35 Current news of MIT


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Researchers build new fermion microscope

Instrument freezes and images 1,000 individual fermionic atoms at once


Fermions are the building blocks of matter, interacting in a multitude of permutations to give rise to the elements of the periodic table. Without fermions, the physical world would not exist.Examples of fermions are electrons, protons, neutrons, quarks, and atoms consisting of an odd number of ...


New tabletop detector 'sees' single electrons

Magnet-based setup may help detect the elusive mass of neutrinos


MIT physicists have developed a new tabletop particle detector that is able to identify single electrons in a radioactive gas.As the gas decays and gives off electrons, the detector uses a magnet to trap them in a magnetic bottle. A radio antenna then picks up very weak signals emitted by the ...


New detector sniffs out origins of methane

Instrument identifies methane's origins in mines, deep-sea vents, and cows


Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, second only to carbon dioxide in its capacity to trap heat in Earth's atmosphere for a long time. The gas can originate from lakes and swamps, natural-gas pipelines, deep-sea vents, and livestock. Understanding the sources of methane, and how the gas is formed, ...


Erasing a genetic mutation


Using a new gene-editing system based on bacterial proteins, MIT researchers have cured mice of a rare liver disorder caused by a single genetic mutation. The findings, described in Nature Biotechnology, offer the first evidence that this gene-editing technique, known as CRISPR, can reverse ...


New way to filter light

System could provide first method for filtering light waves based on direction


Light waves can be defined by three fundamental characteristics: their color (or wavelength), polarization, and direction. While it has long been possible to selectively filter light according to its color or polarization, selectivity based on the direction of propagation has remained ...


Fast synthesis could boost drug development


Small protein fragments, also called peptides, are promising as drugs because they can be designed for very specific functions inside living cells. Insulin and the HIV drug Fuzeon are some of the earliest successful examples, and peptide drugs are expected to become a $25 billion market by ...


A new wrinkle in the control of waves

Flexible materials could provide new ways to control sound and light


Flexible, layered materials textured with nanoscale wrinkles could provide a new way of controlling the wavelengths and distribution of waves, whether of sound or light. The new method, developed by researchers at MIT, could eventually find applications from nondestructive testing of materials to ...


Weighing particles at the attogram scale


MIT engineers have devised a way to measure the mass of particles with a resolution better than an attogram — one millionth of a trillionth of a gram. Weighing these tiny particles, including both synthetic nanoparticles and biological components of cells, could help researchers better understand ...


Inexpensive 'nano-camera' can operate at the speed of light

Device could be used in medical imaging, collision-avoidance detectors for cars, and interactive gaming


A $500 "nano-camera" that can operate at the speed of light has been developed by researchers in the MIT Media Lab. The three-dimensional camera, which was presented last week at Siggraph Asia in Hong Kong, could be used in medical imaging and collision-avoidance detectors for cars, and to ...


Nanotube-based sensors can be implanted under the skin for a year


Nitric oxide (NO) is one of the most important signaling molecules in living cells, carrying messages within the brain and coordinating immune system functions. In many cancerous cells, levels are perturbed, but very little is known about how NO behaves in both healthy and cancerous ...


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