MIT News

New Delivery Technique Enables Rapid Treatment for Inflammation

January 20, 2017

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New Technique Enables Rapid Delivery of RNA to Treat Colon Inflammation

A team of engineers has developed a new RNA delivery technique that uses short bursts of ultrasound to efficiently deliver RNA into cells, reducing colon inflammation. MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital researchers have demonstrated that they can deliver strands of RNA efficiently to colon cells, using bursts of ultrasound waves that propel the RNA […]

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Data Civilizer Finds and Links Related Data Scattered Across Digital Files

January 19, 2017

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New System Finds and Links Related Data Scattered Across Digital Files

A new system called Data Civilizer automatically finds connections among many different data tables and allows users to perform database-style queries across all of them. The results of the queries can then be saved as new, orderly data sets that may draw information from dozens or even thousands of different tables. The age of big […]

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New Model Could Help Scientists Design Materials for Artificial Photosynthesis

January 18, 2017

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How Photosynthetic Pigments Harvest Light

Researchers from MIT have developed a new model that could help scientists design materials for artificial photosynthesis. Plants and other photosynthetic organisms use a wide variety of pigments to absorb different wavelengths of light. MIT researchers have now developed a theoretical model to predict the spectrum of light absorbed by aggregates of these pigments, based […]

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MIT Engineers Program Yeast to Convert Plant Sugars Into Oils

January 16, 2017

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MIT Engineers Program Yeast to Convert Plant Sugars Into Oils

By modifying the metabolic pathways of yeast, chemical engineers from MIT are able to convert plant sugars into oils. MIT engineers have genetically reprogrammed a strain of yeast so that it converts sugars to fats much more efficiently, an advance that could make possible the renewable production of high-energy fuels such as diesel. The researchers, […]

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MIT Engineers Design New 3D Forms of Graphene

January 10, 2017

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MIT Engineers Design One of the Strongest, Lightest Materials Known

A team of engineers at MIT has successfully designed a new 3D material with five percent the density of steel and ten times the strength, making it one of the strongest lightweight materials known. A team of researchers at MIT has designed one of the strongest lightweight materials known, by compressing and fusing flakes of […]

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MIT Study Predicts Frequency of Heavy Precipitation with Global Warming

January 3, 2017

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New Technique Predicts Frequency of Heavy Precipitation with Global Warming

Researchers from MIT reveal that extreme precipitation events should become more frequent as the Earth’s climate warms over this century. On December 11, 2014, a freight train of a storm steamed through much of California, deluging the San Francisco Bay Area with three inches of rain in just one hour. The storm was fueled by […]

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New Material Provides an Elastic “Second Skin”

December 27, 2016

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MIT Engineers Develop Second skin Polymer

A team of researchers has developed a “second skin” polymer that can provide a barrier, cosmetic improvement, and potentially deliver drugs. Scientists at MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital, Living Proof, and Olivo Labs have developed a new material that can temporarily protect and tighten skin, and smooth wrinkles. With further development, it could also be used […]

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New Technique Reveals Internal Characteristics of Photonic Crystals

November 29, 2016

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A New Method for Analyzing Crystal Structure

Scientists at MIT have developed a new technique that reveals the inner details of photonic crystals, synthetic materials whose exotic optical properties are the subject of widespread research. Photonic crystals are generally made by drilling millions of closely spaced, minuscule holes in a slab of transparent material, using variations of microchip-fabrication methods. Depending on the […]

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MIT Engineers Create Synthetic Cells to Isolate Genetic Circuits

November 17, 2016

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Engineers Create Synthetic Cells to Isolate Genetic Circuits

Engineers from MIT have developed a way to isolate genetic circuits within individual synthetic “cells,” preventing the circuits from disrupting each other. Synthetic biology allows scientists to design genetic circuits that can be placed in cells, giving them new functions such as producing drugs or other useful molecules. However, as these circuits become more complex, […]

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MIT Chemists Reveal Bacterial Enzyme That Can Produce Biodegradable Plastics

November 15, 2016

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Chemists Discover Structure of Bacterial Enzyme That Generates Useful Polymers

Researchers at MIT have determined the structure of a bacterial enzyme that can produce biodegradable plastics, an advance that could help chemical engineers tweak the enzyme to make it even more industrially useful. The enzyme generates long polymer chains that can form either hard or soft plastics, depending on the starting materials that go into […]

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New Catalyst Promotes Carbon Dioxide Conversion into Fuels

November 15, 2016

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Turning Greenhouse Gas Into Gasoline

Scientists at MIT have developed a new catalyst material that provides design principles for producing fuels from carbon dioxide emissions. The findings suggest a route toward using the world’s existing infrastructure for fuel storage and distribution, without adding net greenhouse emissions to the atmosphere. The new catalyst takes the process only through its first stage […]

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Researchers Develop a New Approach Against Pathogens

November 8, 2016

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Researchers Develop a New Approach Against Salmonella and Other Pathogens

A newly developed immunization strategy may someday offer an alternative to antibiotics against microbes that invade the gastrointestinal tract. Researchers from MIT and the University of California at Irvine have developed a new strategy to immunize against microbes that invade the gastrointestinal tract, including Salmonella, which causes more foodborne illness in the United States than […]

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MIT Develops Nanobionic Plants That Can Detect Explosives

November 3, 2016

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Nanobionic Plants Can Detect Explosives

By embedding spinach leaves with carbon nanotubes, engineers transformed spinach plants into sensors that can detect explosives and wirelessly relay that information to a handheld device similar to a smartphone. Spinach is no longer just a superfood: By embedding leaves with carbon nanotubes, MIT engineers have transformed spinach plants into sensors that can detect explosives […]

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New “Morphing” Wing Could Enable More Efficient Plane Flight

November 3, 2016

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Morphing Wing Could Enable More Efficient Plane Manufacturing and Flight

Engineers at MIT and NASA have developed a new kind of bendable, “morphing” wing that could enable more efficient plane manufacturing and flight. When the Wright brothers accomplished their first powered flight more than a century ago, they controlled the motion of their Flyer 1 aircraft using wires and pulleys that bent and twisted the […]

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MIT Engineers Design a New Weapon Against Bacteria

November 2, 2016

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Engineers Design a New Weapon Against Bacteria

An international team of engineers has developed an antimicrobial peptide that can destroy many types of bacteria, including some that are resistant to most antibiotics. Over the past few decades, many bacteria have become resistant to existing antibiotics, and few new drugs have emerged. A recent study from a U.K. commission on antimicrobial resistance estimated […]

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Two-Pronged Immune Response Destroys Tumors

October 24, 2016

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New Treatment Elicits Two-Pronged Immune Response That Destroys Tumors in Mice

Using a combination of four different therapies, researchers from MIT reveal a new treatment that destroys tumors in mice. Harnessing the body’s own immune system to destroy tumors is a tantalizing prospect that has yet to realize its full potential. However, a new advance from MIT may bring this strategy, known as cancer immunotherapy, closer […]

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Neuroscientists Identify Two Key Groups of Neurons That Help Regulate Appetite

October 21, 2016

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Scientists Identify Two Key Groups of Neurons That Help Regulate Appetite

In a newly published study, Scientists from MIT have identify two key groups of neurons within the hypothalamus that help regulate appetite. MIT neuroscientists have discovered that brain cells called glial cells play a critical role in controlling appetite and feeding behavior. In a study of mice, the researchers found that activating these cells stimulates […]

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MIT’s Alcator C-Mod Tokamak Nuclear Fusion Reactor Sets World Record

October 14, 2016

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Alcator C-Mod Tokamak Nuclear Fusion Reactor Sets World Record

MIT’s Alcator C-Mod tokamak nuclear fusion reactor set a new world record, achieving over 2 atmospheres of pressure for the first time. On Friday, September 30, at 9:25 p.m. EDT, scientists and engineers at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center made a leap forward in the pursuit of clean energy. The team set a new […]

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