MIT News

Impact of Ocean Acidification on Phytoplankton Communities

July 20, 2015

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Study Reveals Ocean Acidification May Cause Dramatic Changes to Phytoplankton

A newly published study from MIT and colleagues shows that ocean acidification may cause dramatic changes to phytoplankton communities, recealing that many species may die out and others may migrate significantly as ocean acidification intensifies. Oceans have absorbed up to 30 percent of human-made carbon dioxide around the world, storing dissolved carbon for hundreds of […]

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New Statistical Technique to Help Evaluate Sites for Offshore Wind Farms

July 17, 2015

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New Statistical Technique Yields Better Wind-Speed Predictions

Scientists at MIT have developed a new statistical technique that yields better wind-speed predictions than existing techniques do, saving power companies’ time and money in the evaluation of sites for offshore wind farms. When a power company wants to build a new wind farm, it generally hires a consultant to make wind speed measurements at […]

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Physicists Observe Weyl Points for the First Time

July 17, 2015

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Weyl Point Confirmed by Direct Observation for the First Time

An international team of physicists has confirmed for the first time the experimental observation of Weyl points. Part of a 1929 prediction by physicist Hermann Weyl — of a kind of massless particle that features a singular point in its energy spectrum called the “Weyl point” — has finally been confirmed by direct observation for […]

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How Electrical Charge Carriers Move in Conjugated Polymers

July 15, 2015

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Solving the Mysteries of Conductivity in Polymers

In a newly published study scientists from MIT and Brookhaven National Laboratory reveal how electrical charge carriers move in conjugated polymers, potentially opening up further research on such applications. Materials known as conjugated polymers have been seen as very promising candidates for electronics applications, including capacitors, photodiodes, sensors, organic light-emitting diodes, and thermoelectric devices. But […]

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Researchers Observed 13 Equally Spaced, Zebra-Like Stripes of Plasma in Space

July 14, 2015

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Researchers Identify Zebra-Like Stripes of Plasma in Space

A team of researchers from MIT and UCLA have identified zebra-like stripes of plasma in a region of space about 12,000 miles from Earth’s surface. The structure may help scientists identify radiation-remediation strategies in space. Since the early 1970s, orbiting satellites have picked up on noise-like plasma waves very close to the Earth’s magnetic field […]

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Richard Binzel Answers Questions on New Horizons’ Closest View of Pluto

July 14, 2015

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New Horizons Spacecraft Views Pluto

Richard Binzel, a New Horizons mission co-investigator, takes time to answer questions about New Horizons unprecedented view of Pluto and how the new images may shed light on planetary formation. On January 19, 2006, NASA launched a space probe the size of a golf cart on a mission to explore the farthest reaches of the […]

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MIT Engineers Explain Why Puddles Stop Spreading

July 13, 2015

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A Closer Look at Why Puddles Stop Spreading

New research from engineers at MIT helps explain the science of why puddles stop spreading. When you spill a bit of water onto a tabletop, the puddle spreads — and then stops, leaving a well-defined area of water with a sharp boundary. There’s just one problem: The formulas scientists use to describe such a fluid […]

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New Network Design Exploits Power-Efficient Flash Memory

July 10, 2015

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New Network Design Exploits Cheap, Power-Efficient Flash Memory

Engineers from MIT have developed a new system that, for several common big-data applications, should make servers using flash memory as efficient as those using conventional RAM while cutting cost and power consumption. Random-access memory, or RAM, is where computers like to store the data they’re working on. A processor can retrieve data from RAM […]

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MIT Engineers Develop Basic Computing Elements for Bacteria

July 9, 2015

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MIT Scientists Develop Basic Computing Elements for Bacteria

New research from MIT unveils a series of sensors, memory switches, and circuits that can be encoded in the common human gut bacterium. The “friendly” bacteria inside our digestive systems are being given an upgrade, which may one day allow them to be programmed to detect and ultimately treat diseases such as colon cancer and […]

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Niobium Nanowire Yarns Make High-Performance Supercapacitors

July 7, 2015

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Niobium Nanowire Improves Supercapacitors

Using yarns made from niobium nanowire, researchers at MIT have developed a new approach to making supercapacitors. Wearable electronic devices for health and fitness monitoring are a rapidly growing area of consumer electronics; one of their biggest limitations is the capacity of their tiny batteries to deliver enough power to transmit data. Now, researchers at […]

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New Research Shows Nitrous Oxide Changes Brainwaves

July 6, 2015

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Researchers Reveal Brainwave Changes in Patients Receiving Nitrous Oxide

New research from MIT details brainwave changes in patients receiving nitrous oxide, revealing that EEG recordings show large-amplitude slow-delta waves after the administration of nitrous oxide at anesthetic doses. Nitrous oxide, commonly known as “laughing gas,” has been used in anesthesiology practice since the 1800s, but the way it works to create altered states is […]

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MIT Chemists Develop a Quantum-Dot Spectrometer

July 1, 2015

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MIT Chemists Design a Quantum-Dot Spectrometer

Researchers from MIT have designed a quantum-dot spectrometer that is small enough to function within a smartphone, enabling portable light analysis. Instruments that measure the properties of light, known as spectrometers, are widely used in physical, chemical, and biological research. These devices are usually too large to be portable, but MIT scientists have now shown […]

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LiquiGlide Nonstick Coating Coming to Consumer Goods

June 30, 2015

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LiquiGlide Nonstick Coating Ready for Consumer Goods

You won’t have to shake, rattle and roll those last drops of condiments out of the bottle anymore. LiquiGlide, a liquid-impregnated coating that acts as a slippery barrier between a surface and a viscous liquid, has just been licensed to a major consumer-goods company. The days of wasting condiments — and other products — that […]

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New Battery Design Cuts Lithium-Ion Battery Cost in Half

June 29, 2015

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New Technique Slices Lithium-Ion Battery Cost in Half

By using a battery design that is a hybrid between flow batteries and conventional solid ones, engineers have developed a new manufacturing approach that slices lithium-ion battery cost in half. An advanced manufacturing approach for lithium-ion batteries, developed by researchers at MIT and at a spinoff company called 24M, promises to significantly slash the cost […]

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Throwable Camera Sends Panoramic Images to Your Smartphone

June 26, 2015

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Throwable Tactical Camera

A softball-sized tactical camera that can be tossed into unseen areas to send panoramic images back to a smartphone is set for commercial release. Unseen areas are troublesome for police and first responders: Rooms can harbor dangerous gunmen, while collapsed buildings can conceal survivors. Now Bounce Imaging, founded by an MIT alumnus, is giving officers […]

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Floating Nuclear Power Plant that is Safer and Cheaper

June 25, 2015

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The proposed Offshore Floating Nuclear Plant structure is about 45 meters in diameter, and the plant will generate 300 megawatts of electricity. An alternative design for a 1,100 MW plant calls for a structure about 75 meters in diameter. In both cases, the structures include living quarters and helipads for transporting personnel, similar to offshore oil drilling platforms.

Since nuclear power plants emit no carbon dioxide, they are considered an important component for a greener energy future. A new nuclear power plant promises to be safer, cheaper, and easier to deploy than current plants, but what makes it especially unique is that it will float eight or more miles out to sea. Many […]

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Researchers Create Engineered Particles that Kill Harmful Bacteria

June 25, 2015

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In this illustration, phagemid plasmids infect a targeted bacteria.

Deadly to targeted bacteria, engineered particles known as phagemids have been created to fight bacterial infections with great effectiveness while eliminating harmful side effects of more traditional treatments. The global rise in antibiotic resistance is a growing threat to public health, damaging our ability to fight deadly infections such as tuberculosis. What’s more, efforts to […]

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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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