ENDLESS FRONTIER:
INNOVATIONS IN SCIENCE & ENGINEERING

February 2012

Science

MIT to launch Institute for Medical Engineering and Science
Based in School of Engineering but spanning all of MIT, IMES will be led by Arup K. Chakraborty.
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Energy

Harnessing nature's solar cells
Within a few years, people in remote villages in the developing world may be able to make their own solar panels, at low cost, using otherwise worthless agricultural waste as their raw material, according to MIT researcher Andreas Mershin (includes video).
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Revealing how a battery material works
Since its discovery 15 years ago, lithium iron phosphate has become one of the most promising materials for rechargeable batteries because of its stability, durability, safety and ability to deliver a lot of power at once. Until now, the reason for this material's unusual characteristics have been unclear.
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Turning heat into power
A team of MIT researchers has developed a way of making a high-temperature version of materials that could find a wide range of applications, such as powering portable electronic devices, spacecraft, and new infrared light emitters that could be used as chemical detectors and sensors.
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Health

Where eye care is a luxury, technology offers access 
In the developing world, often a good pair of glasses is all that stands between millions of people and a job or an education. MIT spinoff company EyeNetra is developing a $2 scope that healthcare workers can slip onto a smartphone to provide eye exams. An NPR story (includes audio).
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Neurologists link brain-wave pattern to energy consumption 
New model of neuro-electric activity could help scientists better understand quiescent brain states such as coma.
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