Science & Tech
First new cache-coherence mechanism in 30 years
Next month MIT researchers will unveil the first fundamentally new approach to cache coherence in more than three decades. More efficient memory-management is a space-saving scheme that could help enable chips with thousands of cores.
Read more at http://bit.ly/1VcX64M
Printing transparent glass in 3-D
The technology behind 3-D printing — which initially grew out of work at MIT — has exploded in recent years to encompass a wide variety of materials, including plastics and metals. Simultaneously, the cost of 3-D printers has fallen sufficiently to make them household consumer items. Now a team of MIT researchers has opened up a new frontier in 3-D printing: the ability to print optically transparent glass objects.
Read more at http://bit.ly/1Js14j7
Siberian Traps likely culprit for end Permian extinction
Scientists suspect that massive volcanic activity may have had a role in the so-called end-Permian mass extinction or “Great Dying,” when life on Earth collapsed after rising air and sea temperatures and toxic amounts of greenhouse gases were released into the atmosphere over a very short period of time. However, it has been unclear whether magmatism was the main culprit, or simply an accessory to the mass extinction. MIT researchers have now pinned down the timing of the magmatism, determining that the Siberian Traps erupted at the right time, and for the right duration, to have been a likely trigger.
Read more at http://bit.ly/1McanIw
Energy & Environment
Inexpensive new catalysts can be fine-tuned
MIT researchers with LBNL have developed a new type of carbon-based catalyst that can be tuned to promote desired chemical reactions, potentially enabling the replacement of expensive and rare metals in fuel cells.
Read more at http://bit.ly/1MLnbZs
Biologists find unexpected role for amyloid-forming protein
Fibrous protein clumps known as amyloids are most often associated with diseases where they form characteristic plaques in the brain. MIT biologists have discovered that yeast cells need to build amyloid-like structures during the production of reproductive cells called spores. Learning more about how cells break down those amyloids could help scientists develop new drugs for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Read more at http://bit.ly/1KTb6zh