Normally, the immune system is able to differentiate between healthy and abnormal cells. Peptides, fragments created by the synthesis and breakdown of proteins inside each cell, are presented on the surface as antigens and act as signals to immune cells whether the cell should be left alone or flagged for […]

One promising strategy to treat cancer is stimulating the body’s own immune system to attack tumors. However, tumors are very good at suppressing the immune system, so these types of treatments don’t work for all patients. MIT engineers have now come up with a way to boost the effectiveness of […]

Supratim Das’s quest for the perfect battery began in the dark. Growing up in Kolkata, India, Das saw that a ready supply of electric power was a luxury his family didn’t have. “I wanted to do something about it,” Das says. Now a fourth-year PhD candidate in MIT chemical engineering […]

As the Covid-19 pandemic began to spread, it became clear that ventilators would be a crucial part of the medical response in order to keep patients breathing as they fought the disease.  In January, Philips Respironics, a major manufacturer of mechanical ventilators, put together an engineering response team to rapidly […]

Carbon nanotube transistors are a step closer to commercial reality, now that MIT researchers have demonstrated that the devices can be made swiftly in commercial facilities, with the same equipment used to manufacture the silicon-based transistors that are the backbone of today’s computing industry. Carbon nanotube field-effect transistors or CNFETs […]

Below is the text of President L. Rafael Reif’s Commencement remarks, as prepared for delivery. The Institute’s 2020 Commencement was held online today. Good afternoon! And to Chris Cassidy – thank you so much for your very kind words, and for the powerful example of your life and your service. May the […]

Below is the text of the Commencement address, as prepared for delivery, by Admiral William H. McRaven, retired U.S. Navy four-star admiral and former chancellor of the University of Texas system, for the Institute’s 2020 Commencement, held online May 29, 2020. Thank you very much for that kind introduction. President Reif, distinguished guests, […]

On land, it’s fairly obvious where one ecological region ends and another begins, for instance at the boundary between a desert and savanna. In the ocean, much of life is microscopic and far more mobile, making it challenging for scientists to map the boundaries between ecologically distinct marine regions. One […]

The following letter was sent to MIT’s community today by President L. Rafael Reif. To the members of the MIT community, At MIT, Commencement is the most beautiful day of the year. Even in this strange pandemic moment, this afternoon’s graduation celebration will offer us all the opportunity to celebrate […]

The MIT Corporation — the Institute’s board of trustees — elected nine full-term members, who will each serve for five years, three partial-term members, and three life members, during its quarterly meeting yesterday. Corporation Chair Robert B. Millard ’73 announced the election results; all positions are effective July 1. The […]

Robert Art will step down from his role as the director of the Seminar XXI Program effective June 30. Art is a senior fellow at the MIT Security Studies Program (SSP) and the Christian A. Herter Professor of International Relations, Emeritus at Brandeis University. He has directed the Seminar XXI program […]

One of the hottest topics in robotics is the field of soft robots, which utilizes squishy and flexible materials rather than traditional rigid materials. But soft robots have been limited due to their lack of good sensing. A good robotic gripper needs to feel what it is touching (tactile sensing), […]

Seychelle Vos arrived in September 2019 as the Department of Biology’s newest assistant professor. Her lab in Building 68 uses cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM), X-ray crystallography, biochemistry, and genetics to study how DNA and its associated proteins are organized inside the cell. Vos received her PhD from the University of […]

Many proteins are useful as drugs for disorders such as diabetes, cancer, and arthritis. Synthesizing artificial versions of these proteins is a time-consuming process that requires genetically engineering microbes or other cells to produce the desired protein. MIT chemists have devised a protocol to dramatically reduce the amount of time […]

The fast and efficient generation of random numbers has long been an important challenge. For centuries, games of chance have relied on the roll of a die, the flip of a coin, or the shuffling of cards to bring some randomness into the proceedings. In the second half of the […]

Like this year’s seniors, the Class of 1970 had its final semester disrupted: Fifty years ago, growing unrest over the Vietnam War led to the cancellation of MIT classes. In the podcast and transcript below, Karen Arenson ’70 and senior Bahrudin Trbalic share their experiences. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) […]

The longest continuously operating communications satellite in U.S. history, Lincoln Experimental Satellite–9 (LES-9), was decommissioned by MIT Lincoln Laboratory on May 20. The LES research team has been monitoring the satellite since it was launched in 1976. The gradual reduction in available power, coupled with the loss of the primary […]

Nuclear energy is a low-carbon energy source that is vital to decreasing carbon emissions. A critical factor in its continued viability as a future energy source is finding novel and innovative ways to improve operations and maintenance (O&M) costs in the next generation of advanced reactors. The U.S. Department of […]

Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have combined the power of a super collider with techniques of laser spectroscopy to precisely measure a short-lived radioactive molecule, radium monofluoride, for the first time. Precision studies of radioactive molecules open up possibilities for scientists to search for new physics beyond the Standard Model, […]

Vaccines are more likely to get through clinical trials than any other type of drug — but have been given relatively little pharmaceutical industry support during the last two decades, according to a new study by MIT scholars. Over a two-decade span from January 2000 to January 2020, private-sector vaccine-development […]

In the finest MIT tradition of community-driven innovation, the Commencement Committee and a core group of engineers, technologists, and artists across campus are putting minds and hands to work to create a meaningful, engaging online Commencement experience for the Class of 2020.  Moving the tradition-rich celebration online without diminishing its […]

The coronavirus pandemic has driven us apart physically while reminding us of the power of technology to connect. When MIT shut its doors in March, much of campus moved online, to virtual classes, labs, and chatrooms. Among those making the pivot were students engaged in independent research under MIT’s Undergraduate […]

One of the perks of an academic’s pre-pandemic life was the chance, at least once a week, to take a break from problem sets and proofs, and walk down the hall or across campus to sit in on cutting-edge research presented by invited experts from around the world. Offered through […]

MIT researchers have discovered a phenomenon that could be harnessed to control the movement of tiny particles floating in suspension. This approach, which requires simply applying an external electric field, may ultimately lead to new ways of performing certain industrial or medical processes that require separation of tiny suspended materials. […]

Ten MIT students and recent alumni are recipients of awards from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. They will use their grants to conduct research, earn a graduate degree, or teach English abroad. This year’s Fulbright award winners are headed to Australia, Brazil, France, China, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Malaysia. […]

Tissue biopsy slides stained using hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) dyes are a cornerstone of histopathology, especially for pathologists needing to diagnose and determine the stage of cancers. A research team led by MIT scientists at the Media Lab, in collaboration with clinicians at Stanford University School of Medicine and Harvard […]

MIT is home to over 500 recognized on-campus student groups and organizations. With the Covid-19 pandemic scattering everyone across the world, many student groups experienced a number of unfortunate disruptions and cancellations to their end-of-the-semester events and celebrations. To stay connected and positive during quarantine, members of Syncopasian, MIT’s premier […]

Call it another MIT innovation. When PhD student Jesse Tordoff passed her dissertation defense this month, she learned about the outcome in a new way: Her professors sent a thumbs-up emoji on the Zoom screen they were all sharing. Welcome to the new world of the online dissertation defense, one […]

In recent decades, urban populations in China’s cities have grown substantially, and rising incomes have led to a rapid expansion of car ownership. Indeed, China is now the world’s largest market for automobiles. The combination of urbanization and motorization has led to an urgent need for transportation policies to address […]

Nuclear fusion’s promise as a practical energy source has grown substantially in recent years, in large part because of novel high-temperature superconducting (HTS) materials that can shrink the size and boost the performance of the extremely powerful magnets needed in fusion reactors. Realizing that potential is a complex engineering challenge, […]

If we can better understand the causes and consequences of war, then we can contribute to its prevention. That is the guiding philosophy of faculty and students at the Security Studies Program (SSP), explains Sara Plana, a fifth-year PhD candidate in the MIT Department of Political Science. Plana was recently named the inaugural […]

Many decisions are made and details sorted out in a productive business meeting. But in order for that meeting to translate into results, participants have to remember all those details, understand their assignments, and follow through on commitments. The startup Fireflies.ai is helping people get the most out of their […]

A crystalline compound called ruthenium dioxide is widely used in industrial processes, where it’s particularly important for catalyzing a chemical reaction that splits molecules of water and releases oxygen. But the exact mechanism that takes place on this material’s surface, and how that reaction is affected by the orientation of […]

MIT scientists have identified a potential new strategy for treating Fragile X syndrome, a disorder that is the leading heritable cause of intellectual disability and autism. In a study of mice, the researchers showed that inhibiting an enzyme called GSK3 alpha reversed many of the behavioral and cellular features of […]

For engineers developing new materials or protective coatings, there are billions of different possibilities to sort through. Lab tests or even detailed computer simulations to determine their exact properties, such as toughness, can take hours, days, or more for each variation. Now, a new artificial intelligence-based approach developed at MIT […]

Like the atomic particles he studies, Pablo Ducru seems constantly on the move, vibrating with energy. But if he sometimes appears to be headed in an unexpected direction, Ducru, a doctoral candidate in nuclear science and computational engineering, knows exactly where he is going: “My goal is to address climate […]

As the world grapples with the continuing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, a multi-institutional initiative has been formed to support a broad range of research aimed at addressing the devastation to global public health, including projects by six MIT faculty. Called the Massachusetts Consortium on Pathogen Readiness (MassCPR), and based […]

Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), MIT’s research enterprise in Singapore, has received a grant from the National Medical Research Council (NMRC) Covid-19 Research fund for the acceleration of research and development of rapid paper-based serological and diagnostic tests for Covid-19. The one-year grant is part of NMRC’s support […]

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