MIT News

Graphene Provides a New Way to Turn Electricity Into Light

June 15, 2016

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A New Way to Turn Electricity Into Light

By slowing down light to a speed slower than flowing electrons, scientists have developed a new way to turn electricity into light. When an airplane begins to move faster than the speed of sound, it creates a shockwave that produces a well-known “boom” of sound. Now, researchers at MIT and elsewhere have discovered a similar […]

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LIGO Detects Gravitational Waves Again

June 15, 2016

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LIGO Detects Gravitational Waves for the Second Time

The twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) has detected gravitational waves for the second time. The signal was produced by two black holes colliding 1.4 billion light years away. For the second time, scientists have directly detected gravitational waves — ripples through the fabric of space-time, created by extreme, cataclysmic events in the distant universe. […]

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Astronomers Observe Supermassive Black Hole Feeding on Cold Gas

June 8, 2016

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MIT Astronomers Observe Supermassive Black Hole Feeding on Cold Gas

A newly published study details the first direct evidence to support the hypothesis that black holes feed on clouds of cold gas. At the center of a galaxy cluster, 1 billion light years from Earth, a voracious, supermassive black hole is preparing for a chilly feast. For the first time, astronomers have detected billowy clouds […]

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Bones and Shells May Lead to a New Formula for Concrete

June 2, 2016

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MIT Engineers Search for a New Formula for Concrete

Engineers from MIT are seeking to redesign concrete by using bones and shells as blueprints for a stronger, more durable concrete. In a paper published online in the journal Construction and Building Materials, the team contrasts cement paste — concrete’s binding ingredient — with the structure and properties of natural materials such as bones, shells, […]

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Dual-Phase Alloys Capable of High Strength and Ductility

June 1, 2016

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Alloys Overcome the Strength–Ductility Ttrade Off

Using a new strategy in the development of steel, scientists are able to create alloys capable of both high strength and ductility. For the steel industry, there may be a way out of the dilemma that has existed since people began processing metal. Scientists from the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung in Düsseldorf (Germany) are presenting a […]

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New Nanoparticle Catalysts Improve Reactivity with Much Less Platinum

May 23, 2016

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MIT Develops New Nanoparticle Catalysts

Using an atomically-thin coating of noble metal over a tiny particle made of a much more abundant and inexpensive material, MIT engineers have developed new nanoparticle catalysts that could reduce need for precious metals. Materials that speed up a chemical reaction without getting consumed in the process, known as catalysts, lie at the heart of […]

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New Approach Identifies Genetic Markers Linked to Complex Diseases

May 10, 2016

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Study Identifies New Gene Variants for Treating Arrhythmia

Researchers from MIT have developed a new approach that identifies genetic markers linked to complex diseases. Many diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and schizophrenia, tend to be passed down through families. After researchers sequenced the human genome about 15 years ago, they had high hopes that this trove of information would reveal the genes that […]

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New Debugging Method Finds 23 Undetected Security Flaws in Popular Web Applications

April 18, 2016

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New Debugging Method Finds Undetected Security Flaws in Popular Web Applications

A new debugging system found 23 previously undiagnosed security flaws in 50 popular Web applications, and it took no more than 64 seconds to analyze any given program. By exploiting some peculiarities of the popular Web programming framework Ruby on Rails, MIT researchers have developed a system that can quickly comb through tens of thousands […]

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MIT Researchers Create Perfect Nanoscrolls from Graphene Oxide

April 12, 2016

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Researchers Create Perfect Nanoscrolls

Using both low- and high-frequency ultrasonic techniques, scientists have fabricated nanoscrolls made from graphene oxide flakes. Water filters of the future may be made from billions of tiny, graphene-based nanoscrolls. Each scroll, made by rolling up a single, atom-thick layer of graphene, could be tailored to trap specific molecules and pollutants in its tightly wound […]

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A New Approach to Designing Hydrogen-Resistant Zirconium Alloys

March 29, 2016

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Designing Hydrogen-Resistant Zirconium Alloys

Researchers from MIT have developed a new approach to designing hydrogen-resistant zirconium alloys, which could be useful in nuclear reactors. High-tech metal alloys are widely used in important materials such as the cladding that protects the fuel inside a nuclear reactor. But even the best alloys degrade over time, victims of a reactor’s high temperatures, […]

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Astronomers Investigate the Mystery of Migrating ‘Hot Jupiters’

March 29, 2016

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Hot Jupiter HD 80606b

Using infrared light, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope measured the extreme temperature swings of exoplanet HD 80606b. The last decade has seen a bonanza of exoplanet discoveries. Nearly 2,000 exoplanets — planets outside our solar system — have been confirmed so far, and more than 5,000 candidate exoplanets have been identified. Many of these exotic worlds […]

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Engineers Design Calcium-Based Multi-Element for Liquid Batteries

March 22, 2016

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New Chemistries for Liquid Batteries

In a newly published study, MIT researchers show that calcium can form the basis for both the negative electrode layer and the molten salt that forms the middle layer of the three-layer battery. Liquid metal batteries, invented by MIT professor Donald Sadoway and his students a decade ago, are a promising candidate for making renewable […]

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NASA Spacecraft Map Gravity on Mars, Give Best View Yet Inside Mars

March 21, 2016

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New Gravity Map Gives Best View Yet Inside Mars

Scientists have used slight orbital fluctuations to map the gravity field of Mars, providing fresh insights into its crustal thickness, deep interior, and seasonal variations of dry ice at the poles. The new gravity map will also help to put future spacecraft into orbit more precisely, ensuring that the Mars fleet continues to return a […]

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Sustainable Power Sources Based on High Efficiency Thermopower Wave Devices

March 14, 2016

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MIT Develops Nontoxic Way of Generating Portable Power

Engineers from MIT have developed an alternative system for generating electricity, which harnesses heat and uses no metals or toxic materials. The batteries that power the ubiquitous devices of modern life, from smartphones and computers to electric cars, are mostly made of toxic materials such as lithium that can be difficult to dispose of and […]

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Scientists Reveal Amino Acids Supply Most Building Blocks for Tumor Cells

March 8, 2016

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Amino Acids Supply Most Building Blocks for Tumor Cells

New research shows that amino acids, not glucose, account for the majority of cell mass in proliferating mammalian cells. Cancer cells are notorious for their ability to divide uncontrollably and generate hordes of new tumor cells. Most of the fuel consumed by these rapidly proliferating cells is glucose, a type of sugar. Scientists had believed […]

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Neuroscientists Discover a Behavioral State Gene That May be Linked to Autism

March 7, 2016

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Gene for Behavioral State May be Linked to Autism

In a newly published study, neuroscientists from MIT reeval a gene that plays a critical role in controlling the switch between alternative behavioral states – which for humans include hunger and fullness, or sleep and wakefulness. This gene, which the researchers dubbed vps-50, helps to regulate neuropeptides — tiny proteins that carry messages between neurons […]

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MIT Research Shows How Diet Influences Colon Cancer

March 2, 2016

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MIT Study Shows How Diet Influences Colon Cancer

New research from MIT reveals ties high-fat diet to changes in intestinal stem cells, helping to explain an increased cancer risk. Over the past decade, studies have found that obesity and eating a high-fat, high-calorie diet are significant risk factors for many types of cancer. Now, a new study from MIT reveals how a high-fat […]

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New Microfluidic Screening Device May Speed Up DNA Insertion in Bacteria

February 22, 2016

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New Microfluidic Device May Speed Up DNA Insertion in Bacteria

In search of the ideal bacteria for use in a microbial fuel cell, researchers from MIT have developed a new microfluid device to quickly sort and identify the various strains. This technology, which could lead to a carbon-neutral method of harvesting energy for the grid from wastewater, may also be useful to doctors in identifying […]

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