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Fast Company

MIT researchers have developed a new approach to removing methane emissions from the air using zeolite, an inexpensive material used in cat litter, reports Adele Peters for Fast Company. Prof. Desiree Plata explains that compared to carbon dioxide, “methane is actually much worse, from a global warming perspective. What this allows us to do is bring immediate climate benefit into the Earth system and actually change global warming rates in our lifetime.”


Bloomberg Opinion reporters Peter R. Orszag and Zachery Halem spotlight Prof. Andrew Lo's work examining the relationship between global companies, their equity value, and greenhouse gas emissions. “With carbon prices rising and other climate-protection measures strengthening, it’s reasonable to speculate that company valuations will become increasingly tied to emissions control,” writes Orszag and Halem. 


Vice reporter Becky Ferreira writes that a study by MIT scientists examining extreme climate events in the Earth’s history finds that as the planet warms we could be more susceptible to volatile climate extremes. “I think these results emphasize that Earth's long-term evolution is governed by complex, potentially amplifying mechanisms that we do not yet fully understand,” explains graduate student Constantin Arnscheidt. 


TechCrunch reporter Devin Coldewey writes that MIT researchers have created a new nanoengineered material that could prove tougher than Kevlar or steel. “Made of interconnected carbon ‘tetrakaidecahedrons,’ the material absorbed the impact of microscopic bullets in spectacular fashion,” writes Coldewey.


Writing for Science, Charlie Greenwood spotlights how MIT researchers are building upon their pioneering work twisting sheets of graphene together to create superconductors by using twisted graphene to develop working devices. “Many researchers are excited by the promise of exploring electronic devices without worrying about the constraints of chemistry,” writes Greenwood.


Architects from MIT and Generate Technologies have designed Boston’s first cross-laminated timber (CLT) building, a “’revolutionary’ type of timber [that] promises to reduce emissions that cause climate change, create affordable housing and jumpstart a new job-producing, homegrown industry in New England,” reports Bruce Gellerman and Kathleen McNerney for WBUR.

IEEE Spectrum

Prof. Max Shulaker has fabricated the first foundry-built silicon wafer, a monolithic 3D carbon nanotube integrated circuit, reports Samuel K. Moore for IEEE Spectrum. “We’ve completely reinvented how we manufacture this technology,” explains Shulaker, “transforming it from a technology that only worked in our academic labs to a technology that can and is already today working inside a commercial fabrication facility within a U.S. foundry.”


A study by Prof. Dan Rothman finds that increasing greenhouse gas emission rates could trigger a mass extinction in the ocean, reports Priya Shukla for Forbes. Shukla writes that Rothman found if a certain carbon threshold “is breached, it would take tens of thousands of years for the oceans to return to their original unperturbable state.”

Boston Globe

A study by Prof. Daniel Rothman finds that if carbon emissions exceed a critical threshold, it could lead to a mass extinction, reports Martin Finucane for The Boston Globe. "We should limit carbon dioxide emissions,” says Rothman. “The carbon cycle is a non-linear system, and if you perturb it, surprising things may happen.”

Popular Mechanics

Popular Mechanics reporter David Grossman writes that MIT researchers have developed a conceptual design for storing renewable energy for the grid in tanks of white-hot molten silicon. The researchers estimate that their system, “would cost around half as much as the current cheapest form of renewable energy ready to scale out to an entire grid.”

Popular Science

Prof. Michael Strano speaks about his research on carbon-fixing materials, which are “substances powered by the sun that use atmospheric carbon dioxide to grow and repair themselves, just as plants do,” writes Marlene Cimons for Popular Science. “Making a material that can access the abundant carbon all around us is a significant opportunity for materials science,” said Strano.

New Scientist

A team led by research scientist Ming Dao has made diamond nano-needles that can bend without breaking and snap back into to their original position, New Scientist reports. “The tiny needles had very little room for defects in their crystal structure, so they could bend without snapping,” the article explains.


Forbes contributor Brid-Aine Parnell describes new research from MIT and others who discovered that even though diamonds are hard and brittle, “needle nanodiamonds can stretch by as much as 9%.” Because of this, such nanodiamonds could “be biocompatible for vivo imaging, optoelectronics or even delivering drugs into cancer cells,” writes Parnell.


Ryan Mandelbaum of Gizmodo writes that MIT scientists have found that diamonds can bend without snapping when in the form of nano-needles. These needles can potentially be used to “store data or to deliver drugs directly into cells, or simply as ultra-strong nanostructures,” explains Mandelbaum.


A paper from MIT and others shows that when diamonds are in the form of a nano-needle, they can be bent and stretched before returning to their original shape, reports Aristos Georgiou for Newsweek. The researchers “found that they could bend and stretch by as much as 9 percent without breaking, which is approaching the theoretical limit of diamond flexibility,” notes Georgiou.