Category Archives: Science & Technology

Using Wall Street secrets to reduce the cost of cloud infrastructure

>>“Risk-aware” traffic engineering could help service providers such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Google better utilize network infrastructure By Rob Matheson Stock market investors often rely on financial risk theories that help them maximize returns while minimizing financial loss due to market fluctuations. These theories help

Tissue model reveals role of blood-brain barrier in Alzheimer’s

>>Study finds that Alzheimer’s damage allows toxins to enter the brain, further harming neurons By Anne Trafton Beta-amyloid plaques, the protein aggregates that form in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, disrupt many brain functions and can kill neurons. They can also damage the blood-brain barrier

Using recent gene flow to define microbe populations

>>New method identifies ecologically and medically relevant bacteria groups By Becky Ham Identifying species among plants and animals has been a full-time occupation for some biologists, but the task is even more daunting for the myriad microbes that inhabit the planet. Now, MIT researchers have

Microfluidics device helps diagnose sepsis in minutes

>>When time matters in hospitals, automated system can detect an early biomarker for the potentially life-threatening condition By Rob Matheson A novel sensor designed by MIT researchers could dramatically accelerate the process of diagnosing sepsis, a leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals that kills

Drag-and-drop data analytics

>>System lets nonspecialists use machine-learning models to make predictions for medical research, sales, and more By Rob Matheson In the Iron Man movies, Tony Stark uses a holographic computer to project 3-D data into thin air, manipulate them with his hands, and findfixes to his superhero troubles. In the same vein, researchers from MIT and Brown University have now developed a system for interactive data analytics thatruns on touchscreens and lets everyone — not just billionaire tech geniuses

Tiny motor can “walk” to carry out tasks

>>Mobile motor could pave the way for robots to assemble complex structures — including other robots By David Chandler Years ago, MIT Professor Neil Gershenfeld had an audacious thought. Struck by the fact that all the world’s living things are built out of combinations of

Breaching a “carbon threshold” could lead to mass extinction

>>Carbon dioxide emissions may trigger a reflex in the carbon cycle, with devastating consequences, study finds By Jennifer Chu In the brain, when neurons fire off electrical signals to their neighbors, this happens through an “all-or-none” response. The signal only happens once conditions in the

Engineers 3-D print flexible mesh for ankle and knee braces

>>Techniques could lead to personalized wearable and implantable devices By Jennifer Chu Hearing aids, dental crowns, and limb prosthetics are some of the medical devices that can now be digitally designed and customized for individual patients, thanks to 3-D printing. However, these devices are typically

Spotting objects amid clutter

>>New approach quickly finds hidden objects in dense point clouds, for use in driverless cars or work spaces with robotic assistants By Jennifer Chu A new MIT-developed technique enables robots to quickly identify objects hidden in a three-dimensional cloud of data, reminiscent of how some

A droplet walks into an electric field …

>>Researchers have found a simple formula that could be useful for air purification, space propulsion, and molecular analyses By Jennifer Chu When a raindrop falls through a thundercloud, it is subject to strong electric fields that pull and tug on the droplet, like a soap