For Tim Gutowski, advanced manufacturing is an opportunity not just to boost employment, but also to improve the environment. Gutowski heads Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Environmentally Benign Manufacturing research group, which looks at the environmental costs and impacts associated with manufacturing traditional materials, as well as advanced and emerging technologies.
New observations from a spacecraft orbiting Mercury have revealed that the tiny, pockmarked planet harbors a highly unusual interior—and the craft's glimpse of Mercury's surface topography suggests the planet has had a very dynamic history.
A new imaging system could use opaque walls, doors, or floors as "mirrors" to gather information about scenes outside its line of sight. The system could allow emergency responders to evaluate dangerous environments or vehicle navigation system that can negotiate blind turns, among other applications.
A new study by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows that there is enough capacity in deep saline aquifers in the United States to store at least a century's worth of carbon dioxide emissions from the nation's coal-fired power plants. Though questions remain about the economics of systems to capture and store such gases, this study addresses a major issue that has overshadowed such proposals.
For 27 years, the Concorde provides its passengers with a rare luxury: time saved. However, on Nov. 26, 2003, the Concorde retired from service due to high fuel costs and noise disruption form the jet's sonic boom. Since then, a number of groups have been working on designs for the next generation of supersonic jets. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher has come up with a concept that may solve many of the problems that grounded the Concorde.
Alan Jasanoff, who recently earned tenure in Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Biological Engineering, is designing imaging sensors that could help reveal the brain’s inner workings. He has developed sensors that can be used with fMRI to image brain activity more directly, by measuring levels of neurotransmitters (the chemicals that carry messages between neurons) and calcium, which enters neurons when they fire.
Traditional drug manufacturing is a time-consuming process. Active pharmaceutical ingredients are synthesized in a chemical manufacturing plant and then shipped to another site, where they are converted into giant batches of pills. Including transport time between manufacturing plants, each batch can take weeks or months to produce. However, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Novartis launched a research effort to transform those procedures.
Aircraft-carrier crew use a set of standard hand gestures to guide planes on the carrier deck. But as robot planes are increasingly used for routine air missions, researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology are working on a system that would enable them to follow the same types of gestures.
Most light emitters, from candles to light bulbs to computer screens, look the same from any angle. But Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers report the development of a new light source—a fiber only a little thicker than a human hair—whose brightness can be controllably varied for different viewers.
Sometimes the fastest pathway from point A to point B is not a straight line: For example, if you're underwater and contending with strong and shifting currents. But figuring out the best route in such settings is a monumentally complex problem, especially if you're trying to do it not just for one underwater vehicle, but for a swarm of them moving all at once toward separate destinations. However, new methods and software developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology can predict optimal paths for automated underwater vehicles.
Broadly speaking, the two major areas of research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Microsystems Technology Laboratory are electronics—transistors in particular—and microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS—tiny mechanical devices with moving parts. Both strains of research could have significant implications for manufacturing in the United States, but at least for the moment, the market for transistor innovation is far larger.
Because it saves so much energy and money, aluminum recycling continues to expand. But a new Massachusetts Institute of Technology analysis finds that this expansion could run into problems unless measures are taken to reduce impurities that can build up as aluminum is recycled over and over again.
For the first time, researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and elsewhere have detected all phases of thermonuclear burning in a neutron star. The star, located close to the center of the galaxy in the globular cluster Terzan 5, is a model burster, say the researchers.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Brigham and Women's Hospital have devised a simple blood test that can predict whether sickle cell patients are at high risk for painful complications of the disease. To perform the test, the researchers measure how well blood samples flow through a microfluidic device.
Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a new approach to MEMS design that enables engineers to design 3D configurations, using existing fabrication processes; with this approach, the researchers built a MEMS device that enables 3D sensing on a single chip. The tiny device contain microscopic elements that can be engineered to reach heights of hundreds of microns above the chip's surface.
A mysterious phenomenon detected by space probes has finally been explained, thanks to a massive computer simulation that was able to precisely align with details of spacecraft observations. The finding could not only solve an astrophysical puzzle, but might also lead to a better ability to predict high-energy electron streams in space that could damage satellites.
“Rolling” is a common mechanism cells use to navigate through the body. White blood cells, for example, roll along a blood vessel’s walls to reach inflamed areas. A team of biotechnology experts have invented a microfluidic device that uses this natural cell-rolling mechanism to sort cells. The device features tiny channels coated with sticky molecules that bind weakly with certain cells, forcing them to roll into a different spot.
A new study from Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows that the rapid rise in low-wage manufacturing industries overseas has had a significant impact on the United States. The disappearance of U.S. manufacturing jobs frequently leaves workers unemployed for years, if not permanently, while creating a drag on local economies and raising the amount of taxpayer-borne social insurance necessary to keep workers and their families afloat.
The condensation of water is crucial to the operation of most power plants that provide our electricity. But there are still large gaps in the scientific understanding of exactly how water condenses on the surfaces used to turn steam back into water in a power plant. A team at the Massachusetts Institute of technology offers new insights into how these droplets form.
Separating complex mixtures of cells can offer valuable information for diagnosing and treating disease. However, it may be necessary to search through billions of other cells to collect rare cells. A team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Massachusetts General Hospital has now demonstrated a new microfluidic device that can isolate target cells much faster than existing devices.
Nanowires are a hot research topic today, with a variety of potential applications including light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and sensors. Now, a team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers has found a way of precisely controlling the width and composition of these tiny strands as they grow, making it possible to grow complex structures that are optimally designed for particular applications.
A team of researchers has detected the element tellurium for the first time in three ancient stars. The researchers found traces of this brittle, semiconducting element—which is very rare on Earth—in stars that are nearly 12 billion years old. The finding supports the theory that tellurium, along with even heavier elements in the periodic table, likely originated from a very rare type of supernova during a rapid process of nuclear fusion.
About 15 years ago, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professors Robert Langer and Michael Cima had the idea to develop a programmable, wirelessly controlled microchip that would deliver drugs after implantation in a patient's body. Now, the MIT researchers and scientists from MicroCHIPS Inc. reported that they have successfully used such a chip to administer daily doses of an osteoporosis drug normally given by injection.
Misfolded proteins called prions are best known for causing neurodegenerative disorders such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and mad cow disease. However, a new study by scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Whitehead Institute finds that they can also play a much more beneficial role.
The United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research has awarded $8.5 million to a consortium of seven U.S. universities that will work together to determine the best approach for generating quantum memories based on interaction between light and matter. The team will consider three different approaches for creating entangled quantum memories that could facilitate the long-distance transmission of secure information.