Category Archives: Science & Technology

Scientists find seismic imaging is blind to water

Findings may lead scientists to reinterpret seismic maps of the Earth’s interior CAMBRIDGE, MASS.–When an earthquake strikes, nearby seismometers pick up its vibrations in the form of seismic waves. In addition to revealing the epicenter of a quake, seismic waves can give scientists a way

Evading in-flight lightning strikes

>>MIT study shows electrically charging planes would reduce their risk of being struck by lightning Aviation experts estimate that every commercial airplane in the world is struck by lightning at least once per year. Around 90 percent of these strikes are likely triggered by the

MIT and newly formed company launch novel approach to fusion power

>>Goal is for research to produce a working pilot plant within 15 years Progress toward the long-sought dream of fusion power — potentially an inexhaustible and zero-carbon source of energy — could be about to take a dramatic leap forward. Development of this carbon-free, combustion-free source

Insulator or superconductor? Physicists find graphene is both

>>When rotated at a “magic angle,” graphene sheets can form an insulator or a superconductor It’s hard to believe that a single material can be described by as many superlatives as graphene can. Since its discovery in 2004, scientists have found that the lacy, honeycomb-like

MIT launches Task Force on the Work of the Future

>>Institute-wide effort will study the evolution of jobs in an age of technological advancement Today MIT launched its Task Force on the Work of the Future, an Institute-wide effort to understand and shape the evolution of jobs during an age of innovation. The task force’s

The writing on the wall

>>Did humans speak through cave art? New paper links ancient drawings and language’s origins When and where did humans develop language? To find out, look deep inside caves, suggests an MIT professor. More precisely, some specific features of cave art may provide clues about how

Scientists deliver high-resolution glimpse of enzyme structure

>>New finding suggests differences in how humans and bacteria control production of DNA’s building blocks Using a state-of-the-art type of electron microscopy, an MIT-led team has discovered the structure of an enzyme that is crucial for maintaining an adequate supply of DNA building blocks in

Robo-picker grasps and packs

>>New robotic system could lend a hand with warehouse sorting and other picking or clearing tasks Unpacking groceries is a straightforward albeit tedious task: You reach into a bag, feel around for an item, and pull it out. A quick glance will tell you what

New invention can draw power from daily temperature swings

>>Technology developed at MIT can harness temperature fluctuations of many kinds to produce electricity Thermoelectric devices, which can generate power when one side of the device is a different temperature from the other, have been the subject of much research in recent years. Now, a

Neural networks everywhere

>>New chip reduces neural networks’ power consumption by up to 95 percent, making them practical for battery-powered devices Most recent advances in artificial-intelligence systems such as speech- or face-recognition programs have come courtesy of neural networks, densely interconnected meshes of simple information processors that learn