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MIT’s Fly Trap Gripper

The Magic Ball gripper consists of a skeleton made from cone-shaped origami structure that is connected...
The Magic Ball gripper consists of a skeleton made from cone-shaped origami structure that is connected to a vacuum device and wrapped in an airtight skin(Credit: MIT (CSAIL))

From green blobs to hydrogel fish to boa constrictors, scientists have taken inspiration from some interesting sources in pursuit of robotic arms that can lift heavy items, but do so with a delicate touch. The latest solution from MIT resembles a Venus flytrap in the way it snatches up objects many times its own weight, and its creators hope it can open up some exciting possibilities for robotic assistants that can handle all kinds of objects. read more

MIT DOLPHIN Can Spot Tiniest Tumors

An MIT team has developed a new method for imaging smaller fluorescent particles deep inside the...
An MIT team has developed a new method for imaging smaller fluorescent particles deep inside the body(Credit: MIT)

The earlier cancer is detected, the better the odds of treating it. But of course tumors can be hard to spot until they get to a certain size, at which point it might be too late. Now MIT researchers have developed a new optical imaging system that could be used to spot tiny tumors deep inside the body. read more

Wasp Venom May be the Effective Antibiotic

MIT scientists have produced an antibiotic that's derived from wasp venom (although not from the species...
MIT scientists have produced an antibiotic that’s derived from wasp venom (although not from the species shown here)(Credit: vladvitek/Depositphotos)

As harmful bacteria continue to become resistant to standard antibiotics, it gets increasingly important to come up with alternatives. read more

Gene Editing Could Cure 15,000 Diseases

Scientists at MIT and Harvard have discovered two gene editing techniques to fix mutations that cause diseases like cystic fibrosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Both diseases, and about half all human genetic disorders, are caused by mutations in single letters in the human genome, in which an ‘A’ appears where there should be a ‘B.’

The newly-developed gene editing systems can target the smallest units of our DNA or RNA to undo the mutation that causes cystic fibrosis.

One system edits DNA in the genome itself, while the other targets RNA, which transports genetic messages for making proteins.

MIT and Harvard scientists have developed a new gene editing tool that can rewrite the mutation in the genome that causes inherited diseases like cystic fibrosis

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Step Closer to Fusion Energy

Runaway electrons can melt the solid metal walls of nuclear fusion reactors but a pair of ...
Runaway electrons can melt the solid metal walls of nuclear fusion reactors but a pair of young physicists have discovered a way to slow and control these electrons paving the way for safe nuclear fusion reactors (Credit: Eurofusion CC-BY 3.0)

A functional fusion reactor may still be a dream, but it’s a dream that is slowly becoming a reality with numerous research efforts and experiments aiming to unlock the near unlimited supply of clean energy that such a reactor would provide. The challenges scientists face in getting nuclear fusion to work are undeniably difficult, but not insurmountable, and two young physicists have recently solved one of the major problems engineers have been grappling with for almost half a century. read more

Robot Practically Thinks for Itself

Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a robot that can pick up awkward and unusually shaped objects.

The robot learned how to grasp different objects by studying a virtual library of 10,000 3D objects and suitable grasps.

When a new object is placed in front of the bot, its deep-learning system quickly figures out what grasp the arm should use.

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When the robot was unsure of how to grasp an object, it poked it to figure out how to better grasp it. After doing this, it was successful at lifting objects 99 per cent of the time

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DIY Self-Driving Car

A self-driving Tesla comes with a hefty price tag, but a college student has given his Honda Civic similar abilities for a fraction of the cost.

Brevan Jorgenson has unveiled a device that replaces the rear-view mirror, which controls the brakes, accelerator and steering – and it only cost $700 to build.

The DIY device uses the hardware design and software shared online by Comma.ai last year, which had originally planned to upgrade cars with the technology.

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Brevan Jorgenson, a senior at the University of Nebraska, has unveiled a device that replaces the rear-view mirror that controls the brakes, accelerator and steering – and it only cost him $700 to build

Brevan Jorgenson, a senior at the University of Nebraska, has unveiled a device that replaces the rear-view mirror that controls the brakes, accelerator and steering – and it only cost him $700 to build

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