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MIT

Science

Autism-like behavior reversed in laboratory mice

MIT scientists have successfully reversed autistic-like behavioral patterns in mice. The study focused on a gene called Shank3, which is missing in 1 percent of individuals suffering from autism, and is believed to be vital for the development of a healthy adult brain.Read More

Robotics

​Simplified system could allow for better robot-human communications

A new system, developed by researchers at MIT, could provide a more streamlined way for robots to communicate with humans in difficult situations, including during emergency response operations. The new model cuts down the necessary communications made by a robot team member by 60 percent, significantly reducing the barrage of data that its human counterpart has to deal with.
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Science

Lensless imaging achieved using "optical brush"

In the quest for imaging systems that are very small and flexible, yet don't require elaborate protective cases, a team of researchers at MIT Media Lab have scaled things down with a lensless imaging device called a "optical brush." The device uses a loose bundle of optical fibers to produce images that could lead to more compact and robust ways to study oil fields and build smaller endoscopes.Read More

Electronics

"Unhackable" RFID chip to keep your credit cards safe

Radio frequency identification (RFID) chips have made cashless payments commonplace and opened the way to automatic inventory control. However, they've also made it possible for credit card details and other private information to be stolen wirelessly. To make things a bit more secure, MIT and Texas Instruments are developing an "unhackable" RFID chip that's designed to fend off information-stealing attacks.Read More

Urban Transport

MIT engineers win Hyperloop pod competition, will test prototype in mid-2016

The Hyperloop's journey from audacious concept to a functional, superfast transport system went up a gear over the weekend with more than 115 engineering teams descending on Texas A&M University to present passenger capsule designs in SpaceX's Hyperloop Pod Competition. An MIT team took out first place in the contest, and along with 22 other top designs it will now build human-scale prototypes to test out at SpaceX HQ later in the year.Read More

Medical

Encapsulated cells could free diabetics from insulin injections

Type 1 diabetes patients have to constantly monitor their blood sugar levels, regularly injecting insulin to make sure they stay healthy. Not only is this a burden for patients, but it can also be difficult to get right, often resulting in long-term medical problems. A team of researchers, including scientists from MIT, has been working on a better system. They're developing a transplantable capsule that can carry cells able to replace the patient's lost ability to produce insulin, and that isn't rejected or rendered useless by the host's body.Read More

Medical

Brain scans could head off depression

A simple brain scan could identify children at risk of suffering from depression later in life, according to a new study. If implemented, the early warning test could allow doctors to carry out treatment prior to the first instance of depression, making it less likely that the patient will suffer further bouts.Read More

Computers

New algorithm helps machines learn as quickly as humans

An artificial intelligence breakthrough from the universities of New York, Toronto and MIT is showcasing the impressive ability of artificial intelligence to learn visual concepts in a single shot and manipulate them in human-like ways. The advance could lead to smarter phones, much-improved speech recognition, and computers that better understand the world around them.Read More

Drones

Route-planning software guides autonomous drones through cluttered spaces

Drone technology sure is promising plenty, but before the public can really warm to the idea of unmanned vehicles zipping around in all directions they want to feel pretty confident that they won't crash into things. Among the many computer scientists working on this problem is a team of researchers from MIT, who have developed route-planning software for drones that allows them to make intricate turns to autonomously navigate tight spaces. Read More

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