MIT News

MIT Assesses the Technical Feasibility of the Mars One Mission

October 14, 2014

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Assessing the Technical Feasibility of the Proposed Mars One Mission

A new independent assessment of the Mars One Mission from MIT engineers reveals that the project may have to take a step back, at least to reconsider the mission’s technical feasibility. In 2012, the “Mars One” project, led by a Dutch nonprofit, announced plans to establish the first human colony on the Red Planet by […]

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Solid Nanoparticles Keep Their Internal Structure While Deforming Like a Liquid

October 13, 2014

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New Research Shows Solid Nanoparticles Can Deform Like a Liquid

Using a combination of laboratory analysis and computer modeling, new research shows that nanoparticles keep their internal crystal structure while deforming like a liquid. A surprising phenomenon has been found in metal nanoparticles: They appear, from the outside, to be liquid droplets, wobbling and readily changing shape, while their interiors retain a perfectly stable crystal […]

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New Method to Control Nanoparticles with Light and Magnets

October 10, 2014

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Researchers Control Nanoparticles with Light and Magnets

A team of researchers has developed particles that can glow with color-coded light and be manipulated with magnets, improving the likelihood of tracking the position of the nanoparticles as they move within the body or inside a cell. A long-sought goal of creating particles that can emit a colorful fluorescent glow in a biological environment, […]

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Physicists Discover Negative Photoconductivity in Monolayer MoS2

October 7, 2014

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New Mechanism of Photoconduction Could Lead to Next Generation Excitonic Devices

Physicists at MIT have discovered that shining light on a single layer of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) can make the material less conductive. It’s a well-known phenomenon in electronics: Shining light on a semiconductor, such as the silicon used in computer chips and solar cells, will make it more conductive. But now researchers have discovered that […]

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Different Environment Helps Boost Biofuel Production

October 6, 2014

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MIT Engineers Develop New Approach to Boosting Biofuel Production

By simply altering the composition of the medium in which the yeast are grown, engineers at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and MIT were able to boost yeast’s ethanol production by about 80 percent. Yeast are commonly used to transform corn and other plant materials into biofuels such as ethanol. However, large concentrations of […]

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New Technology Enables Fast and Cheap Nanomanufacturing

October 6, 2014

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New Technology Enables Fast and Cheap Nanomanufacturing

A newly published study from MIT details how arrays of tiny conical tips that eject ionized materials could fabricate nanoscale devices cheaply. Luis Fernando Velásquez-García’s group at MIT’s Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL) develops dense arrays of microscopic cones that harness electrostatic forces to eject streams of ions. The technology has a range of promising applications: […]

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Crumpled Graphene Forms Stretchable Supercapacitors to Power Flexible Electronic Devices

October 3, 2014

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Crumpled Graphene Forms Stretchable Supercapacitors

New research from engineers at MIT details how two-dimensional carbon “paper” can form stretchable supercapacitors to power flexible electronic devices. When someone crumples a sheet of paper, that usually means it’s about to be thrown away. But researchers have now found that crumpling a piece of graphene “paper” — a material formed by bonding together […]

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Interactive Coding Scheme is the First to Near Optimality

October 2, 2014

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Coding Scheme for Interactive Communication is the First to Near Optimality

In a new research paper, MIT engineers describe the first interactive coding scheme to near optimality on the three classical measures: How much noise can they tolerate? What’s the maximum transmission rate they afford? And how time-consuming are the encoding and decoding processes? Error-correcting codes are one of the glories of the information age: They’re […]

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New Drug-Delivery Capsule to Inject Drugs Directly into the Lining of the Digestive Tract

October 1, 2014

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New Drug Delivery Capsule Can Deliver Drugs Directly into the Lining of the Digestive Tract

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and MIT have developed a new drug-delivery capsule coated with tiny needles that can inject drugs directly into the lining of the stomach after the capsule is swallowed. Given a choice, most patients would prefer to take a drug orally instead of getting an injection. Unfortunately, many drugs, especially those […]

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Engineers Develop New System to Harness the Full Spectrum of Available Solar Radiation

September 29, 2014

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New System Aims to Harness the Full Spectrum of Available Solar Radiation

Engineers at MIT have developed a two-dimensional metallic dielectric photonic crystal that has the ability to absorb sunlight from a wide range of angles while withstanding extremely high temperatures. The key to creating a material that would be ideal for converting solar energy to heat is tuning the material’s spectrum of absorption just right: It […]

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Biologist Reveal Boost in Certain Amino Acids is an Early Sign of Cancer

September 29, 2014

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Research Shows Boost in Certain Amino Acids is Sign of Early Cancer

Based on an analysis of blood samples from 1,500 people participating in long-term health studies, biologists found that people with a surge in amino acids known as branched chain amino acids were far more likely to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer within one to 10 years. Years before they show any other signs of disease, […]

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MIT Engineers Develop Underwater Robot for Port Security

September 26, 2014

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Researchers Develop Underwater Robot for Port Security

Engineers from MIT have developed a football-size robot that can provide added port protection by skimming discreetly along a ship’s hull to search for hollow compartments concealing contraband. Last week, at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, MIT researchers unveiled an oval-shaped submersible robot, a little smaller than a football, with a flattened […]

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