Staring at distant, faint objects to study the origins of the universe requires several layers of engineering skill and design trickery. The people at NASA are no strangers to this, having invented all sorts of new materials to improve telescopes and other observational tools.
A new stretchy, supple synthetic skin prototype developed at Stanford has some impressive pressure sensitivity, deforming and contorting without any breakage or wrinkling. It’s made of spray-on carbon nanotubes, which act as springs and can measure the force being applied to them.
Northwestern University researchers--the same ones that brought us self-erasing documents a couple of years ago--are envisioning a day when computers and other gadgets can rewire themselves automatically to better suit the user's needs at a given moment.
Giving cardiac patients a heart of gold nanowires could ensure engineered tissue works like it should, pulsing in unison to make the heart beat. First growing nanowires and then growing heart cells, engineers from MIT and Harvard University say their new muscle-machine blended heart patch improves on existing cardiac patches, which have trouble reaching a consistent level of conductivity.
Cables made out of nanowires could be just as efficient as the copper cables we’ve been using for more than a century, but at a fraction of the weight, according to a new paper. Braiding billions of carbon nanotubes into a nanowire cable can efficiently replace copper in a light bulb circuit.
Next time you take your temperature, maybe think twice about its accuracy. Despite what the mercury says, not all of your cells are really at 98.6 degrees, scientists reported in a new study. Using nanoscale thermometers, researchers have shown for the first time that living cells can exist at different temperatures. Busy sections are warmer, and less-active ones are cooler.
In Mexico, a group of terrorists (or possibly a lone soul, trying to make it seem as if he's a member of a group) has been mailing bombs to nanotechnology researchers at major universities. The bomber(s) cite the Unabomber, a convicted American bomber, anti-technology activist, and former professor as inspiration for their crimes.
A new type of X-ray microscope — or more appropriately, nanoscope — is another big breakthrough in the world of imaging the small. It computes images rather than glimpsing them directly, allowing scientists to see details at the nanoscale.
Nanotechnology promises to enable tiny, intricate circuits powering devices on any surface. But unless they're harvesting energy from something like a heartbeat, the devices can only be as small as the smallest battery.
Now researchers at Rice University have combined the two, packing an entire lithium-ion battery into a single nanowire. The developers say it's as small as such a device can possibly get.
Taking cues from DNA research, photosynthesis, and nanotechnologies, a team at the University of Toronto has engineered a new kind of “artificial molecule” that can be assembled into wholly new classes of nanomaterials, including one that can direct and control energy absorbed from light. They’ve basically built a self-assembling antenna for light out of quantum dots that could lead to wholly new ways of manipulating and harvesting light energy.