Nanotechnology News

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 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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How Nanoscience Will Improve Our Lives in the Coming Years

October 31, 2016

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Nanoscience Will Improve Our Health and Lives in the Coming Years

In a newly published study, nanoscientists look ahead to what we can expect in the coming decade, and conclude that nanoscience is poised to make important contributions in many areas, including health care, electronics, energy, food and water. Nanoscience research involves molecules that are only 1/100th the size of cancer cells and that have the potential to […]

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Yale Develops New Gene Editing Strategy to Correct Mutations

October 26, 2016

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New Gene Editing Strategy to Correct Mutations

Using a new gene editing strategy, researchers from Yale University can correct mutations that cause thalassemia, a form of anemia. Their gene editing technique provided corrections to the mutations and alleviated the disease in mice, the researchers said. The finding could lead to studies of a similar gene therapy to treat people with inherited blood […]

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New Beaver-Inspired Wetsuits May Help Keep Surfers Warm

October 5, 2016

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Beaver-Inspired Wetsuits

Inspired by semiaquatic mammals such as beavers and sea otters, MIT engineers are fabricating fur-like rubbery hair-lined wetsuits that may help keep surfers warm. Beavers and sea otters lack the thick layer of blubber that insulates walruses and whales. And yet these small, semiaquatic mammals can keep warm and even dry while diving, by trapping […]

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Yale Engineers Develop A New Chip That Could Advance Quantum Technology

October 5, 2016

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New Chip Could Advance Quantum Technology

Yale engineers have developed a new device that converts visible light to infrared light suitable for fiber-optic transmission without destroying the light’s quantum state. The lab of Hong Tang, Llewellyn West Jones, Jr. Professor of Electrical Engineering & Physics, has developed a device that converts visible light to infrared light, a crucial step in building […]

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Motion-Directed Microrobots Can Be Propelled Light

October 4, 2016

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Motion-Directed Robots on a Micro Scale

Researchers reveal a surprisingly simple way to direct synthetic microswimmers towards light or darkness. Phototactic behavior directs some bacteria towards light and others into darkness: This enables them to utilize solar energy as efficiently as possible for their metabolism, or, otherwise, protects them from excessive light intensity. A team of researchers headed by Clemens Bechinger […]

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MIT Develops Nanosensors That Can Profile Tumors

September 29, 2016

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New Nanosensors Can Profile Tumors

Engineers at MIT have developed new nanosensors that can profile tumors and may yield insight into how they will respond to certain therapies. MIT researchers have designed nanosensors that can profile tumors and may yield insight into how they will respond to certain therapies. The system is based on levels of enzymes called proteases, which […]

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UCLA Researchers Reveal New Insights About Properties of Matter at the Nanoscale

September 22, 2016

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Chemists Report New Insights About Properties of Matter at the Nanoscale

Scientists from UCLA reveal that a fluid that behaves similarly to water in our day-to-day lives becomes as heavy as honey when trapped in a nanocage of a porous solid, offering new insights into how matter behaves in the nanoscale world. “We are learning more and more about the properties of matter at the nanoscale […]

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New MIT Gene Therapy Technique May Help Prevent Cancer Metastasis

September 21, 2016

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New Gene Therapy Technique May Help Prevent Cancer Metastasis

MIT researchers have developed a new gene therapy technique that uses microRNAs — small noncoding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression — to control breast cancer metastasis. The spread of malignant cells around the body, known as metastasis, is the leading cause of mortality in women with breast cancer. Now, a new gene therapy technique […]

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MIT Researchers Help Reduce Runoff Pollution by Making Spray Droplets Less Bouncy

September 2, 2016

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MIT Scientists Help Reduce Runoff Pollution

Researchers from MIT have found a way to make pesticides stick to leaves instead of bouncing off, helping to reduce runoff pollution. When farmers spray their fields with pesticides or other treatments, only 2 percent of the spray sticks to the plants. A significant portion of it typically bounces right off the plants, lands on […]

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MIT Aerospace Engineers Develop Carbon Nanotube “Stitches” to Strengthen Composites

August 8, 2016

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Carbon Nanotube Stitches

Using carbon nanotube “stitches,” aerospace engineers from MIT have found a way to strengthen composites, helping make airplane frames lighter and more damage-resistant. The newest Airbus and Boeing passenger jets flying today are made primarily from advanced composite materials such as carbon fiber reinforced plastic — extremely light, durable materials that reduce the overall weight […]

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Adhesive Patch Delivers Therapy to Tumor Sites

August 1, 2016

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New Device Delivers Therapy to Tumor Sites

A newly published study from MIT describes an adhesive patch that can stick to the tumor site, either before or after surgery, to deliver a triple-combination of drug, gene, and photo (light-based) therapy. Approximately one in 20 people will develop colorectal cancer in their lifetime, making it the third-most prevalent form of the disease in […]

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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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A New Design Strategy for Better Lithium Oxygen Batteries

July 12, 2016

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Yale Engineers Charging Toward Better Lithium Oxygen Batteries

Yale researchers have devised a method that brings marketable Li-O2 batteries closer to reality, improving both the batteries’ performance and the ability to study them. In recent years, lithium-oxygen batteries have intrigued researchers with their potential. They can store at least two to three times the energy as lithium-ion batteries can, which are the current standard […]

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Yale Engineers Turn Wasted Heat Into Power

July 1, 2016

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Researchers Turn Wasted Heat Into Power

Yale University engineers have developed a new technology that makes energy from the low-temperature wasted heat produced by industrial sources and power plants. It is estimated that recoverable waste heat in the U.S. alone could power tens of millions of homes. Although existing technologies can reuse high-temperature heat or convert it to electricity, it is […]

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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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