MIT News

New Algorithm Lets Robots Autonomously Plan for Tasks

May 27, 2015

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New Algorithm Allows Robots to Plan on the Fly

Researchers from MIT have developed a new algorithm that lets autonomous robots divvy up assembly tasks on the fly, an important step forward in multirobot cooperation. Today’s industrial robots are remarkably efficient — as long as they’re in a controlled environment where everything is exactly where they expect it to be. But put them in […]

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Researchers Develop a New Quantum Error Correcting Code

May 26, 2015

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A New Quantum Error Correcting Code

A team of researchers from MIT, Google, the University of Sydney, and Cornell University present a new quantum error correcting code that requires measurements of only a few quantum bits at a time to ensure consistency between one stage of a computation and the next. Quantum computers are largely theoretical devices that could perform some […]

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Cell-Squeezing Device Opens New Possibilities for Cell-Based Vaccines

May 22, 2015

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Cell Squeezing Device Opens New possibilities for Cell-Based Vaccines

A newly published study details how researchers from MIT developed a new microfluidic cell-squeezing device, opening new possibilities for cell-based vaccines. MIT researchers have shown that they can use a microfluidic cell-squeezing device to introduce specific antigens inside the immune system’s B cells, providing a new approach to developing and implementing antigen-presenting cell vaccines. Such […]

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New High Speed Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing Process for Graphene

May 21, 2015

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High Speed Roll to Roll Manufacturing of Graphene

Engineers from MIT and the University of Michigan have developed a new manufacturing process that could help bring graphene and other 2D materials to commercial products. Graphene is a material with a host of potential applications, including in flexible light sources, solar panels that could be integrated into windows, and membranes to desalinate and purify […]

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Researchers Control Light Emission by Pairing Exotic 2D Materials

May 20, 2015

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Researchers Control Light Emission by Pairing 2D Materials

By applying a DC voltage to layers of graphene and boron nitride, researchers have demonstrated the ability to control light emission from a nearby atom. Researchers have found a way to couple the properties of different two-dimensional materials to provide an exceptional degree of control over light waves. They say this has the potential to […]

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Optimal Size and Shape Results in Better Medical Implants

May 18, 2015

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Optimal Size and Shape Improve Implantable Devices

In a newly published study, scientists from MIT reveal that the geometry of implantable devices has a significant impact on how well the body will tolerate them. Biomedical devices that can be implanted in the body for drug delivery, tissue engineering, or sensing can help improve treatment for many diseases. However, such devices are often […]

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A Promising New Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

May 15, 2015

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Researchers Solve Multiple Sclerosis Puzzle

New research shows that auto-reactive T cells in MS patients produce different types of inflammatory hormones called cytokines than they do in healthy subjects, opening the door to new treatments for the disease. Evidence has long suggested multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease, but researchers have been puzzled because they found the same T […]

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Physicists Build a Quantum-Gas Microscope for Fermionic Atoms

May 14, 2015

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MIT Physicists Build a Quantum-Gas Microscope for Fermionic Atoms

A team of physicists has built a microscope that is able to freeze and image 1,000 individual fermionic atoms at once. Fermions are the building blocks of matter, interacting in a multitude of permutations to give rise to the elements of the periodic table. Without fermions, the physical world would not exist. Examples of fermions […]

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Suspended Microchannel Resonator Measures Nanoparticles As They Flow

May 12, 2015

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New Device Measures Tiny Particles as They Flow Through a Microfluidic Channel

Using a suspended microchannel resonator, researchers can measure the relative positions of tiny particles as they flow through a fluidic channel, potentially offering an easy way to monitor the assembly of nanoparticles, or to study how mass is distributed within a cell. With further advancements, this technology has the potential to resolve the shape of […]

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Physicists Corral Electrons Using a New Quantum Tool

May 11, 2015

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Whispering Gallery Effect Confines Electrons

A newly published study details how physicists from MIT used a new “whispering gallery” effect to confine electrons in a nanoscale circular cavity in graphene. Researchers have succeeded in creating a new “whispering gallery” effect for electrons in a sheet of graphene — making it possible to precisely control a region that reflects electrons within […]

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Neuroscientists Pinpoint Neurons That Help Tell Faces Apart

May 8, 2015

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Neuroscientists Pinpoint Neurons That Help Primates Tell Faces Apart

Using optogenetics, neuroscientists from MIT have provided the first evidence that directly links FD neurons to face-discrimination in primates — specifically, differentiating between males and females. How do primates, including humans, tell faces apart? Scientists have long attributed this ability to so-called “face-detector” (FD) neurons, thought to be responsible for distinguishing faces, among other objects. […]

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MIT Energy Initiative Report Highlights the Future of Solar Energy

May 5, 2015

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The Future of Solar Energy Report

A new report by the MIT Energy Initiative assesses solar energy’s current and potential competitive position and identifies changes in U.S. government policies that could more efficiently and effectively support its massive deployment over the long term. Solar energy holds the best potential for meeting humanity’s future long-term energy needs while cutting greenhouse gas emissions […]

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The Mystery of India’s Rapid Move toward Eurasia 80 Million Years Ago

May 4, 2015

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Researchers Explain Mystery of India’s Rapid Move Toward Eurasia

A newly published study from MIT geologists reveals that a double subduction system may have driven India to drift at high speed toward Eurasia some 80 million years ago. In the history of continental drift, India has been a mysterious record-holder. More than 140 million years ago, India was part of an immense supercontinent called […]

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How Bombardier Beetles Produce an Explosive Chemical Jet

May 1, 2015

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How Bombardier Beetles Produce an Explosive Defensive Chemical Jet

An newly published study form MIT reveals how bombardier beetles superheat liquid and expel it in an intense, pulsating jet as a defensive mechanism. Bombardier beetles, which exist on every continent except Antarctica, have a pretty easy life. Virtually no other animals prey on them, because of one particularly effective defense mechanism: When disturbed or […]

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“Fingerprinting” Chips to Aid in Fight Against Counterfeiting

May 1, 2015

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New Technology for Fingerprinting Chips to Fight Counterfeiting

MIT spinout Verayo has created technology that tracks random variations in silicon chips to assign them unique “fingerprints” to aid in the fight against worldwide counterfeiting. It’s often said that no two human fingerprints are exactly alike. For that reason, police often use them as evidence to link suspects to crime scenes. The same goes […]

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Implantable Device Allows Doctors to Identify the Best Chemotherapy Agents

April 24, 2015

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Implantable Device Tests Cancer Drugs in Patients

A team of engineers has developed a new implantable device that will allow doctors to test the effectiveness of cancer drugs and to identify drugs that work best for each patient prior to starting systemic administration of chemotherapy. More than 100 drugs have been approved to treat cancer, but predicting which ones will help a […]

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New Tabletop Detector Identifies Single Electrons

April 21, 2015

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New Detector Sees Single Electrons

A new tabletop particle detector is able to identify single electrons in a radioactive gas, a big step toward measuring the mass of a neutrino. As the gas decays and gives off electrons, the detector uses a magnet to trap them in a magnetic bottle. A radio antenna then picks up very weak signals emitted […]

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