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MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Articles

Displaying 1 - 20 of 416
Artificial Intelligence
14th September 2018
Helping computers fill in the gaps between video frames

Given only a few frames of a video, humans can usually surmise what is happening and will happen on screen. If we see an early frame of stacked cans, a middle frame with a finger at the stack’s base, and a late frame showing the cans toppled over, we can guess that the finger knocked down the cans. Computers, however, struggle with this concept.

Test & Measurement
12th September 2018
Sensors track dopamine in the brain for more than a year

Dopamine, a signalling molecule used throughout the brain, plays a major role in regulating our mood, as well as controlling movement. Many disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, depression, and schizophrenia, are linked to dopamine deficiencies. MIT neuroscientists have now devised a way to measure dopamine in the brain for more than a year, which they believe will help them to learn much more about its role in both healthy and dis...

Robotics
10th September 2018
Robots can pick up any object after inspecting it

Humans have long been masters of dexterity, a skill that can largely be credited to the help of our eyes. Robots, meanwhile, are still catching up. Certainly there’s been some progress: For decades, robots in controlled environments like assembly lines have been able to pick up the same object over and over again. More recently, breakthroughs in computer vision have enabled robots to make basic distinctions between objects.

Renewables
7th September 2018
A mix of fuel-saving, flexible, and highly reliable sources

In major legislation passed at the end of August, California committed to creating a 100 % carbon-free electricity grid — once again leading other nations, states, and cities in setting aggressive policies for slashing greenhouse gas emissions. Now, a study by MIT researchers provides guidelines for cost-effective and reliable ways to build such a zero-carbon electricity system.

3D Printing
3rd September 2018
3D printing colloidal crystals

MIT engineers have united the principles of self-assembly and 3D printing using a new technique, which they highlight today in the journal Advanced Materials. By their direct-write colloidal assembly process, the researchers can build centimeter-high crystals, each made from billions of individual colloids, defined as particles that are between 1nm and 1μm cross.

Renewables
3rd September 2018
Passive solar-powered system could prevent ice buildup

From airplane wings to overhead powerlines to the giant blades of wind turbines, a buildup of ice can cause problems ranging from impaired performance all the way to catastrophic failure. But preventing that buildup usually requires energy-intensive heating systems or chemical sprays that are environmentally harmful. Now, MIT researchers have developed a completely passive, solar-powered way of combating ice buildup.

Wireless
22nd August 2018
Wireless communication breaks through water-air barrier

MIT researchers have taken a step toward solving a longstanding challenge with wireless communication: direct data transmission between underwater and airborne devices. Today, underwater sensors cannot share data with those on land, as both use different wireless signals that only work in their respective mediums. Radio signals that travel through air die very rapidly in water. Acoustic signals, or sonar, sent by underwater devices mostly re...

Cyber Security
21st August 2018
Encryption techniques protect cloud-based machine learning

A novel encryption method devised by MIT researchers secures data used in online neural networks, without dramatically slowing their runtimes. This approach holds promise for using cloud-based neural networks for medical-image analysis and other applications that use sensitive data. Outsourcing machine learning is a rising trend in industry.

Optoelectronics
21st August 2018
Advancing undersea optical communications

Nearly five years ago, NASA and Lincoln Laboratory made history when the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) used a pulsed laser beam to transmit data from a satellite orbiting the moon to Earth — more than 239,000 miles — at a record-breaking download speed of 622MB/s. Now, researchers at Lincoln Laboratory are aiming to once again break new ground by applying the laser beam technology used in LLCD to underwater commu...

Medical
15th August 2018
Research shows that glaucoma may be an autoimmune disease

Glaucoma, a disease that afflicts nearly 70 million people worldwide, is something of a mystery despite its prevalence. Little is known about the origins of the disease, which damages the retina and optic nerve and can lead to blindness. A study from MIT and Massachusetts Eye and Ear has found that glaucoma may in fact be an autoimmune disorder. In a study of mice, the researchers showed that the body’s own T cells are responsible for ...

Optoelectronics
15th August 2018
Optics for ultrafast cameras create possibilities for imaging

MIT researchers have developed novel photography optics that capture images based on the timing of reflecting light inside the optics, instead of the traditional approach that relies on the arrangement of optical components. These new principles, the researchers say, open doors to new capabilities for time- or depth-sensitive cameras, which are not possible with conventional photography optics.

Aerospace & Defence
13th August 2018
Parker Solar Probe will fly into The Sun’s atmosphere

NASA has launched a bold mission to fly directly into the sun’s atmosphere, with a spacecraft named the Parker Solar Probe, after solar astrophysicist Eugene Parker. The incredibly resilient vessel, vaguely shaped like a lightbulb the size of a small car, was launched early in yesterday morning from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Its trajectory will aim straight for the sun, where the probe will come closer to the solar surfac...

Component Management
10th August 2018
Introducing the latest in textiles: soft hardware

The latest development in textiles and fibres is a kind of soft hardware that you can wear: cloth that has electronic devices built right into it. Researchers at MIT have now embedded high speed optoelectronic semiconductor devices, including light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and diode photodetectors, within fibres that were then woven at Inman Mills, in South Carolina, into soft, washable fabrics and made into communication systems.

Medical
10th August 2018
AI model could help make cancer treatment less toxic

MIT researchers are employing novel machine-learning techniques to improve the quality of life for patients by reducing toxic chemotherapy and radiotherapy dosing for glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer. Glioblastoma is a malignant tumour that appears in the brain or spinal cord, and prognosis for adults is no more than five years. Patients must endure a combination of radiation therapy and multiple drugs taken every month...

Medical
10th August 2018
A targeted approach to treating glioma

Glioma is normally treated by removing as much of the tumour as possible, followed by radiation or chemotherapy. With this treatment, patients survive an average of about 10 years, but the tumours inevitably grow back. A team of researchers from MIT, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital hopes to extend patients’ lifespan by delivering directly to the brain a drug that targets a mutation ...

Analysis
7th August 2018
Affordable biology kits offer hands-on experience with DNA

To help students gain a better grasp of biological concepts, MIT and Northwestern University researchers have designed educational kits that can be used to perform experiments with DNA, to produce glowing proteins, scents, or other easily observed phenomena. Biology teachers could use the BioBits kits to demonstrate key concepts such as how DNA is translated into proteins, or students could use them to design their own synthetic biology circ...

Optoelectronics
7th August 2018
On-chip optical filter processes wide range of wavelengths

MIT researchers have designed an optical filter on a chip that can process optical signals from across an extremely wide spectrum of light at once, something never before available to integrated optics systems that process data using light. The technology may offer greater precision and flexibility for designing optical communication and sensor systems, studying photons and other particles through ultrafast techniques, and in other applications.

Robotics
25th July 2018
Cell-sized robots can sense their environment

Researchers at MIT have created what may be the smallest robots yet that can sense their environment, store data, and even carry out computational tasks. These devices, which are about the size of a human egg cell, consist of tiny electronic circuits made of two-dimensional materials, piggybacking on minuscule particles called colloids. Colloids, which insoluble particles or molecules anywhere from a billionth to a millionth of a meter acros...

Wireless
23rd July 2018
Molecular clock could improve smartphone navigation

MIT researchers have developed the first molecular clock on a chip, which uses the constant, measurable rotation of molecules — when exposed to a certain frequency of electromagnetic radiation — to keep time. The chip could one day significantly improve the accuracy and performance of navigation on smartphones and other consumer devices. Today’s most accurate time-keepers are atomic clocks.

Robotics
9th July 2018
Exoskeletons could make previously unachievable feats a reality

While exoskeletons may still feel like a product of science fiction, they are increasingly becoming a technological reality, and advancements are being made in bringing functioning exoskeletons into the world. 

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