Tag Archives: MIT

Brewing up Earth’s earliest life

Large concentrations of sulfites and bisulfites in shallow lakes may have set the stage for Earth’s first biological molecules CAMBRIDGE, MASS.–Around 4 billion years ago, Earth was an inhospitable place, devoid of oxygen, bursting with volcanic eruptions, and bombarded by asteroids, with no signs of

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

Try this! Researchers devise better recommendation algorithm

Approach should work especially well when ratings data is “sparse.”  BY LARRY HARDESTY, MIT NEWS CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The recommendation systems at websites such as Amazon and Netflix use a technique called “collaborative filtering.” To determine what products a given customer might like, they look for

Turning emissions into fuel

MIT-developed method converts carbon dioxide into useful compounds BY DAVID L CHANDLER, MIT NEWS CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — MIT researchers have developed a new system that could potentially be used for converting power plant emissions of carbon dioxide into useful fuels for cars, trucks, and planes,

Physicists design $100 handheld muon detector

Pocket-sized device detects charged particles in surrounding air BY JENNIFER CHU, MIT NEWS  CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — At any given moment, the Earth’s atmosphere is showered with high-energy cosmic rays that have been blasted from supernovae and other astrophysical phenomena far beyond the Solar System. When cosmic

How to float your coffee creamer

Study explains how droplets can “levitate” on liquid surfaces BY JENNIFER, CHU, MIT NEWS  CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A drop or two of cold cream in hot coffee can go a long way toward improving one’s morning. But what if the two liquids didn’t mix? MIT

MIT-Haiti, Google team up to boost education in Kreyòl

Institute-led effort to create STEM lexicon is now available for global translation BY PETER DIZIKES, MIT NEWS CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — In recent years, MIT scholars have helped develop a whole lexicon of science and math terms for use in Haiti’s Kreyòl language. Now a collaboration with Google

MIT students fortify concrete by adding recycled plastic

Adding bits of irradiated plastic water bottles could cut cement industry’s carbon emissions BY JENNIFER CHU, MIT NEWS CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Discarded plastic bottles could one day be used to build stronger, more flexible concrete structures, from sidewalks and street barriers, to buildings and bridges, according