February 2009

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the MIT Washington Office’s “ENDLESS FRONTIER: Innovation in Science & Engineering” monthly e-newsletter. This e-newsletter highlights some of MIT's cutting edge research advances and policy developments. If you have questions about any of these stories or associated research, please contact our office at mitdc@mit.edu.

Energy Stories

Solar-Power Breakthrough
Researchers have made a major advance in inorganic chemistry that could lead to a cheap way to store energy from the sun. In so doing, they have solved one of the key problems in making solar energy a dominant source of electricity. Read more >>

This project was funded by the National Science Foundation and by the Chesonis Family Foundation. Wired Magazine listed Nocera's discovery as one of the Top 10 Scientific Breakthroughs of 2008.

MIT analysis shows how cap-and-trade plans can cut greenhouse ...
Researchers at MIT's Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research have produced a report concerning "cap-and-trade" programs that are under consideration in the United States as a way of curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Read more >>

This research was supported by the MIT Carbon Sequestration Initiative and the National Science Foundation.

Bury the Greenhouse Gas
To prevent global warming, researches and policymakers are exploring a variety of options to singnificantly cut the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that reaches the atmosphere. Read more >>

This research was supported by the McClelland Fund, administered by the MIT Energy Initiative, and by the Reed Research Fund.

Life Science Stories

Mending broken hearts with tissue engineering
Broken hearts could one day be mended using a novel scaffold developed by MIT researchers and colleagues. Living heart cells or stem cells seeded onto such a scaffold could be used to treat congenital heart defects, or aid the recovery of tissue damaged by a heart attack. Read more >>

This work was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, NASA, and Draper Laboratory.

Immunity, from the cell's point of view
MIT engineers have painted a detailed portrait of how single cells from the immune system respond to vaccination helping researchers develop and test new vaccines for diseases including HIV, fungal infections and antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. Read more >>

This research was funded by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative.

Tiny backpacks for cells
MIT engineers have outfitted cells with tiny "backpacks" that could allow them to deliver chemotherapy agents, diagnose tumors or become building blocks for tissue engineering. Read more >>

This research was funded by the National Science Foundation Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.