Future genetic therapy could be as simple as applying a topical lotion, with nanoscale compounds soaking through your epidermis to tweak your DNA. This new class of nucleic acid structures could guard against some types of skin cancer, according to researchers at Northwestern University.
A new multilayered nanocoating could make future clothes more than just stain-resistant — they’ll be stain-offensive, actively sloughing off dirt and gunk to protect the fabric underneath. Instead of merely repelling water or grease, clothing will push them away.
A nanoparticle spray can turn regular paper into superpaper, rendering it waterproof, antimicrobial, magnetic and probably very expensive. Who said paper was an old technology?
Scientists at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Genoa, Italy, developed a process to cover any cellulose fiber, like paper or fabric, with a reactive coating. It involves combining the fiber molecules with a nanoparticle solution, creating a polymer matrix.
About 13,000 years ago, a chunk of a comet or asteroid hurtled into the atmosphere at a shallow angle, superheating the atmosphere around it as it careened toward the surface. The air grew hot enough to ignite plant material and melt rock below the object’s flight path. Within a few microseconds, atmospheric oxygen was consumed and the freed carbon atoms condensed into nanodiamond crystals.
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have turned an acoustic phenomenon familiar to those who have visited the Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol Building or St. Paul’s Cathedral in London into a high-resolution nanoparticle detector. Using a ring-shaped micro-laser, the sensor can detect and count individual viruses or synthetic and biological nanoparticles with single particle resolution.
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.
By Katharine Gammon
Posted 05.31.2011 at 6:00 pm 0 Comments
Three low-energy innovations to keep out the heat help scientists ship snowmen to Bahrain, chill beer with nanoparticles, and bring vaccines to developing areas.
Physicists led by Geoff Smith of the University of Technology– Sydney have created a coating that allows heat to escape all the way into space. When an object radiates heat, some of it bounces off nearby molecules in the air, ending up right back on the object itself.
Nanotech is looked upon by many as the next great enabling technology that will revolutionize (and is revolutionizing) everything from materials science to disease therapies to game-changing new energy technologies.
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.
By Jennie Walters
Posted 03.30.2011 at 4:25 pm 7 Comments
A team of engineers at Ohio State University have packed a nanoparticle full of fluorescent blinking quantum dots. When the particle is attached to a single molecule, it functions as a gaudily glowing beacon.
With their bright, continuous fluorescent glow that transitions between red, green and yellow, the nanoparticle is a better way to tag molecules, both in its function and in its good looks.
Nanoparticles are known for their strange and unexpected properties, like providing bendable ceramics, switchable magnetization and so on. To figure out why these things happen, it would be useful to see how the structures are built, but it’s hard to take a picture of a thinly stretched clump of atoms.
Now a group of researchers in Europe have figured out a way to do it, and translate those pictures into colorful 3-D graphics that allow them to count individual atoms and see how they're arranged.
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.