Screen could offer better safety tests for new chemicals

Using specialized liver cells, a new test can quickly detect potentially cancer-causing DNA damage. Anne Trafton | MIT News OfficeDecember 17, 2019 It’s estimated that there are approximately 80,000 industrial chemicals currently in use, in products such as clothing, cleaning solutions, carpets, and furniture. For the vast majority of these chemicals, scientists have little or […]

Widening metal tolerance for hydrogels

MIT graduate student Seth Cazzell shows controlling pH enables reversible hydrogel formation in wider range of metal concentrations. Denis Paiste | Materials Research LaboratoryDecember 23, 2019 Researchers seeking to develop self-healing hydrogels have long sought to mimic the natural ability of mussels to generate strong, flexible threads underwater that allow the mussels to stick to […]

Researchers produce first laser ultrasound images of humans

Technique may help remotely image and assess health of infants, burn victims, and accident survivors in hard-to-reach places. Jennifer Chu | MIT News OfficeDecember 19, 2019 For most people, getting an ultrasound is a relatively easy procedure: As a technician gently presses a probe against a patient’s skin, sound waves generated by the probe travel […]

A new way to remove contaminants from nuclear wastewater

Method concentrates radionuclides in a small portion of a nuclear plant’s wastewater, allowing the rest to be recycled. David L. Chandler | MIT News OfficeDecember 19, 2019 Nuclear power continues to expand globally, propelled, in part, by the fact that it produces few greenhouse gas emissions while providing steady power output. But along with that […]

Chemists glimpse the fleeting “transition state” of a reaction

New technique for observing reaction products offers insights into the chemical mechanisms that formed them. Anne Trafton | MIT News OfficeDecember 16, 2019 During a chemical reaction, the molecules involved in the reaction gain energy until they reach a “point of no return” known as a transition state. Until now, no one has glimpsed this […]

When laser beams meet plasma: New data addresses gap in fusion research

DECEMBER 2, 2019 by University of Rochester New research from the University of Rochester will enhance the accuracy of computer models used in simulations of laser-driven implosions. The research, published in the journal Nature Physics, addresses one of the challenges in scientists’ longstanding quest to achieve fusion. In laser-driven inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiments, such as the experiments conducted at […]

Helping machines perceive some laws of physics

Model registers “surprise” when objects in a scene do something unexpected, which could be used to build smarter AI. Rob Matheson | MIT News OfficeDecember 2, 2019 Humans have an early understanding of the laws of physical reality. Infants, for instance, hold expectations for how objects should move and interact with each other, and will […]

Designing humanity’s future in space

The Space Exploration Initiative’s latest research flight explores work and play in microgravity. Janine Liberty | MIT Media LabNovember 26, 2019 How will dancers perform in space? How will scientists do lab experiments without work tables? How will artists pursue crafting in microgravity? How can exercise, gastronomy, research, and other uniquely human endeavors be reimagined […]

The plot thickens for a hypothetical X17 particle

NOVEMBER 29, 2019 by Ana Lopes, CERN resh evidence of an unknown particle that could carry a fifth force of nature gives the NA64 collaboration at CERN a new incentive to continue searches. In 2015, a team of scientists spotted an unexpected glitch, or “anomaly”, in a nuclear transition that could be explained by the production of an […]

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