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Displaying 16 - 26 of 26 news clips related to this topic.


Writing for Wired, Keith Gillogly spotlights how MIT researchers have devised a new technique that could lead to the development of lab-grown wood and other biomaterials. “The hope is that, if this becomes a developed process for producing plant materials, you could alleviate some of [the] pressures on our agricultural lands. And with those reduced pressures, hopefully we can allow more spaces to remain wild and more forests to remain in place,” says graduate student Ashley Beckwith,

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Kristin Toussaint writes about how MIT researchers have developed a new technique for growing wood-like plant tissues in the lab. The work, they say, is still in its very early stages, but provides a starting point to a new way of producing biomaterials. “It’s a process that eventually could help accelerate our shift away from plastics and other materials that end up in landfill toward materials that can biodegrade,” writes Toussaint.


TechCrunch reporter Darrell Etherington writes that MIT researchers have developed a new method for growing plant tissues in a lab. “Potential applications of lab-grown plant material are significant,” writes Etherington, “and include possibilities in both agriculture and in construction materials.”

Popular Mechanics

MIT researchers have found that mechanical training could be used to produce synthetic hydrogels that perform more like human muscles, reports Sam Spiller for Popular Mechanics. “Stretched and treated to a mechanical workout in a water bath, the [hydrogels] became unyielding and resistant to molecular ruptures,” writes Spiller. “They were able to stay structurally sound despite continuous repetitive movements.”

NBC News

Kate Baggaley of NBC News highlights a team of MIT researchers who have developed a computer model to explain how albatrosses fly so efficiently. “Unlike other birds that flap their wings frequently, the albatross rides the wind,” which researchers are hoping to duplicate as they attempt to create drones that fly by harnessing power from the wind and sun, she explains.

The Washington Post

Ben Guarino of The Washington Post revisits research by Profs. Annette Hosoi and Amos Winter examining how razor claims burrow through sand.  Hosoi and Winter developed a device that “mimics the razor clam's digging ability, allowing an object to secure itself to the sea floor,” and could be used to anchor underwater autonomous vehicles or deposit undersea cables.

CBC News

CBC reporter Nora Young explores how MIT researchers have developed a new material, inspired by beaver fur, that could help keep surfers warm. “In sports technology there's a great need for textiles that have great insulating properties in water, but still let you stay agile and nimble,” explains graduate student Alice Nasto. 

Scientific American

Graduate student Alice Nasto speaks with Cynthia Graber of Scientific American about her research designing a material inspired by the fur that keeps beavers and sea otters warm. Nasto explains that the fur "evolved to trap air, and this air provides a layer of insulation for them in water.”


Researchers from MIT and Harvard have identified the optical features within a limpet’s shell that allow the mollusk to display blue stripes, reports Nidhi Subbaraman for BetaBoston. The findings could inspire developments in augmented reality screens.


“A team from MIT and Duke created flexible polymers that can change color and texture in response to a controlled voltage, essentially allowing them to camouflage an object with the flip of a switch,” reports Jim Festante for Slate. This mimics the ability of cephalopods in nature to rapidly change color.

The Washington Post

Professor Xuanhe Zhao has developed a material that mimics the ability of cephalopods such as cuttlefish, squids, and octopuses, to rapidly change color, reports Rachel Feltman for The Washington Post. "It's a fantastic quality, and one unprecedented in human engineering," says Zhao.