News Archive

An innovative testing platform that more closely mimics what cancer encounters in the body may allow for more precise, personalized therapies by enabling the rapid study of multiple therapeutic combinations against tumor cells. The platform, which uses a three-dimensional environment to more closely mirror a tumor microenvironment, is demonstrated in research published in Communications Biology.

A number of vulnerabilities, known collectively as deep learning adversaries, hold artificial intelligence (AI) back from its full potential in applications like improving medical imaging quality and computer-aided diagnosis.

Accurate predictive simulations of the electrochemical reactions that power solar fuel generators, fuel cells, and batteries could advance these technologies through improved material design, and by preventing detrimental electrochemical processes, such as corrosion. However, electrochemical reactions are so complex that current computational tools can only model a fraction of all relevant factors at one time — with limited accuracy. This leaves researchers reliant on the trial and error of significant and expensive experimentation.

A new model, based on control theory, uses publicly available data to predict the minimal non-pharmaceutical intervention needed to control COVID-19 based on the vaccination rate in 381 metropolitan statistical areas — cities and their surrounding communities — across the country.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants throughout New York City and elsewhere use bespoke outdoor structures to offer safer dining experiences for their customers. However, many of these installations do not adequately protect servers, physically separate diners, provide thermal comfort, or easily disassemble if street maintenance is needed. 

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are revolutionizing the ways in which we live, work, and spend our free time, from the smart devices in our homes to the tasks our phones can carry out. This transformation is being made possible by a surge in data and computing power that can help machine learning algorithms not only perform device-specific tasks, but also help them gain intelligence or knowledge over time.

TROY, N.Y. — Optoelectronic materials that are capable of converting the energy of light into electricity, and electricity into light, have promising applications as light-emitting, energy-harvesting, and sensing technologies. However, devices made of these materials are often plagued by inefficiency, losing significant useful energy as heat. To break the current limits of efficiency, new principles of light-electricity conversion are needed.

The future of quantum computing may depend on the further development and understanding of semiconductor materials known as transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs). These atomically thin materials develop unique and useful electrical, mechanical, and optical properties when they are manipulated by pressure, light, or temperature.

More strategic and coordinated travel restrictions likely could have reduced the spread of COVID-19 in the early stages of the pandemic. That’s according to new research published in Communications Physics. This finding stems from new modeling conducted by a multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequities in urban freight and the delivery of goods. This misalignment in the supply chain is perpetuating food insecurity, especially in areas where grocery store access is limited or non-existent and for those who have limited access to e-commerce.

Heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death in the United States, and it’s increasingly understood that they share common risk factors, including tobacco use, diet, blood pressure, and obesity. Thus, a diagnostic tool that could screen for cardiovascular disease while a patient is already being screened for cancer has the potential to expedite a diagnosis, accelerate treatment, and improve patient outcomes. 

The way that air moves over, around, or under an aircraft can greatly affect its aerodynamics. When air flow separates from the wings of a plane, for instance, the change in pressure on the vehicle can reduce pilot control or cause the aircraft to stall out. The development of more effective air flow control techniques depends on a better understanding of flow separation that occurs around aircraft of different shapes and sizes.

Fouling is a natural phenomenon that describes the tendency of proteins in water to adhere to nearby surfaces. It’s what causes unwanted deposits of protein to form during some food production or on biomedical implants, causing them to fail. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are harnessing this process, which is typically considered a persistent challenge, to develop a versatile and accessible approach for modifying solid surfaces.

The surface of a pristine, transparent freshwater lake may not reveal to ecologists the reality of what’s occurring in its depths. Evaluating the cumulative effects of climate change, pollutants, acidification, or invasive species requires more precise methods. But even the most dynamic and sensitive sensors commonly used today are not always able to tell researchers what they need to know.

A novel form of polymerized estrogen developed at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute can provide neuroprotection when implanted at the site of a spinal cord injury — preventing further damage. This promising result, found in a preclinical model, was recently published in ACS Chemical Neuroscience, and it lays the groundwork for further advancement of this new biomaterial.  

Future roads will likely carry autonomous vehicles that communicate with one another in a system where vehicles relay information — like destination, speed, or upcoming lane change — and then receive real-time feedback about decisions like route changes necessary to avoid traffic.

Envisioning an animal-free drug supply, scientists have — for the first time — reprogrammed a common bacterium to make a designer polysaccharide molecule used in pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals. 

The era of widespread remote learning brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic requires online testing methods that effectively prevent cheating, especially in the form of collusion among students. With concerns about cheating on the rise across the country, a solution that also maintains student privacy is particularly valuable.

When a pandemic and a natural disaster hit a community simultaneously, disease exposure and social distancing can limit the availability of critical personnel, leaving a community positioned for a lengthy recovery. With both types of events expected to occur with increasing frequency, a team of researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has been running simulations to better understand how communities can weather concurrent crises.

Mars experts and researchers from the Rensselaer Astrobiology and Research Education (RARE) Center will host a virtual watch party of the NASA Mars 2020 Perseverance rover landing.