Author Archive | Massachusetts Institute of Technology


New analysis explains collagen’s force

Experiments and simulations show that adding or removing water makes the material push and pull. Research combining experimental work and detailed molecular simulations has revealed, for the first time, the […]


Particles accelerate without a push

New analysis shows a way to self-propel subatomic particles, extend the lifetime of unstable isotopes. Some physical principles have been considered immutable since the time of Isaac Newton: Light always […]


3 Questions: Lydia Bourouiba on Ebola virus transmission

Research on disease transmission through aerosol droplets raises questions about Ebola’s spread. Lydia Bourouiba, the Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Career Development Assistant Professor in MIT’s Department of Civil and […]


Optimizing optimization algorithms

Analysis shows how to get the best results when approximating solutions to complex engineering problems. Optimization algorithms, which try to find the minimum values of mathematical functions, are everywhere in […]


Carbon sequestration on shaky ground

Study finds a natural impediment to the long-term sequestration of carbon dioxide. Carbon sequestration promises to address greenhouse-gas emissions by capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and injecting it deep […]


Vision system for household robots

New algorithm could enable household robots to better identify objects in cluttered environments. For household robots ever to be practical, they’ll need to be able to recognize the objects they’re […]


Watching how cells interact

New device allows scientists to glimpse communication between immune cells. The immune system is a complex network of many different cells working together to defend against invaders. Successfully fighting off […]


Toward quantum chips

Packing single-photon detectors on an optical chip is a crucial step toward quantum-computational circuits. A team of researchers has built an array of light detectors sensitive enough to register the […]


A step closer to artificial livers

Prometheus, the mythological figure who stole fire from the gods, was punished for this theft by being bound to a rock. Each day, an eagle swept down and fed on […]


Decoding ‘noisy’ language in daily life

Suppose you hear someone say, “The man gave the ice cream the child.” Does that sentence seem plausible? Or do you assume it is missing a word? Such as: “The […]


New way to discover HIV vaccine targets

Decades of research and three large-scale clinical trials have so far failed to yield an effective HIV vaccine, in large part because the virus evolves so rapidly that it can […]