One of the many ways scientists hope to improve the performance of today’s lithium batteries is by swapping out some of the liquid components for solid ones. Known as solid-state batteries, these experimental devices could greatly extend the life of electric vehicles and mobile devices by significantly upping the energy density packed inside. Scientists at MIT are now reporting an exciting advance toward this future, demonstrating a new type of solid-state battery architecture that overcomes some limitations of current designs.
Earlier this year we covered a blueberry-sized capsule developed by researchers at MIT that would allow diabetics to take their insulin orally rather than by injection. That capsule contained microneedles to deliver the hormone through the stomach lining. Now, the same team has gone a step further, developing a new capsule that would survive a trip through the stomach and deliver its payload to the lining of the small intestine.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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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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