ENDLESS FRONTIER:
INNOVATIONS IN SCIENCE & ENGINEERING

June 2009

Energy Stories

Climate Change Odds Much Worse Than Thought
The most comprehensive modeling yet carried out on the likelihood of how much hotter the earth's climate will get in this century shows that without rapid and massive action, the problem will be about twice as severe as previously estimated six years ago- and could be even worse that that.

The study uses the MIT integrated Global Systems Model, a detailed computer simulation of global economic activity and climate processes that has been developed and refined by the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change since the early 1990's. Read more >>

The work was supported in part by grants from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.

Update of the MIT 2003 Future of Nuclear Power
The report presents an update of the 2003 study. Almost six years have passed since the report was issued, a new administration in Washington is formulating its energy policy, and most importantly, concern about the energy future remains high. The report reviews what has changed from 2003 with respect to the challenges facing nuclear power. Read full report >>

Health Science Stories

Implantable Device Offers Continuous Cancer Monitoring
Surgical removal of a tissue sample is no the standard for diagnosing cancer. Such procedures, known as biopsies, are accurate but only a snapshop of the tumor at a single moment in time.

Monitoring a tumor for weeks or months after the biopsy its growth and how it responds to treatment, would be much more valuable, says Michael Cima, MIT professor of materials science and engineering, who has developed the first implantable device that can do just that. Read more >>

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute Centers of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence and the National Science Foundation.

Researchers Pinpoints Gene Key to Alzheimer's-Like Reversal
A team led by researchers at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory has now pinpointed the exact gene responsible for a 2007 breakthrough in which mice with symptoms of alzheimer's disease regained long-term memories and the ability to learn.

In the latest development, reported in the May 7th issue of Nature, Li-Hue Tsai, Picower Professor of Neuroscience, and colleagues found that work on the gene HDAC2 reverse the effects of Alzheimer's and boost cognitive function in mice. Read more >>

This work is supported by the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health; and the Robert A. and Renee E. Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science.

Robotic Therapy Holds Promise for Cerebral Palsy
Over the past few years, MIT engineers have successfully tested robotic devices to help stroke patients learn to control their arms and legs. Now, they're building on that work to help children with brain injuries and disorders such as cerebral palsy.