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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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New mid-infrared laser system could detect atmospheric chemicals

30-Jun-2016

Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have found a new way of using mid-infrared lasers to turn regions of molecules in the open air into glowing filaments of electrically charged gas, or plasma. The new method could make it possible to carry out remote environmental monitoring to detect a wide range ...

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New approach to sorting cells

Microfluidic device distinguishes cells based on how they respond to acoustic vibrations

18-May-2016

Microfluidic devices hold potential to rapidly analyze cells for applications in medicine and basic research. Researchers have devised systems that can distinguish cells based on their size, deformability, and electrical properties, among other characteristics. A team of MIT researchers has now ...

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Neuroscientists discover a gene that controls worms’ behavioral state

Gene required for the control of behavioral state is also found in humans, may be linked to autism

07-Mar-2016

In a study of worms, MIT neuroscientists have discovered a gene that plays a critical role in controlling the switch between alternative behavioral states, which for humans include hunger and fullness, or sleep and wakefulness. This gene, which the researchers dubbed vps-50, helps to regulate ...

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Imaging with an 'optical brush'

16-Feb-2016

Researchers at the MIT Media Lab have developed a new imaging device that consists of a loose bundle of optical fibers, with no need for lenses or a protective housing. The fibers are connected to an array of photosensors at one end; the other ends can be left to wave free, so they could pass ...

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New device uses carbon nanotubes to snag molecules

23-Dec-2015

Engineers at MIT have devised a new technique for trapping hard-to-detect molecules, using forests of carbon nanotubes. The team modified a simple microfluidic channel with an array of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes -- rolled lattices of carbon atoms that resemble tiny tubes of chicken wire. ...

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Microscope creates near-real-time videos of nanoscale processes

16-Dec-2015

State-of-the-art atomic force microscopes (AFMs) are designed to capture images of structures as small as a fraction of a nanometer. In recent years, AFMs have produced desktop-worthy close-ups of atom-sized structures, from single strands of DNA to individual hydrogen bonds between ...

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Researchers build new fermion microscope

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

19-May-2015

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 ...

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