Before it stopped colliding for good, America’s defunct Tevatron collider saw a hint of the elusive Higgs boson, physicists announced Wednesday. Even more interesting: Scientists spotted something unusual in the same energy range where their European colleagues glimpsed something unusual at the Large Hadron Collider last winter.
Small colonies of swimming magnetic particles can self-assemble into micro-machines that can manipulate other particles, scientists report.
The particles can be remotely controlled to grasp and move other objects, which could enable precise and delicate fabrication processes that were previously not possible with machines.
Summertime may be the right time for unmasking dark matter. Researchers working on a dark matter experiment buried half a mile underground in a Minnesota mine say they've seen seasonally varying blips in electrical pulses that may be the telltale signs of WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles.
New nanotube “microworms” could lead to new types of embeddable biological sensors or drug-delivery systems, according to researchers in Boston. The tubes’ length keeps them well anchored in the body, where they can monitor chemical conditions or slowly leak medicine into targeted areas.
Researchers at MIT and Northeastern University developed the nanotubes, which are made of a porous membrane and can be filled with various materials.
By Gregory MonePosted 10.15.2007 at 12:00 pm 0 Comments
Granted, they might not be as pretty as their much larger counterparts, but unlike their bold and sparkling brethren, the tiny particles known as nanodiamonds might actually end up doing some good in the world.
Scientists at Northwestern University have demonstrated that these relatively new nanomaterials can shuttle chemotherapy drugs to cells without producing the negative effects of today's delivery agents. Clusters of the nanodiamonds surrounding the drugs block them off from healthy cells, preventing unnecessary damage, and then release them upon reaching the intended targets. Just as important, the leftover diamonds, hundreds of thousands of which could cram onto the eye of a needle, don't induce inflammation in cells once they've done their job. The study, the first to demonstrate the usefulness of the material in biomedicine, is published online in Nano Letters.—Gregory Mone
By Gregory MonePosted 08.02.2007 at 4:31 pm 0 Comments
Last week, an FDA task force issued a report basically stating that the agency needs to be better versed in nanotechnology to ensure that the deluge of products using some derivation of it now and in the future will actually be safe. Though the term nanotechnology often conjures science fiction visions of swarms of tiny machines carrying out complex tasks, this is already a concern today. There are plenty of simpler nanotech-based products already on the market.
The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies has been compiling a list of these, and it's interesting to take a look, to get an idea of the breadth of applications, including cosmetics, food, sunscreens and animal feed. Thankfully, the Project also points out which supposedly nanotech-based products are really just marketing stunts.
Sunscreens using nanoscale particles of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are a good example of the tough questions these new products pose. In this case, the issue is whether these tiny particles can penetrate the skin and have far-off effects in other parts of the body. Let's hope the FDA starts figuring out the answers soon.—Gregory Mone