nanoscience

How photosynthetic pigments harvest light

How photosynthetic pigments harvest light

New model could help scientists design materials for artificial photosynthesis. Plants and other photosynthetic organisms use a wide variety of pigments to absorb different wavelengths of light. MIT researchers have now developed a theoretical model to predict the spectrum of light absorbed by aggregates of these pigments, based on their structure. The new model could help guide scientists in designing new types of solar cells made of organic materials that efficiently capture light and funnel the light-induced excitation, according to the researchers.

Seeing RNA at the nanoscale - Microscopy technique allows scientists to pinpoint RNA molecules in the brain.

Seeing RNA at the nanoscale - Microscopy technique allows scientists to pinpoint RNA molecules in the brain.

Cells contain thousands of messenger RNA molecules, which carry copies of DNA’s genetic instructions to the rest of the cell. MIT engineers have now developed a way to visualize these molecules in higher resolution than previously possible in intact tissues, allowing researchers to precisely map the location of RNA throughout cells.