Advertisement
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Subscribe to Massachusetts Institute of Technology
View Sample

FREE Email Newsletter

New model of disease contagion ranks U.S. airports by spreading influence

July 23, 2012 7:27 am | by Denise Brehm, Civil and Environmental Engineering | News | Comments

While epidemiologists and scientists who study complex network systems are working to create mathematical models that describe the worldwide spread of disease, to date these models have focused on the final stages of epidemics, examining the locations that ultimately develop the highest infection rates. But a new study shifts the focus to the first few days of an epidemic, determining how likely the 40 largest U.S. airports are to influence the spread of a contagious disease originating in their home cities.

River networks on Titan point to puzzling geologic history

July 23, 2012 4:00 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | News | Comments

While images of Titan have revealed its present landscape, very little is known about its geologic past. Now researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville have analyzed images of Titan's river networks and determined that in some regions, rivers have created surprisingly little erosion.

Research update: Chips with self-assembling rectangles

July 19, 2012 3:52 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a new approach to creating the complex array of wires and connections on microchips, using a system of self-assembling polymers. The work could eventually lead to a way of making more densely packed components on memory chips and other devices.

Advertisement

Dripping faucets inspire new way of creating structured particles

July 19, 2012 3:34 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Central Florida have developed a versatile new fabrication technique for making large quantities of uniform spheres from a wide variety of materials—a technique that enables unprecedented control over the design of individual, microscopic particles. The particles, including complex, patterned spheres, could find uses in everything from biomedical research and drug delivery to electronics and materials processing.

Autonomous robot maps ship hulls for mines

July 17, 2012 3:51 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have designed algorithms that vastly improve robots' navigation and feature-detecting capabilities. Using the group's algorithms, robots are able to swim around a ship's hull and view complex structures such as propellers and shafts. The goal is to achieve a resolution fine enough to detect a 10-cm mine attached to the side of a ship.

Engineers develop an intelligent co-pilot for cars

July 13, 2012 4:10 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed a new semiautonomous safety system to keep drivers safe. The system uses an onboard camera and laser rangefinder to identify hazards in vehicle's environment. An algorithm then analyzes the data obtained and identifies safe zones. The system allows a driver to control the vehicle, only taking the wheel when the drive is about to exit a safe zone.

Glasses-free 3D television looks nearer

July 12, 2012 3:44 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Despite impressive recent advances, holographic television, which would present images that vary with varying perspectives, probably remains some distance in the future. But in a new paper, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab's Camera Culture group offers a new approach to multiple-perspective, glasses-free 3D that could prove much more practical in the short term.

Searching genomic data faster

July 10, 2012 12:44 pm | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Biologists' capacity for generating genomic data is increasing more rapidly than computer power. A team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University researchers have developed a new algorithm that reduces the time it takes to find a particular gene sequence in a database of genomes.

Advertisement

Nutrient mixture improves memory in patients with early Alzheimer's

July 10, 2012 3:45 am | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | News | Comments

A clinical trial of an Alzheimer's disease treatment developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology has found that the nutrient cocktail can improve memory in patients with early Alzheimer's. The results confirm and expand the findings of an earlier trial of the nutritional supplement, which is designed to promote new connections between brain cells.

New chip captures power from multiple sources

July 9, 2012 3:56 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have taken a step toward battery-free monitoring systems. Previous work focused on the development of computer and wireless-communication chips that operate at extremely low power levels, and on a variety of devices that can harness power from natural light, heat, and vibrations in the environment. The latest development is a chip that could harness all three of these ambient power sources at once.

Communication scheme makes applications 'gracefully mobile'

June 28, 2012 3:35 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

The Secure Shell, or SSH, is a popular program that lets computer users log onto remote machines. First release in 1995, SSH was designed for an Internet consisting of stationary machines, and it hasn't evolved with the mobile Internet. It also can't handle roaming. Now, a team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchs have developed a new remote-login program called Mosh, for mobile shell, which solves many of SSH's problems.

Better surfaces could help dissipate heat

June 26, 2012 3:40 am | by David Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found that relatively simple, microscale roughening of a surface can dramatically enhance its transfer of heat. Such an approach could be far less complex and more durable than approaches that enhance heat transfer through smaller patterning in the nanometer range.

Computer science tackles 30-year-old economics problem

June 25, 2012 5:44 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Nobel winner Roger Myerson's work on single-item auctions was groundbreaking research, but his question regarding the best way to organize an auction in which bidders are competing for multiple items has remained unanswered for decades. Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed an algorithm to generalize this problem.

Advertisement

Revealing the invisible

June 22, 2012 9:15 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a software that amplifies variations in successive frames of video that are imperceptible to the naked eye. The software works in real time and displays both the original video and the altered version of the video, with changes magnified.

Technique allows simulation of noncrystalline materials

June 22, 2012 3:36 am | by David Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

A multidisciplinary team of researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and in Spain has found a new mathematical approach to simulating the electronic behavior of noncrystalline materials, which may eventually play an important part in new devices including solar cells; organic LED lights; and printable, flexible electronic circuits.

Evidence of ice content at the moon's south pole

June 20, 2012 12:20 pm | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Scientists have mapped Shackleton crater with unprecedented detail, finding possible evidence for small amounts of ice on the crater's floor. Using a laser altimeter on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft, the team essentially illuminated the crater's interior with laser light, measuring its albedo, or natural reflectance. The scientists found that the crater's floor is in fact brighter than that of other nearby craters—an observation consistent with the presence of ice.

Fishing for answers to autism puzzle

June 19, 2012 12:06 pm | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Fish cannot display symptoms of autism, schizophrenia, or other human brain disorders. However, a team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology biologists has shown that zebrafish can be a useful tool for studying the genes that contribute to such disorders.

Researchers calculate size of particles in Martian clouds of CO2 snow

June 19, 2012 3:44 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | News | Comments

In the dead of a Martian winter, clouds of snow blanket the Red Planet's poles—but unlike our water-based snow, the particles on Mars are frozen crystals of carbon dioxide. Most of the Martian atmosphere is composed of carbon dioxide, and in the winter, the poles get so cold—cold enough to freeze alcohol—that the gas condenses, forming tiny particles of snow. Now researchers have calculated the size of snow particles in clouds at both Martian poles from data gathered by orbiting spacecraft.

Making it easier to build secure Web applications

June 18, 2012 9:30 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Two years ago, a fledgling social-networking site called Blippy accidentally posted the credit card numbers of its users online. While that was a particularly egregious example, such inadvertent information leaks happen all the time. Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed a new programming system that could help prevent such inadvertent information leaks.

Sharper ultrasound images could improve diagnostics

June 18, 2012 3:34 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Ultrasound images, known as sonograms, have become a familiar part of pregnancy, allowing expectant parents a view of their unborn child. But new research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology could improve the ability of untrained workers to perform basic ultrasound tests, while allowing trained workers to much more accurately track the development of medical conditions, such as the growth of a tumor or the buildup of plaque in arteries.

Aircraft engineered with failure in mind may last longer

June 15, 2012 3:46 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Complex systems inhabit a "gray world" of partial failures, Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Olivier de Weck says: While a system may continue to operate as a whole, bits and pieces inevitably degrade. Over time, these small failures can add up to a single catastrophic failure, incapacitating the system. However, De Weck and his colleagues have created a design approach that tailors planes to fly in the face of likely failures.

Textured surface may boost power output of thin silicon solar cells

June 13, 2012 10:18 am | by David Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Highly purified silicon represents up to 40% of the overall costs of conventional solar-cell arrays—so researchers have long sought to maximize power output while minimizing silicon usage. Now, a team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology has found a new approach that could reduce the thickness of the silicon used by more than 90% while still maintaining high efficiency.

New energy source for future medical implants

June 13, 2012 3:49 am | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers have developed a fuel cell that runs on the same sugar that powers human cells: glucose. This glucose fuel cell could be used to drive highly efficient brain implants of the future, which could help paralyzed patients move their arms and legs again.

Robotic assistants may adapt to humans in the factory

June 12, 2012 3:47 am | News | Comments

In today's manufacturing plants, the division of labor between humans and robots is quite clear. But according to an assistant professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the factory floor of the future may host humans and robots working side by side, each helping the other in common tasks.

Teaching self-assembling structures a new trick

June 8, 2012 4:23 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found a new way of making complex 3D structures using self-assembling polymer materials that form tiny wires and junctions. The work has the potential to usher in a new generation of microchips and other devices made up of submicroscopic features.

X
You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.
Loading