On any battlefield, communication is key — troops must be able to communicate their own locations and that of their target, so everyone knows exactly where to bring the fight. MIT researchers are bringing this strategy to the war on cancer, training swarms of cancer-fighting nanoparticles to communicate to do their jobs more effectively.
A new breed of biodegradable nanoparticles can glom on to drug-resistant bacteria, breaching their cell walls and leaking out their contents, selectively killing them. The polymer particles could someday be used in anything from injectable treatments for drug-resistant bacteria, to new antibacterial soaps and deodorants, according to inventors at IBM. After their work is done, the particles break apart, flushing away with the invaders they destroyed.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.