massachusetts institute of technology today's spotlight about
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The iconic MIT home page Spotlight features a daily-changing image and design that focuses on advances in research, technology and education taking place at the Institute. Though some Spotlights do run multiple days - for example Friday's spot usually runs through the weekend, we work very hard to maintain the daily-changing tradition. We've combed our servers and have compiled a digital archive of the Institute home page through the years - well over 2000 images. Enjoy!
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Freshly squeezed vaccinesToday’s Spotlight features an image courtesy of SQZ Biotech, colorized by Christine Daniloff/MIT. As cells pass through the CellSqueeze device at high speed, narrowing microfluidic channels apply a squeeze that opens small, temporary holes in the cells’ membranes. As a result, large molecules — antigens, in the case of this study — can enter before the membrane reseals.

MIT researchers have shown that they can use a microfluidic cell-squeezing device to introduce specific antigens inside the immune system’s B cells, providing a new approach to developing and implementing antigen-presenting cell vaccines.

Such vaccines, created by reprogramming a patient’s own immune cells to fight invaders, hold great promise for treating cancer and other diseases. However, several inefficiencies have limited their translation to the clinic, and only one therapy has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

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The MIT home page Spotlight showcases the research, technology and education advances taking place at the Institute every day.

What makes it as a Spotlight image is an editorial decision by the MIT News Office based on factors that include timeliness, promotion of MIT's mission, the balance of interest to both internal and external audiences, and appropriateness.

We do welcome ideas and submissions for spotlights from community members, but please note we are not able to accommodate all requests. We are unable to run event previews or promotions as spotlights; for those looking to promote an event, we are happy to include your listing as an event headline on the homepage (when space is available). For more information, e-mail the spotlight team.

Request a Spotlight or Event Headline, here.
Robot meets world

Robot meets world

Today’s Spotlight uses a photograph, taken by Allegra Boverman, of the crosswalk in front of MIT in a photo‑illustration by Christine Daniloff/MIT News.

When a robot is moving one of its limbs through free space, its behavior is well‑described by a few simple equations. But as soon as it strikes something solid — when a walking robot’s foot hits the ground, or a grasping robot’’ hand touches an object — those equations break down. Roboticists typically use ad hoc control strategies to negotiate collisions and then revert to their rigorous mathematical models when the robot begins to move again.

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