51 Current news of MIT

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A glimpse into the workings of the baby brain

MRI scans reveal surprising similarities in activity patterns of infant and adult visual cortex.

12-Jan-2017

In adults, certain regions of the brain’s visual cortex respond preferentially to specific types of input, such as faces or objects — but how and when those preferences arise has long puzzled neuroscientists. One way to help answer that question is to study the brains of very young infants and ...

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New Microscope Chemically Identifies Micron-Sized Particles

09-Jan-2017

Researchers have developed a microscope that can chemically identify individual micron-sized particles. The new approach could one day be used in airports or other high-security venues as a highly sensitive and low-cost way to rapidly screen people for microscopic amounts of potentially dangerous ...

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New method for analyzing crystal structure

Exotic materials called photonic crystals reveal their internal characteristics with new method

28-Nov-2016

A new technique developed by MIT researchers 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 ...

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Laser particles could provide sharper images of tissues

Imaging technique stimulates particles to emit laser light

08-Nov-2016

A new imaging technique developed by scientists at MIT, Harvard University, and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) aims to illuminate cellular structures in deep tissue and other dense and opaque materials. Their method uses tiny particles embedded in the material, that give off laser ...

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Nanobionic spinach plants can detect explosives

After sensing dangerous chemicals, the carbon-nanotube-enhanced plants send an alert.

01-Nov-2016

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 and wirelessly relay that information to a handheld device similar to a smartphone. This is one of the first demonstrations of ...

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Imaging technique maps serotonin activity in living brains

Imaging technique that creates 3-D video of serotonin transport could aid antidepressant development

24-Oct-2016

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that's partly responsible for feelings of happiness and for mood regulation in humans. This makes it a common target for antidepressants, which block serotonin from being reabsorbed by neurons after it has dispatched its signal, so more of it stays floating around ...

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A new strategy for choosing cancer drugs

12-Oct-2016

Choosing the best treatment for a cancer patient is often an inexact science. Drugs that work well for some patients may not help others, and tumors that are initially susceptible to a drug can later become resistant. In a new approach to devising more personalized treatments, researchers at MIT ...

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New technique provides detailed views of metals’ crystal structure

Method uses readily available tools to quickly determine materials’ properties.

12-Jul-2016

Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have developed a new combination of methods that can provide detailed information about the microstructure of polycrystalline metals. Such materials — composed of a random matrix of multiple small crystals rather than one single large crystal — are widely used for ...

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Seeing RNA at the nanoscale

06-Jul-2016

Cells contain thousands of messenger RNA molecules, which carry copies of DNA's genetic instructions to the rest of the cell. MIT engineers have now developed a way to visualize these molecules in higher resolution than previously possible in intact tissues, allowing researchers to precisely map ...

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Wireless, wearable toxic-gas detector

Inexpensive sensors could be worn by soldiers to detect hazardous chemical agents

04-Jul-2016

MIT researchers have developed low-cost chemical sensors, made from chemically altered carbon nanotubes, that enable smartphones or other wireless devices to detect trace amounts of toxic gases. Using the sensors, the researchers hope to design lightweight, inexpensive radio-frequency ...

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