Category Archives: Science & Technology

Putting food-safety detection in the hands of consumers

>>Simple, scalable wireless system uses the RFID tags on billions of products to sense contamination MIT Media Lab researchers have developed a wireless system that leverages the cheap RFID tags already on hundreds of billions of products to sense potential food contamination — with no

Machine-learning system could aid critical decisions in sepsis care

>>Model predicts whether ER patients suffering from sepsis urgently need a change in therapy Researchers from MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have developed a predictive model that could guide clinicians in deciding when to give potentially life-saving drugs to patients being treated for sepsis

E.T., we’re home

>>Existing laser technology could be fashioned into Earth’s “porch light” to attract alien astronomers, study finds If extraterrestrial intelligence exists somewhere in our galaxy, a new MIT study proposes that laser technology on Earth could, in principle, be fashioned into something of a planetary porch

Oceanographers produce first-ever images of entire cod shoals

>>Wide-ranging acoustic images could help researchers identify populations on the brink of collapse For the most part, the mature Atlantic cod is a solitary creature that spends most of its time far below the ocean’s surface, grazing on bony fish, squid, crab, shrimp, and lobster

Fleets of drones could aid searches for lost hikers

>>System allows drones to cooperatively explore terrain under thick forest canopies where GPS signals are unreliable   Finding lost hikers in forests can be a difficult and lengthy process, as helicopters and drones can’t get a glimpse through the thick tree canopy. Recently, it’s been

Machines that learn language more like kids do

>>Computer model could improve human-machine interaction, provide insight into how children learn language. Children learn language by observing their environment, listening to the people around them, and connecting the dots between what they see and hear. Among other things, this helps children establish their language’s

Study reveals how the brain overcomes its own limitations

>>Strategies to compensate for uncertainty help the brain succeed at difficult mental computations Imagine trying to write your name so that it can be read in a mirror. Your brain has all of the visual information you need, and you’re a pro at writing your

How to mass produce cell-sized robots

>>Technique from MIT could lead to tiny, self-powered devices for environmental, industrial, or medical monitoring Tiny robots no bigger than a cell could be mass-produced using a new method developed by researchers at MIT. The microscopic devices, which the team calls “syncells” (short for synthetic

Probiotics and antibiotics create a killer combination

>>Delivered together, the two join forces to eradicate drug-resistant bacteria In the fight against drug-resistant bacteria, MIT researchers have enlisted the help of beneficial bacteria known as probiotics. In a new study, the researchers showed that by delivering a combination of antibiotic drugs and probiotics,