Month: October 2018

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Radha Mastandrea wants to know what the universe is made of. More specifically, she wants to know about tiny pieces of it called quarks, the particles that make up other, bigger particles such as protons and neutrons. The more we know about those, she says, the more we know about the building blocks of all
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Four members of the MIT community have been elected as fellows of the American Physical Society for 2018. The distinct honor is bestowed on less than 0.5 percent of the society’s membership each year. APS Fellowship recognizes members that have completed exceptional physics research, identified innovative applications of physics to science and technology, or furthered physics education. Nominated by
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Angelika Amon, an MIT professor of biology, is one of five scientists who will receive a 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, given for transformative advances toward understanding living systems and extending human life. Amon, the Kathleen and Curtis Marble Professor in Cancer Research and a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research,
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Unassuming farmland in Østfold County, Norway, was hiding a secret for centuries – and now it’s been rumbled. Using high-resolution ground-penetrating radar, archaeologists have found an ancient Viking cemetery, complete with what appears to be a well-preserved ship burial.   A popular mode of interment among the Norse Vikings, ship burials consisting of a longboat
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The way that ordinary materials undergo a phase change, such as melting or freezing, has been studied in great detail. Now, a team of researchers has observed that when they trigger a phase change by using intense pulses of laser light, instead of by changing the temperature, the process occurs very differently. Scientists had long
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A revolution in genomics is creeping into economics. It allows us to say something we might have suspected, but could never confirm: money trumps genes. Using one new, genome-based measure, economists found genetic endowments are distributed almost equally among children in low-income and high-income families. Success is not.   The least-gifted children of high-income parents
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For almost two centuries, scientists have theorized that life may be distributed throughout the Universe by meteoroids, asteroids, planetoids, and other astronomical objects. This theory, known as Panspermia, is based on the idea that microorganisms and the chemical precursors of life are able to survive being transported from one star system to the next.   Expanding
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In a time of crazy political and world news, it’s often easy to overlook some of the ridiculously cool things happening in science. To make sure you don’t miss out, we’ve put together this shareable image highlighting the best science news of the past week.   From ‘moonmoons’ (yes, that’s a real thing) and Stephen
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It’s been a big week for NASA. First the much-loved Hubble Space Telescope entered “safe mode” after one of the gyroscopes that points it in the right direction failed. Then there was a mid-flight failure of a Russian Soyuz rocket on Thursday morning, resulting in the (safe!) emergency landing of cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and astronaut Nick
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Biologists have grown human retina tissue from scratch to learn how the cells that let us see in color are made. The work may lay the groundwork for therapies for eye diseases such as color blindness and macular degeneration. It also establishes lab-created “organoids”—artificially grown organ tissue—as a model to study human development on a cellular
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Center for Theoretical Physics professors Daniel Harlow, Aram Harrow, Hong Liu and Jesse Thaler have been named recipients of research awards in the U.S. Department of Energy’s new program in Quantum Information Science (QIS).  The awards were made in conjunction with the White House Summit on Advancing American Leadership in QIS, highlighting the high priority that
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Representatives from the MIT-Germany Program and the University of Stuttgart (USTUTT) recently came together to formally extend a strategic partnership first created in 2015. The agreement aims to forge a closer relationship between the two universities in both research and teaching. Professor Markus Buehler, MIT-Germany faculty director and head of the Department of Civil and
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The genetic sleuthing approach that broke open the Golden State Killer case could potentially be used to identify more than half of Americans of European descent from anonymous DNA samples, according to a provocative new study that highlights the unintended privacy consequences of consumer genetic testing for ancestry and health.   The idea that people