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MIT researchers improve perovskite-based solar panel efficiency

MIT researchers improve perovskite-based solar panel efficiency

Today, solar panels are typically made of silicon, but in the future, they could be manufactured from a different material that offers more efficiency and lower manufacturing cost. The material that could replace silicon for these next-generation solar panels is called perovskites. MIT researchers say that perovskites offer the potential for low-cost, low-temperature manufacturing of extremely thin and lightweight, flexible cells.

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MIT metalens doesn’t need to move to shift focus

MIT metalens doesn’t need to move to shift focus

Cameras have been around for a very long time and have used polished glass for lenses for almost as long as they have been around. In a polished glass lens, a precise curvature allows the lens to focus light and deliver the photographer sharp images. To change focus typically requires the lens to move physically by tilting, sliding, or shifting via mechanical parts.

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New surgical technique could improve control of prosthetic limbs after amputation

New surgical technique could improve control of prosthetic limbs after amputation

Researchers from MIT and Harvard Medical School have invented a new type of amputation surgery that could leave amputees with better control of residual muscles. The team believes improved control of those residual muscles could allow them to receive sensory feedback from prosthetic devices. Enhanced control of the residual muscles could enable amputees to sense where their "phantom limb" is in space.

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LaserFactory fabricates fully functional drones using only three ingredients

LaserFactory fabricates fully functional drones using only three ingredients

MIT researchers have created a system dubbed LaserFactory that can automate the process for making functional devices in a single system. LaserFactory produces functional custom-made devices and robots with no human intervention. The single system uses three ingredients allowing users to create structural geometry, print traces, and assemble electronic components like sensors and actuators.

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MIT develops medical patch inspired by origami

MIT develops medical patch inspired by origami

Today, many medical procedures are performed using very small incisions with miniature cameras and surgical tools inserted through the small incisions to remove tumors and perform other surgeries to repair damage inside the body. Minimally invasive procedures are preferred because the surgery is less painful and has a shorter recovery time than traditional open surgeries. One major challenge during these minimally invasive procedures is sealing internal wounds and tears.

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Dwarf galaxy Tucana II has an extended dark matter halo

Dwarf galaxy Tucana II has an extended dark matter halo

Our galaxy is surrounded by dozens of dwarf galaxies that scientists believe are remnants of the very first galaxies in the universe. One of the oldest of those galaxies is an ultra-faint dwarf galaxy about 163,000 light-years from Earth called Tucana II. Astrophysicists at MIT have now detected stars at the edge of Tucana II that are in a configuration surprisingly far from the center of the galaxy but are caught in the galaxy's gravitational pull.

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MIT’s tiny 3D printed thruster uses ions for propulsion

MIT’s tiny 3D printed thruster uses ions for propulsion

Researchers at MIT have invented a small 3D printed thruster that emits a stream of pure ions. The thruster could be used as a low-cost and efficient propulsion source for miniature satellites in the future. The thruster is the first of its kind to be entirely manufactured using additive processes.

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MIT scientists want to grow wood and fiber plant tissues in a lab

MIT scientists want to grow wood and fiber plant tissues in a lab

A group of researchers from MIT has proposed a way to grow certain plant tissues, including wood and fiber, in a lab. Their idea is in the early stages and is likened to cultured meat. Researchers see the ability to grow wood and fiber in a lab as an opportunity to streamline the production of biomaterials.

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MIT researchers discover why cancer cells get energy from fermentation

MIT researchers discover why cancer cells get energy from fermentation

Scientists have known for decades that cancer cells don't metabolize sugar in the same way normal cells do. Scientists have been trying since that discovery in the 1920s to figure out why cancer cells use a method for metabolizing sugar that is much less efficient. Scientists at MIT believe they have now found a potential answer to that question.

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Researchers discover new insights into how water filter membranes work

Researchers discover new insights into how water filter membranes work

Scientists have known for years that membranes can do things such as act as a filter for saltwater. When salty ocean water is moved through a membrane, clean water comes out the other side that can be used for agriculture and drinking, among other things. While pushing water through a membrane is a simple enough process, the exact method that allowed water filtration membranes to work was unknown until now.

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Aerosols in the atmosphere may cause tropical thunderstorms to be more severe

Aerosols in the atmosphere may cause tropical thunderstorms to be more severe

Researchers at MIT have been conducting observations of Earth's atmosphere, looking at aerosols created by natural sources and human activities. According to the results of their observations, thunderstorms are often stronger in the presence of high concentrations of aerosols, which are airborne particles too small to see with the naked eye. The team found that lightning flashes are more frequent along shipping routes where freighters often more emit particles into the air compared to the surrounding ocean.

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Researchers invent microfiber tech for delivering and activating drugs in the brain

Researchers invent microfiber tech for delivering and activating drugs in the brain

An MIT associate professor, Paulina Anikeeva, and James Frank from Oregon Health and Science University developed a microfiber technology used to deliver and activate a drug that can be induced to bind to a receptor in the brain by exposure to light. Frank said that one of the significant barriers in light-controllable drugs for modulating neural circuits in the brain in a living animal had been the lack of hardware to enable the simultaneous delivery of light and drugs to the target area of the brain. The researchers say their work offers an integrated approach for on-demand delivery of light and drugs using a single fiber.

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