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Nanoscience and nanotechnology

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Boston Magazine

MIT researchers are developing targeted drug delivery through the use of nanoparticles to aid in cancer treatment, reports Simone Migliori for Boston Magazine. “Designed to circulate through the bloodstream, these small but mighty travelers [nanoparticles] can deliver a chemotherapy drug directly to a target cancer cell without disturbing any healthy cells along the way,” writes Migliori. “In doing so, patients may be able to avoid some of the worst side effects of chemotherapy drugs while still effectively treating their cancer.”

Scientific American

MIT researchers have discovered that ancient Romans used calcium-rich mineral deposits to build durable infrastructure, reports Daniel Cusick for Scientific American. This “discovery could have implications for reducing carbon emissions and creating modern climate-resilient infrastructure,” writes Cusick.

NPR

Prof. Admir Masic speaks with NPR host Scott Simon about the concrete blend used by the ancient Romans to build long standing infrastructures. “We found that there are key ingredients in ancient Roman concrete that lead to a really outstanding functionality property in the ancient mortar, which is self-healing,” explains Masic.

Reuters

Reuters reporter Will Dunham writes that a new study by MIT researchers uncovers the secret ingredient that made ancient Roman concrete so durable and could “pave the way for the modern use of a replicated version of this ancient marvel.” Prof. Admir Masic explains that the findings are “an important next step in improving the sustainability of modern concretes through a Roman-inspired strategy.”

CNN

MIT researchers have discovered that ancient Romans used lime clasts when manufacturing concrete, giving the material self-healing properties, reports Katie Hunt for CNN. "Concrete allowed the Romans to have an architectural revolution," explains Prof. Admir Masic. "Romans were able to create and turn the cities into something that is extraordinary and beautiful to live in. And that revolution basically changed completely the way humans live."

Science

Scientists from MIT and other institutions have uncovered an ingredient called quicklime used in ancient Roman techniques for manufacturing concrete that may have given the material self-healing properties, reports Jacklin Kwan for Science Magazine. When the researchers made their own Roman concrete and tested to see how it handled cracks, “the lime lumps dissolved and recrystallized, effectively filling in the cracks and keeping the concrete strong,” Kwan explains.

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Adele Peters writes that researchers from MIT and other institutions have found that a technique employed by ancient Romans for manufacturing concrete contains self-healing properties and could be used to help reduce concrete’s global carbon footprint. The ancient concrete method could open the “opportunity to build infrastructure that is self-healing infrastructure,” explains Prof. Admir Masic.

The Guardian

Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have found that using ancient Roman techniques for creating concrete could be used to create buildings with longer lifespans, reports Nicola Davis for The Guardian. “Roman-inspired approaches, based for example on hot mixing, might be a cost-effective way to make our infrastructure last longer through the self-healing mechanisms we illustrate in this study,” says Prof. Admir Masic.

The Hill

Researchers at MIT have found that applying ancient Roman techniques for developing concrete could be used to reduce concrete manufacturing emissions, reports Saul Elbein for The Hill. “Researchers said blocks treated with the method — in which concrete was mixed with reactive quicklime under continuous heat — knit themselves back together within a few weeks after being fractured,” writes Elbein.

Fast Company

MIT researchers have developed paper-thin solar cells that can adhere to nearly any material, reports Elissaveta M. Brandon for Fast Company. “We have a unique opportunity to rethink what solar technology looks like, how it feels, and how we deploy it,” says Prof. Vladimir Bulović.

The Hill

Writing for The Hill, President L. Rafael Reif emphasizes the importance of “enabling universities to undertake the use-inspired research that will seed future innovations.” He adds: “To secure national leadership and prosperity over time, the U.S. needs to be the birthplace of the new ideas that will determine the future — including the future of semiconductor technology, design, and manufacturing.”

Fortune

Prof. Kripa Varanasi and Vishnu Jayaprakash PhD ’21, MS ’19 have launched AgZen, a company that is trying to reduce pesticide use through the development of additives that allow more pesticide droplets to stick to plants, reports Ian Mount for Fortune. “Globally, farms are spending about $60 billion a year on these pesticides, and our goal is to try to get them to cut that down while still not compromising on pest control,” says Jayaprakash.

Mashable

MIT researchers have developed an ultra-thin solar panel that can adhere to any surface for access to immediate power, reports Jules Suzdaltsev for Mashable. “These ultra-portable panels can make the difference in remote regions where emergencies require more power,” writes Suzdaltsev.

Boston.com

Researchers at MIT have developed a new ultrathin solar cell that can adhere to different surfaces providing power on the go, reports Clara McCourt for Boston.com. “The new technology surpasses convential solar panels in both size and ability, with 18 times more power per kilogram at one-hundredth the weight,” writes McCourt.

Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Andrew Paul writes that MIT researchers have developed a new ultra-thin solar cell that is one-hundredth the weight of conventional panels and could transform almost any surface into a power generator. The new material could potentially generate, “18 times more power-per-kilogram compared to traditional solar technology,” writes Paul. “Not only that, but its production methods show promising potential for scalability and major manufacturing.”