A marvelous molecular machine

NOVEMBER 15, 2019 by Harrison Tasoff and Sonia Fernandez, University of California – Santa Barbara Squids, octopuses and cuttlefish are undisputed masters of deception and camouflage. Their extraordinary ability to change color, texture and shape is unrivaled, even by modern technology. Researchers in the lab of UC Santa Barbara professor Daniel Morse have long been interested […]

World-leading microscopes take candid snapshots of atoms in their ‘neighborhoods’

NOVEMBER 6, 2019 by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Researchers from MIT will be collaborating with colleagues at the University of Colorado at Boulder on an experiment scheduled to be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) on Nov. 2. The experiment is looking for ways to address the formation of biofilms on surfaces within the space station. These […]

Chemists observe “spooky” quantum tunneling

Extremely large electric fields can prevent umbrella-shaped ammonia molecules from inverting. Anne Trafton | MIT News OfficeNovember 4, 2019 A molecule of ammonia, NH3, typically exists as an umbrella shape, with three hydrogen atoms fanned out in a nonplanar arrangement around a central nitrogen atom. This umbrella structure is very stable and would normally be […]

System provides cooling with no electricity

Passive device relies on a layer of material that blocks incoming sunlight but lets heat radiate away. David Chandler | MIT News OfficeOctober 30, 2019 Imagine a device that can sit outside under blazing sunlight on a clear day, and without using any power cool things down by more than 23 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees […]

New synthesis method yields degradable polymers

Materials could be useful for delivering drugs or imaging agents in the body; may offer alternative to some industrial plastics. Anne Trafton | MIT News OfficeOctober 28, 2019 MIT chemists have devised a way to synthesize polymers that can break down more readily in the body and in the environment. A chemical reaction called ring-opening […]

Mathematics reveals new insights into Marangoni flows

The Marangoni effect is a popular physics experiment. It is produced when an interface between water and air is heated in just one spot. OCTOBER 28, 2019 by Springer The Marangoni effect is a popular physics experiment. It is produced when an interface between water and air is heated in just one spot. Since this heat […]

New process could make hydrogen peroxide available in remote places

MIT-developed method may lead to portable devices for making the disinfectant on-site where it’s needed. David L. Chandler | MIT News Office October 23, 2019 Hydrogen peroxide, a useful all-purpose disinfectant, is found in most medicine cabinets in the developed world. But in remote villages in developing countries, where it could play an important role […]

Whitehead Institute team resolves structure of master growth regulator

New research reveals how mTORC1 docks at lysosomal surface. Nicole Davis | Whitehead InstituteOctober 18, 2019 A team of Whitehead Institute scientists has for the first time revealed the molecular structure of a critical growth regulator bound to its partner proteins, creating a fine-grained view of how they interact to sense nutrient levels and control […]

A new mathematical approach to understanding zeolites

Study of minerals widely used in industrial processes could lead to discovery of new materials for catalysis and filtering. David L. Chandler | MIT News OfficeOctober 7, 2019 Zeolites are a class of natural or manufactured minerals with a sponge-like structure, riddled with tiny pores that make them useful as catalysts or ultrafine filters. But […]

A new way to corrosion-proof thin atomic sheets

Ultrathin coating could protect 2D materials from corrosion, enabling their use in optics and electronics. David L. Chandler | MIT News OfficeOctober 4, 2019 A variety of two-dimensional materials that have promising properties for optical, electronic, or optoelectronic applications have been held back by the fact that they quickly degrade when exposed to oxygen and […]