MIT News

Chemical Engineers Design New Self-Healing Hydrogel for Drug Delivery

February 25, 2015

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New Self-healing Nanogel for Drug Delivery

Chemical engineers from MIT have designed a new type of self-healing hydrogel that consists of a mesh network made of two components: nanoparticles made of polymers entwined within strands of another polymer, such as cellulose. Scientists are interested in using gels to deliver drugs because they can be molded into specific shapes and designed to […]

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New Technique Could Enable Low-Cost Silicon Devices in Fibers

February 24, 2015

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New Approach Could Enable Low-Cost Silicon Devices in Fibers

In a newly published study, researchers from MIT detail a new inexpensive approach to generating silicon-core fibers. Scientists have known how to draw thin fibers from bulk materials for decades. But a new approach to that old method, developed by researchers at MIT, could lead to a whole new way of making high-quality fiber-based electronic […]

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New Circuit Reduces Power Leakage When Transmitters Are Idle

February 23, 2015

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New Circuit Reduces Power Leakage

Engineers have developed a new transmitter design that reduces off-state leakage 100-fold. At the same time, this new technology provides adequate power for Bluetooth transmission, or for the even longer-range 802.15.4 wireless-communication protocol. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the big theme was the “Internet of things” — the idea that everything […]

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Neuroscientists Examine How Brain Waves Guide Memory Formation

February 23, 2015

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Neuroscientists Reveal How Brain Waves Guide Memory Formation

New research from MIT shows that the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex use two different brain-wave frequencies to communicate as the brain learns to associate unrelated objects. Our brains generate a constant hum of activity: As neurons fire, they produce brain waves that oscillate at different frequencies. Long thought to be merely a byproduct of […]

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NASA’s Van Allen Probes Capture the Effects of a Solar Shockwave

February 19, 2015

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Van Allen Probes Capture the Effects of a Solar Shockwave

NASA’s Van Allen Probes have captured the effects of a solar shockwave on Earth’s radiation from beginning to end for the first time. On October 8, 2013, an explosion on the sun’s surface sent a supersonic blast wave of solar wind out into space. This shockwave tore past Mercury and Venus, blitzing by the moon […]

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New Approach Improves Execution Times and Efficiency of Multicore Chips

February 18, 2015

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New Approach Could Make Multicore Chips Much Faster

New research from MIT describes a system that cleverly distributes data around multicore chips’ memory banks, improving execution times by 18 percent on average while actually increasing energy efficiency. Computer chips’ clocks have stopped getting faster. To keep delivering performance improvements, chipmakers are instead giving chips more processing units, or cores, which can execute computations […]

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Inkjet-Printing System Could Enable Mass-Production of Large-Screen OLED Displays

February 12, 2015

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Inkjet-Printing System Could Enable Mass-Production of OLED Displays

Based on years of Institute research, MIT spinout Kateeva has developed an “inkjet printing” system that could cut manufacturing costs enough to pave the way for mass-producing flexible and large-screen OLED displays. Flexible smartphones and color-saturated television displays were some highlights at this year’s Consumer Electronics Showcase, held in January in Las Vegas. Many of […]

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Engineered Insulin Stays in Bloodstream, Offers Better Diabetes Control

February 10, 2015

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Engineered Insulin Offers Better Diabetes Control

Engineers from MIT have developed insulin that can circulate in the bloodstream for hours, responding rapidly to changes in blood-sugar levels. For patients with diabetes, insulin is critical to maintaining good health and normal blood-sugar levels. However, it’s not an ideal solution because it can be difficult for patients to determine exactly how much insulin […]

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New Insight Into HIV Vaccination Strategies

February 6, 2015

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New Research Yields Insight Into Generating Antibodies That Target Different Strains of HIV

New research yields insight into generating antibodies that target different strains of HIV, suggesting that sequentially administering several different forms of a potential HIV vaccine could stimulate a stronger immune response than delivering a cocktail of these variants all at once. Through an investigation of a fundamental process that guides the maturation of immune cells, […]

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Crystal Boundaries Can Enhance, or Reduce, Hydrogen Embrittlement

February 5, 2015

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Analysis Shows How to Prevent Metal Embrittlement

A newly published study from MIT details how certain crystal boundaries can enhance, or reduce, the damaging effects that lead to metal embrittlement. When a metal tube lines an oil well thousands of feet below the surface of the ocean, that metal had better be solid and reliable. Unfortunately, the environment in such deep wells […]

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High-Speed Images Reveal How Raindrops Spread Pathogens Among Plants

February 4, 2015

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How Raindrops Spread Pathogens Among Plants

A new theoretical model describes the relationship between a leaf’s flexibility, the fragmentation of the fluid, and its resulting pattern of raindrop-induced dispersal. Using high-speed images of raindrops splashing down on leaves, the researchers show that raindrops can act as a dispersing agent of contaminated droplets from one plant to another. Historical weather records suggest […]

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New Technique Extends Duration of Quantum States

January 30, 2015

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New Technique Greatly Extends Duration of Fragile Quantum States

Using a qubit design that employs nitrogen atoms embedded in synthetic diamond, a team of researchers has developed a new technique that greatly extends duration of fragile quantum states. Quantum computers are experimental devices that promise exponential speedups on some computational problems. Where a bit in a classical computer can represent either a 0 or […]

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New Experiments and Simulations Help Explain Collagen’s Force

January 27, 2015

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New Analysis Explains Collagen’s Force

New research from MIT shows that adding or removing small amounts of water from collagen in tendons can generate surprisingly strong forces, as much as 300 times stronger than the forces generated by muscles. Research combining experimental work and detailed molecular simulations has revealed, for the first time, the complex role that water plays in […]

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MIT Research Reveals Natural Impediment to Long-Term Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide

January 21, 2015

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Study Finds Natural Impediment to Long-Term Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide

A new study reveals a natural impediment to the long-term sequestration of carbon dioxide, showing that as carbon dioxide works its way underground only a small fraction of the gas turns to rock. The remainder of the gas stays in a more tenuous form. Carbon sequestration promises to address greenhouse-gas emissions by capturing carbon dioxide […]

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A Way To Self-Propel Subatomic Particles Without External Forces

January 21, 2015

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Study Shows How to Self-Propel Subatomic Particles

Using a new variation on the methods used to bend light, a team of physicists reveal that subatomic particles can be induced to speed up all by themselves without the application of any external forces. Some physical principles have been considered immutable since the time of Isaac Newton: Light always travels in straight lines. No […]

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A Link between Inflammation and Cancer

January 20, 2015

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Study Details a Link Between Inflammation and Cancer

New research from MIT reveals a link between inflammation and cancer, showing that the timing of inflammation determines whether potentially cancerous mutations may arise. A new study from MIT reveals one reason why people who suffer from chronic inflammatory diseases such as colitis have a higher risk of mutations that cause cancer. The researchers also […]

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New Technique Enlarges Tissue Samples, Making Them Easier to Image

January 16, 2015

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New Technique Enables Nanoscale-Resolution Microscopy

By physically enlarging the specimen itself, researchers from MIT have invented a new way to visualize the nanoscale structure of the brain and other tissues. Beginning with the invention of the first microscope in the late 1500s, scientists have been trying to peer into preserved cells and tissues with ever-greater magnification. The latest generation of […]

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