MIT News

New Battery Could Overcome Key Drawbacks of Lithium-Air Batteries

July 26, 2016

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New Battery Could Overcome Key Drawbacks of Lithium-Air Batteries

Engineers from MIT propose that a new lithium-oxygen battery material could be packaged in batteries that are very similar to conventional sealed batteries yet provide much more energy for their weight. Lithium-air batteries are considered highly promising technologies for electric cars and portable electronic devices because of their potential for delivering a high energy output […]

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New Research Opens New Realms of Light-Matter Interaction

July 14, 2016

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MIT Study Opens New Realms of Light-Matter Interaction

A new study from MIT shows that some “forbidden” light emissions are in fact possible, and could enable new sensors and light-emitting devices. A new MIT study could open up new areas of technology based on types of light emission that had been thought to be “forbidden,” or at least so unlikely as to be […]

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Engineers Design Programmable RNA Vaccines That Protext Against Ebola and H1N1 Influenza

July 5, 2016

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MIT Engineers Design Programmable RNA Vaccines

A newly published study details how engineers developed programmable RNA vaccines that work against Ebola, H1N1 influenza, and a common parasites in mice. MIT engineers have developed a new type of easily customizable vaccine that can be manufactured in one week, allowing it to be rapidly deployed in response to disease outbreaks. So far, they […]

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Antarctic Ozone Layer Shows Signs of Healing

July 1, 2016

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MIT Scientists Observe First Signs of Healing in the Antarctic Ozone Layer

New research details the “first fingerprints of healing” of the Antarctic ozone layer. Scientists found that the September ozone hole has shrunk by more than 4 million square kilometers — about half the area of the contiguous United States — since 2000, when ozone depletion was at its peak. The team also showed for the […]

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MIT Geologists Trace Mercury’s Origins to Rare Meteorite

June 29, 2016

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Astronomers Trace Mercury’s Origins to Rare Meteorite

A newly published study shows that Mercury underwent a period of rapid cooling and that the planet likely has the composition of an enstatite chondrite — a type of meteorite that is extremely rare here on Earth. Around 4.6 billion years ago, the universe was a chaos of collapsing gas and spinning debris. Small particles […]

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New Hydrogel Hybrid Could Be Used To Make Artificial Skin

June 29, 2016

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MIT Develops Tough Hydrogel Hybrid

MIT engineers have developed a method to bind gelatin-like polymer materials called hydrogels and elastomers, which could be used to make artificial skin and longer-lasting contact lenses. If you leave a cube of Jell-O on the kitchen counter, eventually its water will evaporate, leaving behind a shrunken, hardened mass — hardly an appetizing confection. The […]

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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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