July 2015

Science & Tech

Chemists design a quantum-dot spectrometer
Instruments that measure the properties of light, known as spectrometers, are widely used in physical, chemical, and biological research. These devices are usually too large to be portable, but MIT scientists have now shown they can create spectrometers small enough to fit inside a smartphone camera, using tiny semiconductor nanoparticles called quantum dots.
Read more at http://bit.ly/1IkQtuD

Energy & Environment

Tiny wires could provide a big energy boost
Wearable electronic devices for health and fitness monitoring are a rapidly growing area of consumer electronics; one of their biggest limitations is the capacity of their tiny batteries to deliver enough power to transmit data. Now, researchers at MIT and in Canada have found a promising new approach to delivering the short but intense bursts of power needed by such small devices, using a new approach to making supercapacitors. Read more athttp://bit.ly/1SEztRa

New study shows how nanoparticles can clean up environmental pollutants Many human-made pollutants in the environment resist degradation through natural processes, and disrupt hormonal and other systems in mammals and other animals. Removing these toxic materials — which include pesticides and endocrine disruptors such as bisphenol A (BPA) — with existing methods is often expensive and time-consuming. A new method developed by group including MIT researchers, uses nanomaterials and UV light to “trap” chemicals for easy removal from soil and water.
Read more at http://bit.ly/1IkPCdk


Major step for implantable drug-delivery device

 An implantable, microchip-based device may soon replace the injections and pills now needed to treat chronic diseases: Earlier this month, MIT spinout Microchips Biotech partnered with a pharmaceutical giant to commercialize its wirelessly controlled, implantable, microchip-based devices that store and release drugs inside the body over many years. Read more at http://bit.ly/1IkQ62Y

Researchers develop a new means of killing harmful bacteria The global rise in antibiotic resistance is a growing threat to public health, damaging our ability to fight deadly infections, and efforts to develop new antibiotics are not keeping pace with this growth in microbial resistance. Researchers have engineered particles, known as ‘phagemids,’ capable of producing toxins that are deadly to targeted bacteria, without harming the body’s normal microflora.  
Read more at http://bit.ly/1IkQ2Ae