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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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Not a simple spray Today’s spotlight features an illustration, by Christine Daniloff/MIT, of a person sneezing.

Here’s some incentive to cover your mouth the next time you sneeze: New high-speed videos captured by MIT researchers show that as a person sneezes, they launch a viscous sheet of fluid that balloons, then breaks apart in long filaments, and finally disperses as a spray of droplets, similar to paint that is flung through the air.

Using two high-speed cameras, the researchers recorded more than 100 sneezes from healthy human subjects and captured the fraction of a second during which fluid is expelled from the mouth and flung through the air. Almost every sneeze produced the same paint-like pattern of fluid fragmentation, with slight variations: The thicker the fluid, or saliva, the longer the fluid traveled before breaking into droplets.

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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.

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