Carbon nanotubes could provide better stealth technology for submarines, helping them to "see" other undersea objects while remaining invisible to enemy subs. A report in ACS Nano Letters details a new application of a previously-known property of sheets of carbon nanotubes just a fraction of the width of a human hair that nonetheless can generate sound and cancel out noise far better than current sound-generating tech.
But other aviation innovations are as simple as a fresh coat of paint. An Israeli nanotech company is claiming that it has created a special paint that makes planes, missiles, drones, and other aircraft invisible to radar.
Researchers in Buffalo are bringing us a step closer to being controlled by machines. Or magnetized nanoparticles, at least: Heated magnetic nanoparticles targeted to cell membranes could control your behavior, according to a new paper in Nature Nanotechnology.
The researchers, led by University of Buffalo physics professor Arnd Pralle, used magnetic fields to activate neurons in a cell culture and steer the movement of nematode worms.
Whether wielded by Egyptian sun gods, Luke Skywalker, or your run of the mill solar-thermal power plant, light has the potential to do big things. Thanks to a breakthrough by UC Berkeley and the DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, we can now make light do very small things as well. Researchers there have created the first nano-sized light mill motor that can be manipulated in both speed and direction by tuning the frequency of the light waves that serve as its power source.
Scientists must really dread the dentist -- they're always coming up with new solutions to help people avoid that cursed drill. The latest: a hormone gel that regenerates tooth cells in as little as a month.
The gel, the first of its kind, could eliminate the need to fill cavities or drill into the root canal of an infected tooth, Discovery News reports. It is reported in the journal ACS Nano.
The world's tiniest chess board and a pea-sized barber shop are the winners of a microelectromechanical systems design contest at Sandia National Laboratories. The microbarbershop can cut a single hair, and the chess board -- about the diameter of four human hairs -- comes with a full set of minuscule chess pieces.
We use plastics to make everything from our computers to our toothbrushes, but a collaboration of researchers from the University of California at Irvine and the University of Shizuoka in Japan has made a big breakthrough by taking plastics to microscopic levels. Using plastic nanoparticles just 1/50,000th the width of a human hair, the team has created plastic antibodies that successfully function in the bloodstream of living animals to identify and fight a variety of antigens.
Nanowires inside a rat can convert the power of breathing and heartbeats into electricity, according to researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The nano-generator could conceivably lead to nano-scale medical implants and sensors powered by the body, Technology Review reports.
The glare that plagues watching television in otherwise pleasantly sunny rooms could soon become a thing of the past, thanks to the evolutionary prowess of a sunlight-shunning bug. Tapping the unique properties of moth eyes, a team of Fraunhofer Institute scientists may have figured out how to remove the annoying glare from all kinds of transparent plastic screens and other reflective products.
Rarely do the worlds of nanotech and carnival cuisine overlap, but when they do the results can be pretty sweet. A team of engineers has created a technology for fabricating nanofibers that's half high-speed centrifuge, half cotton candy machine, spinning and stretching out ultra-thin nanofibers that measure just 100 nanometers in diameter.
Miniaturization has been no small force driving computer technology forward over the past five decades, and a group of Australian researchers has proved just how small they think they can go. Using just seven atoms, scientists at the University of New South Wales working with researchers at the U. of Wisconsin have carefully constructed a quantum dot transistor, the smallest deliberately built electronic device in the world.
A collaboration between U.S. and South Korean researchers has produced what is thought to be the world’s smallest man-made pump, merely the size of a red blood corpuscle. More impressive still is their means of powering the pump, using glass – generally a very bad conductor of electricity – to craft an electrode at the nanoscale.
Nanotech has opened the door to some serious sci-fi possibilities: tiny robots -- built by other tiny robots -- that swim in our bloodstreams eradicating infection or hunting tumors, or perhaps assembling miniscule electronic components. But programming such tiny objects to do what we want presents a problem: commands need space to exist, and space is limited aboard a nanobot. But two papers just published in the journal Nature today highlight an interesting and promising approach to this problem: embedding the commands in the nanobots' environments.
Silicon chips are on the way out, at least if Duke University engineer Chris Dwyer has his way. The professor of electrical and computer engineering says a single grad student using the unique properties of DNA to coax circuits into assembling themselves could produce more logic circuits in a single day than the entire global silicon chip industry could produce in a month.
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.