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Materials science and engineering

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The Hill

Hill reporters Saul Elbein and Sharon Udasin spotlight how MIT researchers have developed a way to make lightweight fibers for possible use in the bodies of cars out of the waste material from the refining of petroleum. “The ‘heavy, gloppy’ leftovers from the petroleum refining process could become a key ingredient in making electric vehicles lighter, less expensive and more efficient,” they write.

WHDH 7

Prof. Yoel Fink speaks with WHDH about his team’s work developing an acoustic fabric that can listen to and record sound, a development inspired by the human ear. "The fabric can be inserted into clothes to monitor heart rate and respiration. It can even help with monitoring unborn babies during pregnancy."

Bloomberg News

Bloomberg News spotlights how MIT researchers have developed a new material that works like a microphone, converting sounds into vibrations and then electrical signals. “The development means the possibility of clothes that act as hearing aids, clothes that answer phone calls, and garments that track heart and breathing rates,” writes Bloomberg News.

Popular Science

Researchers from MIT and the Rhode Island School of Design have developed a wearable fabric microphone that can detect and transmit soundwaves and convert them into electrical signals, reports Shi En Kim for Popular Science. “Computers are going to really become fabrics," says Prof. Yoel Fink. "We’re getting very close.”

The Daily Beast

MIT researchers have created a flexible fiber that can generate electrical impulses that are conveyed to the brain as sound, reports Miriam Fauzia for The Daily Beast. “The researchers see endless possibilities for their smart fabric,” writes Fauzia. “The obvious application is in improving hearing aids, which Fink said have trouble discerning the direction of sound, particularly in noisy environments. But the fabric could also help engineers design wearable fabrics that can measure vital signs, monitor space dust in new kinds of spacecraft, and listen for signs of deterioration in buildings like emerging cracks and strains.”

Popular Science

Prof. Yet-Ming Chiang and his colleagues are developing a new, inexpensive iron-air battery technology that could provide multi-day storage for renewable energy by 2024 through their startup Form Energy, reports Anuradha Varanasi for Popular Science. Chiang explains that “the battery can deliver clean electricity for 100 hours at a price of only $20 kilowatts per hour – a bargain compared to lithium-ion batteries, which cost up to $200/kWh,” writes Varanasi.

WBUR

WBUR reporters Bruce Gellerman and David Greene spotlight Form Energy, a startup co-founded by MIT scientists with the mission to find a low-cost way to transform the global electric system. The startup “had a eureka moment when they thought about harnessing the rusting process to power batteries,” write Gellerman and Greene. 

Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Shi En Kim spotlights how MIT scientists created a new plastic material with the strength of steel. “This substance could be used as protective coatings for metal surfaces, such as the finish on cars, or as filters for purifying water,” writes Kim.

Boston.com

Boston.com reporter Marta Hill spotlights how MIT scientists used a new polymerization technique to create a material that serves as both a durable coating and strong structural element. “We now have a completely new way of making materials as two-dimensional polymers, [which] means we’re going to get new properties,” says Prof. Michael Strano. “This material that we’ve made happens to be pretty exceptional. It’s very strong and very light. It’s unusual for a polymer.”

WHDH 7

WHDH spotlights MIT scientists who have created a new material as strong as steel and as light as plastic. “There is excitement because that may open up whole new classes of materials that are strong in new kinds of ways,” says Prof. Michael Strano.

CBS Boston

MIT scientists have created a new strong yet light material that could be mass produced and used as coatings for cars, phones or even as building material for bridges, reports CBS Boston. “We don’t usually think of plastics as being something that you could use to support a building, but with this material, you can enable new things,” says Prof. Michael Strano.

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Mark Wilson writes that MIT researchers have developed a new type of material that is two times stronger than steel with just one-sixth the material bulk. “The material has implications for everything from how we build the gadgets we hold in our hands to the buildings we live in,” writes Wilson.

USA Today

MIT researchers have developed a new material that is as strong a steel but as light as plastic, reports Michelle Shen for USA Today. “It can be easily manufactured in large quantities, and the use cases range from lightweight coatings for cars and phones to building blocks for massive structures such as bridges,” writes Shen.

New Scientist

MIT researchers have developed a transparent, degradable medical dressing that could be used to help gut wounds heal more quickly and efficiently without leaking bacteria, reports Alex Wilkins for New Scientist. The researchers “designed their dressing to work like duct tape, which is only sticky on one side,” writes Wilkins. “Once it covers the wound, it quickly forms a hydrogel, an adhesive layer that can help the wound to heal.”

Bloomberg

Prof. Jesús del Alamo speaks with Bloomberg Radio’s Janet Wu about a new report by MIT researchers that explores how the U.S. can regain leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and production. “Leadership in microelectronics is really critical for economic progress and also security concerns,” says del Alamo.