Category Archives: Science & Technology

Giving keener “electric eyesight” to autonomous vehicles

>>On-chip system that detects signals at sub-terahertz wavelengths could help steer driverless cars through fog and dust Autonomous vehicles relying on light-based image sensors often struggle to see through blinding conditions, such as fog. But MIT researchers have developed a sub-terahertz-radiation receiving system that could

Why too much DNA repair can injure tissue

>>Overactive repair system promotes cell death following DNA damage by certain toxins, study shows DNA-repair enzymes help cells survive damage to their genomes, which arises as a normal byproduct of cell activity and can also be caused by environmental toxins. However, in certain situations, DNA

Using artificial intelligence to engineer materials’ properties

>>New system of “strain engineering” can change a material’s optical, electrical, and thermal properties Applying just a bit of strain to a piece of semiconductor or other crystalline material can deform the orderly arrangement of atoms in its structure enough to cause dramatic changes in

New technique pinpoints milestones in the evolution of bacteria

>>Results show bacterial genomes provide “shadow history” of animal evolution Bacteria have evolved all manner of adaptations to live in every habitat on Earth. But unlike plants and animals, which can be preserved as fossils, bacteria have left behind little physical evidence of their evolution,

Unleashing perovskites’ potential for solar cells

>>New results show how varying the recipe could bring these materials closer to commercialization Perovskites — a broad category of compounds that share a certain crystal structure — have attracted a great deal of attention as potential new solar-cell materials because of their low cost,

Engineers program marine robots to take calculated risks

>>Algorithm could help autonomous underwater vehicles explore risky but scientifically rewarding environments We know far less about the Earth’s oceans than we do about the surface of the moon or Mars. The sea floor is carved with expansive canyons, towering seamounts, deep trenches, and sheer

Identifying artificial intelligence “blind spots”

>>Model identifies instances when autonomous systems have learned from examples that may cause dangerous errors in the real world A novel model developed by MIT and Microsoft researchers identifies instances in which autonomous systems have “learned” from training examples that don’t match what’s actually happening

Democratizing data science

>>Tool for nonstatisticians automatically generates models that glean insights from complex datasets MIT researchers are hoping to advance the democratization of data science with a new tool for nonstatisticians that automatically generates models for analyzing raw data. Democratizing data science is the notion that anyone,

Mechanism helps explain the ear’s exquisite sensitivity

>>A critical gel-like structure in the inner ear moves according to a sound’s frequency, researchers find   The human ear, like those of other mammals, is so extraordinarily sensitive that it can detect sound-wave-induced vibrations of the eardrum that move by less than the width