Fresh Astronaut Food: Growing food on the ISS, the Moon, and Mars

EDEN:ISS is working on growing edible fresh astronaut food in antarctica.

Astronaut food poses a major problem for future space exploration. We can only send so much freeze-dried food aboard shuttle missions, and the International Space Station (ISS) is in constant need of being restocked with rations lest the astronauts aboard would starve. How can we go on future long-term missions to the …

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Saving the Great Barrier Reef

Two scuba divers check the health of the Great Barrier Reef

A sunshade to save the Great Barrier Reef. This week the University of Melbourne released a new method to potentially save the Great Barrier reef, and it is basically a giant sunshade. What is the sunshade made of? The proposed sunshade to protect the Great Barrier reef from incident sunlight …

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A spy in the water: Engineering robotic fish


Blending in: A robotic fish becomes a reef resident. Researchers at MIT have recently developed and tested SoFi, the robotic fish that can blend in so well it can even swim alongside other fish. Why a robotic fish? You might wonder why researchers would want to create a robotic fish …

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A deadly hug | Viruses and Hairy Nanoparticles

hairy nanoparticles can adhere to viruses from wikicommons

Viruses have long been a frustrating enemy of humankind.Unlike bacterial infections that we learned to treat with medicines like penicillin, there is no corollary to antibiotics. The closest thing we have to “antiviruses” would be vaccinations. Historically we have treated viral infections and outbreaks like influenza and polio with a series …

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Lego Bricks meet MIT microfluidics science

By National Institute of Standards and Technology (Lab-On-A-Chip; GEMBE) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Lego Bricks make it to MIT.Lego bricks are a ton of fun to build with at home, and now they are making themselves a place in top-notch research labs as well.  Legos in Labs? Can Legos be used to do cutting-edge research? It turns out they can in the world of …

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Surviving the Vacuum of Space: The Water Bear

picture of Waterbear wikicommons

Space is a harsh environment. To date, there is only one species on our planet that was found capable of surviving the vacuum of space – the water bear. In fact, in 2008 scientists put water bears in space for ten days with no protection. Once they returned home and …

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Cancer Crushing Algae: Camouflaged Drug Delivery


While cancer is fairly easy to kill, keeping the person alive while we kill the cancer is exceedingly difficult. That is because cancer drugs are also toxic to healthy cells.The most difficult aspect of engineering cancer drugs is targeting cancer cells.That is to say, we are always looking for new …

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Saving Chocolate: Finding our Sweet Tooth Roots

chocolate-sweet tooth

The world has fallen head over heels with chocolate. To make 100 billion dollars of chocolate a year, the industry uses mainly one variety of plant, the Theobroma cacao tree. The only problem is, all of these plants are genetically similar. That means the same things will make them sick and …

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