MIT News

MIT Develops Membrane That Can Separate Highly Mixed Oil-Spill Residues

July 1, 2014

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A newly developed membrane can separate highly mixed fine oil-spill residues, processing large quantities of the finely mixed materials back into pure oil and water. Whenever there is a major spill of oil into water, the two tend to mix into a suspension of tiny droplets, called an emulsion, that is extremely hard to separate […]

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Neuroscientists Inhibit Muscle Contractions by Shining Light on Spinal Cord Neurons

June 27, 2014

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In a newly published study, MIT neuroscientists show that they can control muscle movement by shining light on spinal cord neurons in mice. For the first time, MIT neuroscientists have shown they can control muscle movement by applying optogenetics — a technique that allows scientists to control neurons’ electrical impulses with light — to the […]

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New Observations Reveal the Inner Workings of Lithium-Ion Batteries

June 9, 2014

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MIT researchers show the inner workings of a lithium-ion battery, revealing how a random solid solution affects the movement of ions through battery material. New observations by researchers at MIT have revealed the inner workings of a type of electrode widely used in lithium-ion batteries. The new findings explain the unexpectedly high power and long […]

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Printable Robots That Self-Assemble When Heated

May 30, 2014

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Using new algorithms and electronic components, researchers demonstrate the promise of printable robotic components that, when heated, automatically fold into prescribed three-dimensional configurations. Printable robots — those that can be assembled from parts produced by 3-D printers — have long been a topic of research in the lab of Daniela Rus, the Andrew and Erna […]

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New Efficiency Record for Quantum-Dot Photovoltaics

May 29, 2014

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By engineering the band alignment of the quantum dot layers through the use of different ligand treatments, researchers at MIT set a new record for efficiency in quantum-dot photovoltaics. Solar-cell technology has advanced rapidly, as hundreds of groups around the world pursue more than two dozen approaches using different materials, technologies, and approaches to improve […]

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New Battery Technology Captures Waste Heat and Converts It into Electricity

May 28, 2014

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Researchers at Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a new battery technology that captures waste heat and converts it into electricity. Vast amounts of excess heat are generated by industrial processes and by electric power plants. Researchers around the world have spent decades seeking ways to harness some of this wasted […]

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Researchers Develop a New Method for Producing Graphene

May 27, 2014

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Researchers at MIT and the University of Michigan have come up with a way of producing graphene directly on materials such as large sheets of glass. Graphene’s promise as a material for new kinds of electronic devices, among other uses, has led researchers around the world to study the material in search of new applications. […]

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New Technique Illuminates Neuron Activity in 3D

May 19, 2014

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Using light-field microscopy, researchers demonstrate the new technique that allowed them to simultaneously image the activity of every neuron in the entire brain of a zebrafish larva. Researchers at MIT and the University of Vienna have created an imaging system that reveals neural activity throughout the brains of living animals. Video: Melanie Gonick/MIT Researchers at […]

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RNA-Carrying Nanoparticles Deliver siRNA to Endothelial Cells with High Efficiency

May 12, 2014

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Researchers have designed RNA-carrying nanoparticles that can deliver siRNA to endothelial cells with high efficiency, raising the possibility of treating many types of disease, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. RNA interference (RNAi), a technique that can turn off specific genes inside living cells, holds great potential for treating many diseases caused by malfunctioning genes. However, […]

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Chemical Analysis Reveals that Nearby Galaxy Segue 1 is a “Fossil” from the Early Universe

May 2, 2014

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By analyzing the chemical elements in nearby galaxy Segue 1, new research reveals that it is the least chemically evolved galaxy known and researchers believe it will provide new insight into the first galaxies. Pasadena, California — New work from a team of scientists including Carnegie’s Josh Simon analyzed the chemical elements in the faintest […]

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Physicists Discover How to Change the Crystal Structure of Graphene

May 1, 2014

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A team of researchers has discovered how to change the crystal structure of graphene, a finding that could lead to smaller and faster microprocessors. A University of Arizona-led team of physicists has discovered how to change the crystal structure of graphene, more commonly known as pencil lead, with an electric field, an important step toward […]

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Smartphone Readable Microparticles Could Crack Down on Counterfeiting

April 22, 2014

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Smartphone Readable Microparticles

MIT chemical engineers invented smartphone-readable microparticles that can be used to verify goods and crack down on counterfeiting. By encoding these particles with different colored stripes, they can generate vast quantities of unique combinations that can be used to tag products. Some 2 to 5 percent of all international trade involves counterfeit goods, according to […]

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