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Four MIT faculty elected to the National Academy of Engineering for 2018

Four MIT faculty are among the 83 new members and 16 foreign associates elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering …

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Stefan Helmreich conducts fieldwork aboard the unique FLIP ship

The author of the award-winning book “Alien Ocean: Anthropological Voyages in Microbial Seas,” MIT anthropologist Stefan Helmreich has a wealth of experience examining how scientists think about the world. And recently, he gained a new perspective — quite literally — by taking his research to the Floating Instrument Platform, known colloquially as the FLIP ship. Operated by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, the FLIP ship is a unique scientific vessel that can operate in either a …

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A lifelong search for new catalysts

On a summer evening in 1973, Richard Schrock came home from his job at DuPont's Central Research Department and told his wife, Nancy, “I think I've done something important.” As part of his research exploring synthesis of new polymers, Schrock had created a novel type of molecule with a double bond between a metal and a carbon atom. This type of compound, known as an alkylidene, had never been seen before. Schrock, this year's recipient of the James R. Killian Jr. Faculty Achievement Award, described at …

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Grid Defection Is On the Rise in Puerto Rico

Orocovis sits right in the mountainous middle of Puerto Rico. It's part of the island's “more remote areas with challenging terrain” that on Thursday the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said may not have electricity restored until April or May. The town hasn't had grid-connected power in the four months since Hurricane Maria. Instead, like many others on the island, Orocovis residents have been …

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$10K off BMW i3 in NJ, Trump likes gas taxes, Renault EV showroom, Model 3 numbers: Today’s Car News

Today, we've got a pricey plug-in BMW, some numbers on the Tesla Model 3, news on Trump and gas taxes, and Renault's new electric-car-only showroom. All this and more on Green Car Reports. The new Roadster soft-top version of the 2019 BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car is now the most expensive car in the BMW lineup. The number of Tesla Model 3...

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Hairy tongues help bats drink up

Animals have evolved all manner of adaptations to get the nutrients they need. For nectar-feeding bats, long snouts and tongues let them dip in and out of flowers while hovering in mid-air. To help the cause, their tongues are covered in tiny hairs that serve as miniature spoons to scoop and drag up the tasty sap. Now engineers at MIT have found that, for bats and other hairy-tongued nectar feeders, the key to drinking efficiently lies in a delicate balance between the spacing of hairs on the tongue, the thickness of …

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Drug manufacturing that’s out of this world

Liquid-liquid separation and chemical extraction are key processes in drug manufacturing and many other industries, including oil and gas, fragrances, food, wastewater filtration, and biotechnology. Three years ago, MIT spinout Zaiput Flow Technologies launched a novel continuous-flow liquid-liquid separator that makes those processes faster, easier, and more efficient. Today, nine pharmaceutical giants and a growing number of academic labs and small companies use the separator. Having proved its efficacy …

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Ultrafine fibers have exceptional strength

Researchers at MIT have developed a process that can produce ultrafine fibers — whose diameter is measured in nanometers, or billionths of a meter — that are exceptionally strong and tough. These fibers, which should be inexpensive and easy to produce, could be choice materials for many applications, such as protective armor and nanocomposites. The new process, called gel electrospinning, is described in a paper by MIT professor of chemical engineering Gregory Rutledge and postdoc Jay Park. The paper appears online …

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More Than 50 Mayors Sign Chicago Climate Charter At North American Climate Summit

More than 50 mayors from around the world, including 36 from the United States, have gathered at the North American Climate Summit and signed the Chicago Climate Charter, a first-of-its-kind international charter on climate change that seeks to allow cities to commit to the Paris Climate Agreement.

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Largest Investors In Utilities Are Voting Against Climate Risk Disclosure

Exxon Mobil shareholders earlier this year successfully voted to demand climate risk disclosure in a move which was widely held as a bellwether for similar moves across the sector, but a new report from Preventable Surprises has revealed that some of the largest investors in utilities are voting against climate risk disclosure, preferring private engagement over public proxy votes.

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Georgia Regulators May Decide Vogtle’s Fate Before Year’s End

Correspondence between the Georgia Public Service Commission and Georgia Power shows that the Vogtle nuclear expansion project may face an abbreviated decision schedule as a side effect to the Senate's tax bill. In a letter sent Friday, PSC chairman Stan Wise asked Georgia Power how changes in corporate tax law …

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More Than 80 Leading Economists Demand “Not A Penny More” Spent On Fossil Fuels

A group of more than 80 world-leading economists from 20 countries have issued a declaration in which they demand that "not a penny more" be spent on fossil fuel production and infrastructure while encouraging an increase in renewable energy investments in the lead-up to French President Emmanuel Macron's international summit on climate finance

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A bipartisan message of clean energy progress

The diverse group of energy leaders who spoke at the 2017 Clean Energy, Education, and Empowerment (C3E) Women in Clean Energy Symposium hailed from different professional, personal, and political backgrounds, bringing many viewpoints on the conference's theme of transforming energy infrastructure — nationally and internationally — for a transition to a low-carbon future. Though opinions on the best strategies to bring about this transition differed, all agreed on the urgency of deploying strategies and technologies to achieve …

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Four from MIT are named 2018 IEEE Fellows

Each year the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) honors members who have achieved “extraordinary accomplishments” in their research fields by naming them IEEE Fellows. The recently announced list of 2018 IEEE Fellows includes MIT affiliates from the Department of Mathematics, the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Alan Edelman, an applied mathematics …