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Chemical Reactions One Molecule at a Time

December 15, 2004

University of California at Riverside researchers used the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) as a nanoscale actuator to individually guide molecules one at a time and step-by-step through a chemical reaction.

Their technique fine-tunes the reactivity of groups of molecules, offering a way to optimize atomic-scale construction of complex molecules on surfaces.

In 2000, researchers found that the STM could assemble individual biphenyl molecules from elementary… read more

War Machines: Recruiting Robots for Combat

November 29, 2010

The U.S. Army is designing new remote-controlled robots to handle a broader range of tasks, from picking off snipers to serving as indefatigable night sentries.

Caution advised in release of genetically modified organisms

June 8, 2001

Scientists and governments should proceed with caution as they release genetically modified organisms into the environment, according to researchers at the Ecological Society of America.

Researchers are concerned that an organism can persist without human intervention and exchange genetic material with unaltered organisms. Other concerns include creating new or more vigorous pests and pathogens, exacerbating the effects of existing pests through hybridization with related transgenic plants or animals, harm… read more

Unprecedented growth seen for solar energy

February 9, 2009

“To go from the 1 gigawatt of generation capacity that we have now [in the United States] to the 170 to 200 gigawatts called for by 2030 amounts to a 26 percent compounded annual growth rate over the next 20 years,” according to John Lushetsky, program manager of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technology Program for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Lushetsky predicted that the solar energy… read more

Powering the nanoworld

August 30, 2007
Credit: Animation Technology Review

Georgia Tech researchers have created a device that converts ultrasonic vibrations into electricity.

The two-square-millimeter device .5 nanoamperes of current, which engineers may one day be able use to power implantable biosensors, remote environmental monitors, and more. Four watts per cubic centimeter is possible, allowing for power portable electronics such as cell phones.

Transparent transistors may lead to new industries

December 29, 2004

Researchers at Oregon State University and Hewlett Packard have reported a first example of a new class of thin-film materials, called amorphous heavy-metal cation multicomponent oxides, that could be used to make transparent transistors that are inexpensive, stable, and environmentally benign.

This could lead to new industries and a broad range of new consumer products, scientists say.

The new material combines the characteristics of different elements to give… read more

Nanotubes are the new superconductors

July 2, 2001

Nanotubes exhibit superconductivity below 20 degrees Kelvin, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology researchers have reported in Science magazine.

The superconductivity is due to enhanced coupling between phonons and electrons.

Are “smart” designer dogs on the way?

February 16, 2009

Thanks to a fully sequenced dog genome and genetic tools that allow researchers to rapidly scan hundreds of thousands of gene mutations at once, geneticists have uncovered a handful of genes that determine coat color, variations in size, and some congenital diseases.

Nanoparticle thin films that self-assemble in one minute

Could generate new families of optical coatings for solar energy, nanoelectronics, and computer memory storage
June 10, 2014

Upon solvent annealing, supramolecules made from gold nanoparticles and block copolymers will self-assemble into highly ordered thin films in one minute (credit: Berkeley Labs)

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researchers have devised a technique that allows  supramolecules (self-assembling nanoparticle arrays) to form a highly ordered thin film over macroscopic (large-scale) distances in one minute, instead of hours.

The supramolecules are based on block copolymers that were combined with gold nanoparticles to create nanocomposites. Under solvent annealing, these quickly self-assembled into hierarchically structured thin films spanning an area of several square… read more

Utility Will Use Batteries to Store Wind Power

September 11, 2007

American Electric Power, a coal-burning utility company that is looking for ways to connect more wind power to its grid, plans to announce on Tuesday that it will install huge banks of high-technology batteries.

They will smooth the power delivery from wind turbines. They can charge at night, when the wind is strong but prices are low, and give the electricity back the next afternoon, when there is hardly… read more

Supercomputing goes global

January 11, 2005

The world’s most powerful supercomputer likely will evolve into a grid architecture of loosely coupled systems harnessed logically to a single task across a global network.

A grid holds the most promise for delivering the biggest and baddest theoretical supercomputing architecture imaginable, a virtual multiple-instruction/multiple-data, or MIMD, global supercomputer.

Grid architectures rely more on specialized software than on fast hardware, and they’re attracting lots of research. Users in… read more

Distributed biological computation imitates logic-gate circuits

December 15, 2010


Genetically modified yeast cells can be made to communicate with each other as if they were electronic logic circuits, researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden have found.

“Even though engineered cells can’t do the same job as a real computer, our study paves the way for building complex constructions from these cells,” says Kentaro Furukawa at the University of Gothenburg’s Department of Cell- and Molecular Biology, one of… read more

Stem cells develop into kidney cells

July 25, 2001

Adult stem cells taken from bone marrow can develop into kidney cells, British scientists have discovered.
Bone marrow stem cells, which are immature blood cells, have already been shown to transform into liver, nerve and muscle cells.

Both adult and embryonic stem cells have enormous medical potential due to their ability to mature into a wide range of different tissues, which could then be transplanted. However, ethical considerations have… read more

Paper Diagnostics

February 24, 2009

Harvard University professor George Whitesides is coupling advanced microfluidics with paper to create a versatile, disposable test that can check a tiny amount of urine or blood for evidence of infectious diseases or chronic conditions.

The Future of Nano & Bio Technologies

September 19, 2007

Presentations at the recent “Challenges & Opportunities: The Future of Nano & Bio Technologies” conference, presented by World Care and the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology, are now available online and reported in CRN’s blog.

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