ENDLESS FRONTIER:
INNOVATIONS IN SCIENCE & ENGINEERING

December 2012

Science

MIT builds tiny robot precursor to actual transformers
Reconfigurable robot a step toward something that can become almost anything.
(A Wired story, which includes video).
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The music of the silks
Researchers synthesize a new kind of silk fiber – based upon that produced by spiders – and find that music can help fine-tune the material’s properties.
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Size diversity in cement nanoparticles optimizes packing density to give concrete its strength
MIT researchers working on technologies to make the most familiar building material on Earth stronger and more durable, to support a reduced environmental footprint.

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Health

New technology may enable earlier cancer diagnosis
Nanoparticles amplify tumor signals, making them much easier to detect in the urine.
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  Inspiration from a porcupine’s quills
Understanding the mechanisms behind quill penetration and extraction could help engineers design better medical devices.
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  Precisely engineering 3-D brain tissues
New design technique could enable personalized medicine, studies of brain wiring.
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