The Nanogirl News~
- The Nanogirl News
December 31, 2004
Nanotubes form along atomic steps. The Weizmann Institute of Science today announced that a research group headed by Dr. Ernesto Joselevich has developed a new approach to create patterns of carbon nanotubes by formation along atomic steps on sapphire surfaces. Carbon nanotubes are excellent candidates for the production of nanoelectronic circuits, but their assembly into ordered arrays remains a major obstacle toward this application. (Eurekalert 12/21/04) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-12/wi-nfa122104.php
Robert A.Freitas Jr. has his lecture in which he spoke at the Foresight conference available online. In his lecture material you can read about and view images on his new and first of it's kind proposal, for building DMS tooltips using current technology, as disclosed in his Feb. 2004 provisional patent application. Stay tuned for more available material. http://www.molecularassembler.com/Papers/PathDiamMolMfg.htm
Red blood cells are go! Physicists in India have shown that red blood cells can transfer the angular momentum in a circularly polarized laser beam into rotational motion. The "motor" developed by Deepak Mathur and colleagues at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai could find use in a variety of applications, including biosensors and cellular micromachines (J A Dharmadhikari et al. 2004 Appl. Phys. Lett. 85 6048). (Physicsweb 12/14/04) http://physicsweb.org/articles/news/8/12/8/1
UCSB Scientists Build Nanoscale 'Jigsaw' Puzzles Made of RNA. Scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, working at the leading edge of bionanotechnology, are using assembly and folding principles of natural RNA, or ribonucleic acid, to build beautiful and potentially useful artificial structures at the nano-scale. Possible applications include the development of nanocircuits, medical implants, and improved medical testing. This research, published in the December 17 issue of the journal Science, is led by Luc Jaeger, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCSB and a member of UCSB's Biomolecular Science and Engineering Program, and by Arkadiusz Chworos, a post-doctoral fellow studying in Jaeger's lab. (UCSB 12/17/04) http://www.ia.ucsb.edu/pa/display.aspx?pkey=25
Nanotechnology sensors could be a $17 billion market. In a new report, NanoMarkets LC predicts that the nanotechnology sensor market will generate global revenues of $2.8 billion in 2008 and by 2012 will reach $17.2 billion. The industry analyst focused on nanoelectronics sensors that are used to reduce size and cost to provide a high level of integration including platforms consisting of carbon nanotubes, nanowires, molectronics, spintronics and so called plastic electronics. Another area of attention in the report is directed to conventional sensors using nanomaterials and sensing material. (EETimes 12/08/04) http://www.eetimes.com/at/showArticle.jhtml?articleId==5=
'Fountain pen' etches with molecular ink. Scientists in the Netherlands have used a micromachined "fountain pen" to write and etch sub-micron patterns on a surface with molecular "ink". The new device developed by Miko Elwenspoek and colleagues at the University of Twente is based on an atomic force microscope (S Deladi et al. 2004 Appl. Phys. Lett. 85 5361). (nanotechweb 12/13/04)
Artificial cells take shape. Bacterium-sized 'protein factories' are a step along the road to synthetic life. Primitive cells similar to bacteria have been created by US researchers. These synthetic cells are not truly alive, because they cannot replicate or evolve. But they can churn out proteins for days, and could be useful for drug production, as well as advancing the quest to build artificial life from scratch. (nature.com 12/6/04) http://www.nature.com/news/2004/041206/full/041206-2.html
In some of the first work documenting the uptake of carbon nanotubes by living cells, a team of chemists and life scientists from Rice University, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and the Texas Heart Institute have selectively detected low concentrations of nanotubes in laboratory cell cultures. The research appears in the Dec. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. It suggests that the white blood cells, which were incubated in dilute solutions of nanotubes, treated the nanotubes as they would other extracellular particles - actively ingesting them and sealing them off inside chambers known as phagosomes. (Bio 12/9/04)
Tiny Crystals In Large Quantities Method produces monodisperse nanocrystals on multigram scale. Uniform-sized nanocrystals can be prepared in large batches through a new preparation method developed by researchers in South Korea. The technique may hasten development of future nanotechnology applications by providing a low-cost route to commercial quantities of uniform nanocrystals. Researchers working in nanometer-scale science have demonstrated a variety of devices that exploit unique optical, electronic, and other size-dependent properties of nanocrystals.
(C&E 12/6/04) http://pubs.acs.org/cen/news/8249/8249notw4.html
Team Engineers Cell-deforming Technique To Help Understand Malaria. Subra Suresh has spent the last two decades studying the mechanical properties of engineered materials from the atomic to the structural scale. So, until recently, the head of MIT's Department of Materials Science and Engineering never thought he'd be a player in the hunt for cures to malaria and pancreatic cancer. (Sciencedaily 12/30/04) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041219212955.htm
(Interview) Rebuilding Things "Atom by Atom". Nanoscience expert Chad Mirkin discusses the promise of supersmall materials, what breakthroughs are likely, and what's just hype. Chad Mirkin is a world leader in a field with potential that's near limitless: Nanotechnology. Governments, venture funds, and angel investors are pouring billions of dollars into the area, hoping that the ability to manipulate materials at the atomic level will produce revolutionary medicines, metals, and fuels. Mirkin is director of Northwestern University's Institute for Nanotechnology, one of the field's research hot spots. He says while certain aspects of nano, such as a proliferation of nanosize robots, are overhyped, other breakthroughs are already happening. He recently talked from his Evanston (Ill.) office with BusinessWeek Senior Writer Stephen Baker. Edited excerpts from their conversation follow:...(Businessweek 12/29/04) http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/dec2004/nf20041228_7625_db083.htm
Winning an Uphill Battle. It sounds as unlikely as toothpaste flowing back into the tube: A simple hole in a cell membrane can cause glycerol to flow "uphill," out of the cell, when the higher concentration outside would ordinarily make it flow the other way. Known as a channel protein, the molecular hatch acts like a ratchet to squeeze one glycerol molecule after another in the direction opposite the concentration gradient, researchers calculate in the 3 December PRL. Cells may use this effect to avoid overdosing on glycerol. (Physicsweb 12/3/04) http://focus.aps.org/story/v14/st23
Suit that never gets dirty. Scientists have won a £1million grant to help develop clothes that never need cleaning. It will aid research into nano-technology, looking at the properties of fabrics down to atomic particles. And it could make the plot of the 1951 Ealing comedy The Man In The White Suit a reality. In the film, scientist Sidney Stratton, played by Alec Guinness, invents a fabric that never gets dirty or wears out. Experiments The real experiments will be carried out by chemical giant Unilever. (Dailyrecord 12/31/04)
Molecular motor goes both ways. University of Edinburgh researchers have constructed a molecular motor that can spin in either direction, much like the biological molecular motors involved in many of life's processes. The motor consists of a pair of interlocking rings; the smaller ring travels clockwise or counterclockwise around the larger ring depending on the order in which several chemical reactions are carried out on the molecule. (TRN 12/29/04) http://www.trnmag.com/Stories/2004/122904/Molecular_motor_goes_both_ways_Brief_122904.html
Simmons remakes bed with nano-enhanced fabric. In June, Nano-Tex Chief Executive Donn Tice said his firm would pursue new markets like home furnishings. He recently made good on the promise with the unveiling of Simmons Bedding Co.'s new HealthSmart bed. The bed, which features a zip-off mattress top, is intended to appeal to consumers who want a cleaner mattress. The mattress top is made of two layers of fabric. On top are DuPont Coolmax fibers designed to wick away sweat and moisture. Under that is a semi-impervious layer of Nano-Tex-enhanced fabric that traps fluids and particles so they can be washed out. The mattress frame has a terry cloth top treated with Teflon for an extra layer of protection. (SmallTimes 12/22/04) http://www.smalltimes.com/document_display.cfm?document_id=89
Smart Dust Advances in Russia. Smart Dust is going to be something really special. But not just yet. Like a toddler learning to walk by "furniture cruising," staggering wobbly from stationary object to object, Smart Dust is looking for its sea legs. The birth of Smart Dust potential was based on RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and the journey toward full-on Distributed-Sensing Smart Dust-which is the goal for final evolution of this technology--will be a long and arduous one. (GatewaytoRussia 12/16/04) http://www.gateway2russia.com/st/art_260273.php
(Audio) Do Nanotech Products Live Up to the Hype? Nanotechnology is the science of designing materials, atom by atom. It promises revolutionary applications for everything from the military to sports. NPR's David Kestenbaum investigates whether nanotech products already on the market are all they're cracked up to be. (NPR 12/31/04) http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=B52587
Tight Twist Toughens Nano Fiber. Researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Australia have strengthened carbon nanotube yarn by introducing a tight twist as the nanotubes are spun. The method taps the secret of spinning discovered in the Late Stone Age: a tight twist produces a tough fiber.
(Always On 12/14/04) http://www.alwayson-network.com/comments.php?id=t86_0_6_0_C
European researchers build prototype DNA 'velcro'. A team of German scientists has succeeded in creating what they call DNA 'velcro' to bind and then separate nanoparticles. Nanoscientists are already busily constructing novel materials. This experiment could lead, one day, to 'self-constructing' materials. Based at the University of Dortmund, Christof Niemeyer and his team used strands of artificial DNA - the so-called 'king of molecules' - to attach gold nanoparticles together before separating them again. Each gold particle, measuring just 15 nanometres across, was attached using sulphur to the centre of a DNA strand. (Europa 12/14/04)
Encapsulated Carbon Nanotubes for Implantable Biological Sensors to Monitor Blood Glucose Levels. Protein-encapsulated single-walled carbon nanotubes that alter their fluorescence in the presence of specific biomolecules could generate many new types of implantable biological sensors, say researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who developed the encapsulation technique. (A2ZNano 12/13/04) http://www.azonano.com/news.asp?newsID=C9
Coated nanotubes make biosensors. good sensor should be able to sense extremely small changes and should be able to transmit this information about its environment consistently. Researchers working to make sensors that indicate a given chemical or biological agent after sensing only a few or even a single molecule of that substance are turning to the minuscule tools of nanotechnology. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are using carbon nanotubes to sense single molecules, and are tapping the way carbon nanotubes give off near-infrared light in order to read what the sensors have detected. (TRN Dec/Jan 04) http://www.trnmag.com/Stories/2004/122904/Coated_nanotubes_make_biosensors_Brief_122904.html
Nanotechnology comes to golf balls. Sometime in 2005, start-up company NanoDynamics plans to sell a nanotech golf ball that promises to dramatically reduce hooks and slices for even the most frustrated of weekend golfers. That will be a hint of the future of sports. NanoDynamics says it's figured out how to alter the materials in a golf ball at the molecular level so the weight inside shifts less as the ball spins. The less it shifts, the straighter even a badly hit ball will go.
(iseekgolf.com 12/24/04) http://www.iseekgolf.com/view_articles.php/0/26/6192/4/52/0/1/
NanoSus working on nanofur. If humans ever gain the ability to crawl up walls like geckos, you can bet that it might have something to do with nanotechnology research. Creating an artificial version of the tiny fibers on geckos' toes is just one research project among many at Nanosys in Palo Alto. Even if the product, dubbed "nano fur," doesn't pan out in consumer products such as sneakers for walking up walls, Nanosys believes the technology will be an important tool for molecular researchers. (SmallTimes 12/28/04)
Just How Old Can He Go? Ray Kurzweil began his dinner with a pill. "A starch blocker," he explained, "one of my 250 supplements a day." The risk of encountering starchy food seemed slight indeed at the vegetarian restaurant in Manhattan he had selected, where the fare was heavy with kale, seaweed, tofu, steamed broccoli and bean sprouts. But Mr. Kurzweil, a renowned inventor and computer scientist, has strong views on dietary matters. His regimen for longevity is not everyone's cup of tea (preferably green tea, Mr. Kurzweil advises, which contains extra antioxidants to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer). And most people would scoff at his notion that emerging trends in medicine, biotechnology and nanotechnology open a realistic path to immortality - the central claim of a new book by Mr. Kurzweil and Dr. Terry Grossman, a physician and founder of a longevity clinic in Denver. (GoUpstate 12/27/04) http://www.goupstate.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID==/20041227/ZNYT05/412270340/1027/OPINION
-Or here at CNet: http://news.com.com/Just+how+old+can+he+go/2100-7337_3-5504202.html
Happy New Year!
Gina "Nanogirl" Miller
Foresight Senior Associate member http://www.foresight.org
Nanotechnology Advisor Extropy Institute http://www.extropy.org
My New Project: Microscope Jewelry
"Nanotechnology: Solutions for the future."
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