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MIT

Health & Wellbeing

Invisible second skin is applied like gel to smooth out wrinkles

Unless you possess the magical healing powers of a Hollywood celebrity, your skin is going to lose elasticity and gain wrinkles as you grow older. And the effects are not just cosmetic, with the skin's ability to guard against extreme temperatures, radiation and toxins diminishing over time. A new invisible polymer coating from MIT may offer a way to apply to brakes, however, by stretching over existing skin to smooth out wrinkles, act as a protective barrier and even slowly deliver drugs to treat eczema and other conditions. Read More

Environment

Seismic vibrations provide a new, accurate way to monitor ice sheet decline

We currently measure changes in ice sheets via data gathered by missions such as NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite, or by flying planes over a region and using lasers to map topography. But there could be a better way, with a team of researchers, led by scientists at MIT, getting positive results from a new method that tracks seismic vibrations caused by ocean waves to measure changes in ice volume.Read More

Space

Three newly discovered exoplanets prime candidates in search for life elsewhere in the Universe

Using a telescope especially designed to hunt exoplanets, a team of astronomers working at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) have discovered three planets orbiting a dwarf sun, just 40 light-years from Earth. According to the researchers, all three worlds are potentially habitable given their sizes and temperatures, and may be the best possibilities yet in the search for life beyond our solar system.
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Science

Active and passive in-cell movements distinguished for the first time

If you looked inside any cell in your body right now, you'd notice that the individual structures and components within it are constantly moving around. While some of that twitching and jostling is passive, other movement is more deliberate, with the cell actively exerting energy to move components. A new data analysis technique is improving our ability to distinguish between those two types of movement, and the results could significantly improve our understanding of cell biology.Read More

Materials

Coal-based electronics: A potential usurper to silicon's throne?

Graphene may be the poster child of thin film electronics, and silicon the current king of materials for semiconductors, but if scientists from MIT get their way, graphene's humble cousin, coal, could soon be giving them both a run for their money. For the first time, electronic devices have been created from thin films of coal and the research points to a range of uses that this cheap and abundant material could have in electronic devices, solar panels, and batteries.Read More

Medical

Dual-sided pill stays put to release medication

A novel pill, developed by researchers at MIT, shows promise in allowing for effective long-term delivery of drugs, with the ability to stick to the gastrointestinal tract for lengthy periods time. The pill makes use of a two-face build, with one side designed to hold it in place, while the other repels liquid and food that could otherwise dislodge it.Read More

Robotics

Robots simultaneously 3D-printed from both solids and liquids

Robots have a tremendous potential, but if a way can't be found to manufacture them quickly, cheaply, and in large numbers, that potential may remain exactly that. To that end, MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) has come up with a new way to make soft, hydraulically-powered robots in one step using commercial 3D printers that can print solid and liquid parts simultaneously.Read More

Environment

Is Asia's water supply in trouble?

Based on a series of simulations ran through sophisticated computer models, researchers from MIT are highlighting the possibility that a significant percentage of the population of Asia could suffer severe water shortages by the year 2050. As a basis for the study, the team made use of a pre-existing MIT-generated computer model designed to simulate Asia's complex economic, climate, and growth characteristics. A detailed water-use model known as a Water Resource System was then introduced, and the team ran a number of simulations aiming to cover the widest range of potential scenarios.Read More

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