Science

OA research in the news: New evidence for the ‘bang’ of the Big Bang

Posted March 20th, 2014 by Katharine Dunn
Alan Guth

Alan Guth

This week, a team of astronomers announced the first “smoking gun” evidence of inflation, a theory of cosmology that describes the quick and violent expansion of the universe in its first fractions of a second. Inflation is the “‘bang’ of the Big Bang,” says Alan Guth, an MIT physics professor who first proposed the theory in 1980. “In its original form, the Big Bang theory never was a theory of the bang. It said nothing about what banged, why it banged, or what happened before it banged.”

The astronomers peered into the cosmic microwave background, a bath of radiation from the early universe, and saw the influence of ripples in space-time, known as gravitational waves. These offer extremely strong evidence that the universe expanded by a repulsive form of gravity, as described by Guth and others.

Explore Professor Guth’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

OA research in the news: A breakthrough in endometriosis research

Posted February 26th, 2014 by Katharine Dunn
Linda Griffith

Linda Griffith

Over the years Linda Griffith has undergone many surgeries for endometriosis, a condition in which tissue that normally grows in the uterus is found elsewhere in the body and can cause lesions, inflammation, and infertility. The disease is poorly understood, and so it made sense to Griffith, a professor of biological and mechanical engineering, to start researching it. In a paper published earlier this month, Griffith and colleagues, including bioengineering professor Douglas Lauffenburger, studied pelvic fluid from women with endometriosis and in about a third they found elevated levels of a group of immune system proteins. The work is an early step towards classifying the disease and, eventually, finding new treatments for it. “We’re not claiming we found a mechanism — the mechanism for endometriosis,” Griffith told the Boston Globe. “We have found a very convincing approach to understand an immune network.”

Explore Professor Griffith’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

Discussion: Scientific imaging for artwork & other cultural heritage materials

Posted February 20th, 2014 by Heather Denny

Discussion: Thursday, February 27, 2014, 11:00 am, 14N-132 (DIRC)

CulturalHeritageImage

Detail: Two modes of Reflectance Transformation Imaging. The bottom view shows a Japanese woodcut in “Normal” mode. The top view shows the “Specular Enhancement” mode, which removes color virtually to reveal the subtle surface impressions made in the paper by the artist. © Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Konishi Hirosada, artist, Osaka Actor Mimasu Daigoro IV , color woodcut with embossing and metallic pigment, c. 1851-59.

New scientific imaging tools offer the capability to see distinctive details on a 16th century rare book cover, a manuscript, or a work of art, that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Please join the MIT Libraries’ Curation and Preservation Services Department for a fascinating look at how this technology can help us to learn more about our cultural heritage materials, and how to best preserve them.

Carla Schroer, of the non-profit Cultural Heritage Imaging, will discuss the new empirical capture and analysis tools Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), Algorithmic Rendering (AR), and image-based Structure from Motion (SFM) generation of textured 3D geometry. These techniques will be explored in the context of the emerging science of “Computational Photography.” Computational Photography extracts and synthesizes information from image sequences to create a new type of image containing information not found in any single image in the sequence. This technology is in use in many areas from major art museums to remote archaeological sites to fields in the natural sciences.

The event is free and open to the public, no registration required.

OA research in the news: Rewriting fearful memories

Posted January 30th, 2014 by Katharine Dunn
Photo by Len Rubenstein

Photo by Len Rubenstein

Sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder sometimes undergo a treatment in which they re-experience a fearful memory in a safe place, with the hope that their brains will rewrite the memory so it no longer triggers them. But this therapy doesn’t always work and its effects may not last, especially if the memory is years old. MIT neuroscientists, including Picower Institute for Learning and Memory director Li-Huei Tsai, have shown they can lessen traumatic memories in mice when pairing the behavioral therapy with a dose of a drug that that makes the brain more malleable. “Our experiments really strongly argue that either the old memories are permanently being modified, or a new much more potent memory is formed that completely overwrites the old memory,” Tsai told the MIT News.

Explore Professor Tsai’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

New and improved services you’ll <3

Posted January 30th, 2014 by Heather Denny

Heart made from book pagesWelcome back! While you were on winter break, the Libraries were working on some improvements we think you’ll like (possibly even love).

  • Extended borrowing periods Yes, you can keep books out longer! You asked, and we doubled the amount of time you can borrow library materials. 60 days for most MIT items, with up to 5 renewals.

If you like these services, let us know! Connect with us on Twitter or Facebook.

OA research in the news: Kastner to be nominated to DOE

Posted December 11th, 2013 by Katharine Dunn
Marc Kastner

Marc Kastner

Last month, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Marc Kastner, dean of MIT’s School of Science, to head the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. The office is the largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States; its 2013 budget is $4.9 billion. Kastner, who works in condensed matter physics, has led the School of Science since 2007. “A brilliant physicist and highly effective manager, Marc Kastner is ideally suited to manage DOE’s basic science portfolio and its network of national labs,” said MIT President Rafael Reif. “He argues eloquently for the value of basic science but has worked with equal enthusiasm to help MIT faculty transform emerging ideas into important real-world technologies. He knows the challenges of building a sustainable energy future, and I can think of no one better to help the U.S. seize the opportunities, as well.”

Explore Professor Kastner’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

IAP 2014: Life Sciences

Posted December 10th, 2013 by Mark Szarko

The MIT Libraries is hosting a series of classes related to the life sciences this IAP. Some classes require registration.microscope

Bioinformatics for Beginners
Wed Jan 8, 3:00pm-4:30pm, 14N-132
Fri Jan 10, 10:00am-11:30am, 14N-132
Contact: Courtney Crummett, crummett@mit.edu

Learn to Use IPA during IAP
Mon Jan 13, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 14N-132
Contact: Courtney Crummett, crummett@mit.edu

Biotech Business Information for Engineers and Scientists
Wed Jan 15, 4:00pm-5:00pm, 14N-132
Contact: Courtney Crummett, crummett@mit.edu

Protocols and Methods: Recipes for Research
Thu Jan 16, 12:00pm-1:00pm, 14N-132
Contact: Howard Silver, hsilver@mit.edu

NIH Public Access Compliance Hands-on Working Session
Fri Jan 17, 11:00am-12:00pm, 14N-132
Contact: Courtney Crummett, crummett@mit.edu

Get the Most from Your “omics” Analysis: GeneGo MetaCore Software Training
Wed Jan 22, 3:00pm-5:00pm, 14N-132
Contact: Courtney Crummett, crummett@mit.edu

BIOBASE Knowledge Library
Thu Jan 23, 1:00-4:30pm, 14N-132
Contact: Courtney Crummett, crummett@mit.edu

How to Get the Most from the Koch Institute Bioinformatics Support and Computational Resources
Mon Jan 27, 9:00am-11:00am, 14N-132
Contact: Courtney Crummett, crummett@mit.edu

For a complete list of IAP classes offered by the Libraries, please see our Calendar of Events.

Get help with statistical software packages, statistics, and research technology

Posted December 2nd, 2013 by Katherine McNeill

Rlogo       stata        SAS_logo

Do you use statistical software packages, such as R, Stata, SAS, or SPSS?  Want to be more effective with statistical analysis, research technology, or social science research methods? No need to struggle with these issues on your own!

MIT has two new resources that can help:

1. Guide to Statistical Software

  • Learn how to access statistical software (e.g., R, Stata, SAS) at MIT
  • Find resources for learning and using these software packages

2. Research Technology Consulting

This service is available to help you individually with:

  • Learning or troubleshooting statistical software packages such as R, Stata, or SAS
  • Data analysis support and programming advice
  • Statistical methodology questions
  • For social science research projects:
    • Research project planning and guidance
    • Use of research technology (e.g., screen scraping, social network analysis, and more)

To make an appointment or ask for tips on a project:

This service, based at Harvard, is provided by the Harvard-MIT Data Center and available to the MIT community as a pilot.

Learn Statistical Software in Workshops
In addition, attend one of the upcoming workshops on statistical software.

The Harvard-MIT Data Center also provides: a data repository, research computing environment, and a specialized computer lab.

For questions about these services, contact Jennie Murack, Statistics Specialist, or Katherine McNeill, Social Science Data Services Librarian.

OA research in the news: New way to monitor induced-coma patients

Posted November 14th, 2013 by Katharine Dunn
Emery N. Brown

Emery N. Brown

Brain injury patients are sometimes deliberately placed in a coma with anesthesia drugs to allow swelling to go down and their brains to heal. Comas can last for days, during which patients’ brain activity must be regularly monitored to ensure the right level of sedation. The constant checking is “totally inefficient,” says Emery Brown, an anesthesiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and a professor in MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Brown and his colleagues at MGH have developed a “brain-machine interface” that automatically monitors brain activity and adjusts drug dosages accordingly. They’ve tested the system on rats and are now planning human trials.

Explore Professor Brown’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

OA research in the news: Nanoparticles attack aggressive tumors

Posted October 31st, 2013 by Katharine Dunn
Schematic drawing of a new nanoparticle developed at MIT. Graphic courtesy of the researchers.

Schematic drawing of a new nanoparticle developed at MIT. Graphic courtesy of the researchers.

MIT chemical engineers have developed a new treatment for an aggressive form of breast cancer whose tumors resist chemotherapy drugs. Led by David H. Koch Professor in Engineering Paula Hammond, the team designed nanoparticles that pack a one-two punch: They deliver a cancer drug along with short strands of RNA that shut off genes used by cancer cells to escape the drug. The nanoparticles are also coated with an outer layer that protects them from degrading while en route to the cancer cells. The researchers used the particles to successfully shrink breast tumors in mice, as they report in a recent issue of the journal ACS Nano. The lead author on the paper is Jason Deng, a postdoc in Hammond’s lab.

Explore Professor Hammond’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

Panel discussion on “New Frontiers in Open Access Publishing” Tuesday, October 22

Posted October 3rd, 2013 by Ellen Duranceau

The MIT Faculty Open Access Working Group and the MIT Libraries are cosponsoring a panel discussion of “New Frontiers in Open Access Publishing.”

The session will be held on Tuesday October 22, from 3-4:30 in E25-111.

Speakers will include:

Jacqueline Thai

Jacqueline Thai

Jacqueline Thai, of the new open access journal PeerJ
Thai is Head of Publishing Operations at PeerJ, an open access, peer-reviewed, scholarly journal in the Biological and Medical Sciences. It offers a unique business model: low-cost lifetime memberships that allow authors (if their papers are accepted) to publish once, twice, or unlimited times per year, depending on the membership level.

Tibor Tscheke

Tibor Tscheke

Tibor Tscheke, of the soon-to-be-launched publishing platform ScienceOpen.com
Tscheke is CFO and CTO of ScienceOpen.com, an open access publishing platform to support researchers in networking, accessing, organizing, and publishing their work. Founded by individuals with decades of experience in traditional scholarly publishing, ScienceOpen’s aim is to “combine the goal of open science with social networking and crowd sourcing tools to create knowledge out of a sea of information.”

Marguerite Avery, of MIT Press and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society
Avery is Senior Acquisitions Editor at The MIT Press. As a Fellow at the Berkman Center, Avery is focused on seeking out solutions for scholarly publishing to accommodate the changing needs of scholars, including publishing models for open access.

Marguerite Avery

Marguerite Avery

This panel is being presented in celebration of International Open Access Week, and is intended to provide a forum for discussion of new open access models of scholarly publishing and how they can serve authors and readers. We anticipate a lively and informative conversation.

Refreshments will be served.

If you have questions about this event, contact Ellen Finnie Duranceau, Program Manager, Scholarly Publishing & Licensing, MIT Libraries

OA research in the news: Faculty win “genius grants”

Posted October 2nd, 2013 by Katharine Dunn
Dina Katabi

Dina Katabi

Two MIT professors are among two dozen nationwide recipients of the 2013 MacArthur Fellowships, known as the “genius grants.” Dina Katabi, a computer scientist, works on wireless data transmission. The MacArthur Foundation cites her leadership in “accelerating our capacity to communicate high volumes of information securely without restricting mobility.” Astrophysicist Sara Seager explores planets outside our solar system; nearly a thousand have been identified since the mid-90s. The Foundation cites her as a “visionary scientist contributing importantly in every aspect of her field.” The fellowship includes a five-year $625,000 prize.

Explore Professor Katabi’s research and Professor Seager’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Sara Seager

Sara Seager

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

What we did on your summer vacation!

Posted August 30th, 2013 by Heather Denny

Welcome back! The MIT Libraries have been working hard during your summer vacation.  Here are some of the new things you can look forward to this fall:WhatWeDidgraphic

New Resources

  • New search tool  Finding library resources just got easier with BartonPlus. It brings together many library collections in one search interface–searching most MIT-licensed e-resources like e-books and full-text articles, as well as collections in the classic Barton catalog like books, theses, music, DVDs, and more. 
  • More options for borrowing  Borrow Direct, a partnership that allows library materials to be shared between member institutions, has expanded to include the University of Chicago. MIT users can search over 50 million volumes owned by Borrow Direct libraries through MIT’s WorldCat.
  • New guide to APIs for scholarly resources  Many scholarly publishers, databases, and products offer APIs to allow users with programming skills to more powerfully extract data to serve a variety of research purposes. With an API, users might create programmatic searches of a citation database, extract statistical data, or dynamically query and post blog content. Learn more in the APIs for Scholarly Resources guide.
  • Music Oral History Project  For over 100 years music has been a vibrant part of MIT’s culture. A new website features in-depth interviews with faculty, staff, and former students about their musical experiences at the Institute, as well as their professional careers in music or other fields.

Improved study spaces

  • Upgrades to Hayden Library  The window bays in Hayden have gotten a facelift! The windows have been cleaned, frames painted, and new shades have replaced the curtains. Also check out the  new artwork by Dennis Oppenheim that adorns the first floor wall. Additionally, a number of tables and study carrels in Hayden were refinished this summer. Coming up – we hope to reupholster some of the comfy seating on the 1st floor.

Upcoming events

  • Music & Theater Arts Composer Forums  During the fall term the Lewis Music Library will host MTA Composer Forums. Stop by the library at 5pm on Oct. 9, Oct. 23, Nov. 6, Nov. 20 to hear from featured musicians.
  •  Fall workshops Throughout the month of October the Libraries will offer a series of workshops on subject-specific resources. See the event calendar for details.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest news!

 

OA research in the news: Programming with natural language

Posted July 26th, 2013 by Katharine Dunn
Regina Barzilay

Regina Barzilay

Researchers in MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have demonstrated it’s possible to use English instead of specialized programming languages to complete some computing tasks. Regina Barzilay, a professor of computer science and electrical engineering, recently coauthored two new papers: One shows that a computer can take similar natural language requests and convert them into notation that allows flexible and specific searching. In the other, Barzilay and researchers describe a system that can automatically write working software programs based on natural language specifications.

Explore Professor Barzilay’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

By JoVE, we’ve got it!

Posted July 19th, 2013 by Chris Sherratt

You might be one of the many researchers at MIT enjoying the resource JoVE. It’s a way to “read” and see science in motion!

Best explained on its website,“Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) is a peer reviewed, PubMed indexed journal devoted to the publication of biological, medical, chemical, and physical research in a video format…  JoVE takes advantage of video technology to capture and transmit the multiple facets and intricacies of life science research.”

The Barton record for JoVE lists the various sections available through the Libraries; these include Applied Physics, Bioengineering, Chemistry, Neuroscience, and more.

The Libraries heartily invites you to take a look at “The First Scientific Video Journal.”  Ask Us! for further details.

jove image

OneMine helps you dig deeper

Posted July 10th, 2013 by Chris Sherratt

Although today you won’t find a Course called “Mining Engineering” at MIT, people have been interested from the Institute’s beginning in 1865 (Course 3, geology and mining) through the present day: see the new (2012) Mining and Oil & Gas Club@ MIT. This group seeks to “catalyze interest in the mining and oil & gas industries within the MIT Community,” and the Libraries is pleased to offer something that might help.

Explore OneMine, “an innovative collaboration among societies that serve the mining and minerals community.” Gathering documents from groups like SME, (Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration), TMS (The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society), and AIME and SAIMM (for those in the know), OneMine wants to provide materials online that previously have been in print only. We are very interested in your feedback on OneMine, so try a search on “rare earth oxide extraction”, and Tell Us what you unearth!

miners

SciFinder: Same great content, slightly new look

Posted June 27th, 2013 by Chris Sherratt

Many at MIT and thousands around the globe are well acquainted with SciFinder, the most comprehensive discovery tool for chemical information. Now it sports a new interface designed to save you time and improve the search experience. Use the “get URL”: http://libraries.mit.edu/get/scifinder to see if you agree with Christine McCue of CAS who says:

“We are confident that the improvements unveiled today will enhance the SciFinder user experience and enable new and faster scientific breakthroughs.”

For more information contact Erja Kajosalo, kajosalo@mit.edu, Librarian for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. She knows tips like ‘Chrome on the Mac is not usable with SciFinder and Substance or Reaction Explores due to Java not being compatible.’  Or, use  Ask Us!

chem pic

 

OA research in the news: Bertschinger appointed as Community & Equity Officer

Posted June 27th, 2013 by Katharine Dunn
Edmund Bertschinger

Edmund Bertschinger

Last week, MIT Provost Chris Kaiser announced that physics department head Edmund Bertschinger will take on a newly created role as Institute Community and Equity Officer. Bertschinger will work with Kaiser and President Rafael Reif to “help make MIT a place where everyone truly feels they belong,” said Reif. Bertschinger has worked for years on issues of diversity and inclusion: he’s served on MIT’s Committee on Race and Diversity since 2009 and has chaired the Faculty Advisory Committee of the Office of Minority Education since 2010. As department head, he has used mentoring to encourage women and underrepresented minorities to get involved in physics research and education. Bertschinger’s research is in cosmology with a focus on the growth of the structure in the universe.

Explore Professor Bertschinger’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

OA research in the news: Tracking bird flu

Posted June 13th, 2013 by Katharine Dunn

Ram Sasisekharan

New studies coauthored by biological engineering professor Ram Sasisekharan show that two bird flu strains could become highly infectious among humans with just a few genetic mutations. Both strains have already jumped from birds to humans, though neither has spread beyond a few hundred people. “There is cause for concern,” Sasisekharan told the MIT News. But the researchers hope their work can be used to develop better vaccines. “Our research provides insights to help keep track of potentially important mutations so that proactive steps can be taken to be better prepared against dangerous viruses,” he said.

Explore Professor Sasisekharan’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

OA research in the news: Modern dance meets robotics

Posted May 30th, 2013 by Katharine Dunn

Umbrella Project performance premiere, fall 2012

Earlier this month, more than 250 members of the MIT community gathered on Jack Berry Field carrying specially made umbrellas that lit up with red, blue, and green LED lights via handheld controllers. They were there to perform UP: The Umbrella Project, a collaboration between CSAIL’s Distributed Robotics Lab and the dance company Pilobolus. Directed by a Pilobolus team member and shot by video from above, UP participants walked about, changing the hue of their umbrellas in a live performance piece. The purpose wasn’t solely artistic: CSAIL director Daniela Rus and fellow researchers will study the video to explore the behaviors of large groups. “While our work with robotics and Pilobolus’ work with modern dance may seem at first glance unrelated, we have found there is a wealth of knowledge to be gained at the intersection of art and science that offers deep insight into human behavior, findings that are incredibly useful to the field of computer science,” said Rus.

Explore Professor Rus’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.