This new system is the first to create strong, solid glass structures from computerized designs. The technology behind 3-D printing — which initially grew out of work at MIT — has exploded in recent years to encompass a wide variety of […]

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New Technique Could Enable Chips with Thousands of Cores

September 10, 2015

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New Memory Technique Could Enable Chips with Thousands of Cores

Researchers from MIT have unveiled the first fundamentally new approach to cache coherence in more than three decades, a memory-management scheme that could help enable chips with thousands of cores. In a modern, multicore chip, every core — or processor — has its own small memory cache, where it stores frequently used data. But the […]

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Nanosatellites Provide New Opportunities for Space Science

September 9, 2015

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CubeSats Provide New Opportunities for Space Science

Miniaturized satellites, known as nanosatellites or CubeSats, are small platforms that enable the next generation of scientists and engineers to complete all phases of a complete space mission during their school career. Good things really do come in small packages. When we think of space satellites that assist with communications, weather monitoring and GPS here […]

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High Density Wind Farms Generate Less Electricity Than Thought

September 8, 2015

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High Density Wind Farms Generate Less Electricity Than Previously Thought

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry show that large wind farms with a high density of installed capacity slow down the wind and generate less electricity than previously thought. Less energy can be withdrawn from wind than was assumed up to now. For example, a previous prediction from a 2013 study by the […]

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Engineers Developing ‘Hedgehog’ Robots That Hop and Tumble in Microgravity

September 4, 2015

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NASA Developed Hedgehog Robots Hop and Tumble in Microgravity

Engineers from NASA, MIT and Stanford are developing “hedgehog” robots that are specifically designed to overcome the challenges of traversing small bodies in microgravity by hopping and tumbling. Hopping, tumbling and flipping over are not typical maneuvers you would expect from a spacecraft exploring other worlds. Traditional Mars rovers, for example, roll around on wheels, […]

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