massachusetts institute of technology today's spotlight about
Spotlight image Spotlight image
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!
Warm welcomeToday’s Spotlight features photographs, taken by Dominick Reuter, of MIT's Freshman Convocation.

“You belong to an extremely select group,” MIT President L. Rafael Reif told the incoming Class of 2018 at this year’s Freshman Convocation, the traditional welcoming ceremony for the Institute’s new freshmen.

Pointing to the 7.9 percent acceptance rate for a group of applicants that is already heavily self-selected to represent the elite of graduating high school students, he told this “extremely strong and talented group” that although they undoubtedly had other options, “you all made an extremely smart choice” by coming to MIT. Recalling his own uncertainties when he first arrived here, he said he quickly realized “this community was like an extended family.”

Read full article.
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) and you are free to submit an Of Note to the MIT News office. For more information, e-mail the spotlight team.

Request a Spotlight, Of Note or Event Headline, here.
Hitting the mark

Hitting the mark

Today’s Spotlight image, by Aude Thiriot/Harvard, shows

MIT engineers designed RNA-carrying nanoparticles (red) that can be taken up by endothelial cells (stained blue).

RNA interference (RNAi), a technique that can turn off specific genes inside living cells, holds great potential for treating many diseases caused by malfunctioning genes. However, it has been difficult for scientists to find safe and effective ways to deliver gene-blocking RNA to the correct targets.

Up to this point, researchers have gotten the best results with RNAi targeted to diseases of the liver, because it filters the blood. But now, in a study appearing in the May 11 issue of Nature Nanotechnology, an MIT-led team reports achieving the most powerful RNAi gene silencing to date in nonliver tissues.

Read full article.