All posts by MIT News

“Peel-and-go” printable structures fold themselves

>> Expanding polymer enables self-folding without heating or immersion in water BY LARRY HARDESTY, MIT NEWS CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — As 3-D printing has become a mainstream technology, industry and academic researchers have been investigating printable structures that will fold themselves into useful three-dimensional shapes when heated or immersed in

How neural networks think

>> General-purpose technique sheds light on inner workings of neural nets trained to process language BY LARRY HARDESTY, MIT NEWS CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Artificial-intelligence research has been transformed by machine-learning systems called neural networks, which learn how to perform tasks by analyzing huge volumes of training

How retractions hurt scientists’ credibility

> Study finds faulty research creates a significant drop in use of prior published work BY PETER DIZIKES, MIT NEWS  CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Life scientists who have published papers that are retracted by journals subsequently suffer a 10 percent drop in citations of their remaining work,

Firebricks offer low-cost storage for carbon-free energy

Ancient technology could be used to level electricity prices for renewables BY DAVID L CHANDLER, MIT NEWS CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Firebricks, designed to withstand high heat, have been part of our technological arsenal for at least three millennia, since the era of the Hittites. Now,

How to make data centers more energy efficient

Flash-memory system could reduce power consumption of data center “caches” by 90 percent BY LARRY HARDESTY, MIT NEWS  CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Most modern websites store data in databases, and since database queries are relatively slow, most sites also maintain so-called cache servers, which list the results

Drones relay RFID signals for inventory control

System could save retailers billions lost through faulty inventory records BY LARRY HARDESTY, MIT NEWS CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Radio frequency ID tags were supposed to revolutionize supply chain management. The dirt-cheap, battery-free tags, which receive power wirelessly from scanners and then broadcast identifying numbers, enable