Category Archives: Science & Technology

How writing technology shaped classical thinking

>>Stephanie Frampton’s new book explores the written word in the Roman world The Roman poet Lucretius’ epic work “De rerum natura,” or “On the Nature of Things,” is the oldest surviving scientific treatise written in Latin. Composed around 55 B.C.E., the text is a lengthy

TESS discovers its third new planet, with longest orbit yet

>>Measurements indicate a dense, gaseous, “sub-Neptune” world, three times the size of Earth NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, TESS, has discovered a third small planet outside our solar system, scientists announced this week at the annual American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle. The new planet,

DNA design that anyone can do

>>Computer program can translate a free-form 2-D drawing into a DNA structure   Researchers at MIT and Arizona State University have designed a computer program that allows users to translate any free-form drawing into a two-dimensional, nanoscale structure made of DNA. Until now, designing such

A “pacemaker” for North African climate

>>Study shows the Sahara swung between lush and desert conditions every 20,000 years, in sync with monsoon activity The Sahara desert is one of the harshest, most inhospitable places on the planet, covering much of North Africa in some 3.6 million square miles of rock

Physicists record “lifetime” of graphene qubits

>>First measurement of its kind could provide stepping stone to practical quantum computing Researchers from MIT and elsewhere have recorded, for the first time, the “temporal coherence” of a graphene qubit — meaning how long it can maintain a special state that allows it to

System monitors radiation damage to materials in real-time

>>Facility could rapidly provide data on how material properties change in a nuclear reactor In order to evaluate a material’s ability to withstand the high-radiation environment inside a nuclear reactor, researchers have traditionally used a method known as “cook and look,” meaning the material is

The privacy risks of compiling mobility data

>>Merging different types of location-stamped data can make it easier to discern users’ identities, even when the data is anonymized A new study by MIT researchers finds that the growing practice of compiling massive, anonymized datasets about people’s movement patterns is a double-edged sword: While