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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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2-D nanoelectronicsToday’s Spotlight features an illustration by Yan Liang.

Researchers at MIT say they have carried out a theoretical analysis showing that a family of two-dimensional materials exhibits exotic quantum properties that may enable a new type of nanoscale electronics.

These materials are predicted to show a phenomenon called the quantum spin Hall (QSH) effect, and belong to a class of materials known as transition metal dichalcogenides, with layers a few atoms thick. The findings are detailed in a paper appearing this week in the journal Science.

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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.
Hands of time

Hands of time

Today’s Spotlight uses stock imagery in a photo‑illustration by Christine Daniloff/MIT.

Human sleeping and waking patterns are largely governed by an internal circadian clock that corresponds closely with the 24‑hour cycle of light and darkness. This circadian clock also controls other body functions, such as metabolism and temperature regulation.

Studies in animals have found that when that rhythm gets thrown off, health problems including obesity and metabolic disorders such as diabetes can arise. Studies of people who work night shifts have also revealed an increased susceptibility to diabetes.

A new study from MIT shows that a gene called SIRT1, previously shown to protect against diseases of aging, plays a key role in controlling these circadian rhythms.

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