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The latest news from academia, regulators
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Clues to how plants form cell walls could aid biofuels, nanotechnology

When plant cells divide, they assemble molecular building blocks into new cell walls made of carbohydrate and protein, but scientists know almost nothing about how this process occurs. A team of researchers including Maura Cannon of the University of Massachusetts Amherst has found that the first step in building new plant cell walls is the assembly of a scaffold made of structural proteins, a process similar to using a metal or wood scaffold to construct the walls of a building.

Posted: Feb 27th, 2008

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'2-faced' particles act like tiny submarines

For the first time, researchers at North Carolina State University have demonstrated that microscopic 'two-faced' spheres whose halves are physically or chemically different - so-called Janus particles - will move like stealthy submarines when an alternating electrical field is applied to liquid surrounding the particles.

Posted: Feb 27th, 2008

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Maryland bill would spur bio-nanotechnology

Hoping to turn the science of the extremely small into a huge payoff down the road, Maryland lawmakers introduced legislation Tuesday to create a fund to coordinate efforts to develop what's known as bio-nanotechnology.

Posted: Feb 26th, 2008

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Nanoemulsion vaccines show increasing promise

A novel technique for vaccinating against a variety of infectious diseases - using an oil-based emulsion placed in the nose, rather than needles - has proved able to produce a strong immune response against smallpox and HIV in two new studies.

Posted: Feb 26th, 2008

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New book: Introduction to Spintronics

Using spin to replace or augment the role of charge in signal processing devices, computing systems and circuits may improve speed, power consumption, and device density in some casesmaking the study of spinone of the fastest-growing areas in micro- and nanoelectronics. With most of the literature on the subject still highly advanced and heavily theoretical, the demand for a practical introduction to the concepts relating to spin has only now been filled.

Posted: Feb 26th, 2008

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Recent developments in nanotechnology showcased at INNO.08 in Montreal

INNO.08 is the first and most wide-ranging innovation conference to ever take place in Montreal: 7 conferences under one roof spanning only 3 days - April 21-23, 2008. What are the health and safety risks posed by nanoparticles exposure? What means of prevention are available? How are researchers and preventionists involved? What is the state of Canadian standardization? Speakers, including an international leading expert, will inform you about the most recent developments in nanotechnology while addressing the issues identify above. Moreover, the first Quebec Guide of Good Practices for the Safe Handling of Nanoparticles will be presented during the symposium.

Posted: Feb 26th, 2008

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Saudi research organisation creates Nanotechnology Centre with IBM to drive innovation in sustainable resources

King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, the Saudi Arabian national research and development organisation, today announced it is establishing a Nanotechnology Centre of Excellence, in association with IBM Research, to seek key innovations, and explore and develop breakthroughs in applying molecular-scale engineering to critical energy and sustainable resource issues.

Posted: Feb 26th, 2008

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Federal toxics disclosure law could help inform public of nanotechnology risks

The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) is releasing a first-time legal analysis that finds a key federal toxics reporting statute could be applied to production and commercialization of nanotechnology, providing the public with more information about these revolutionary - yet still potentially risky - technologies.

Posted: Feb 26th, 2008

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Mannequins discover nanotechnology

German mannequin manufacturer EuroDisplay is borrowing the nanotechnology applications used for motor vehicle paint finishes to make mannequins with durable surfaces and long-lasting skin tones. Called NanoFinish, the new product was unveiled at EuroShop this week.

Posted: Feb 25th, 2008

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Nanopores that can recognize, separate proteins and small molecules

Nanopores, holes less than one-thousand the width of a human hair, are capable of isolating strands of DNA or therapeutic drugs from a solution, based mostly on the size of the pores. Now, a chemist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has created nanopores that can recognize and interact with certain molecules, actively controlling their movement across synthetic membranes.

Posted: Feb 25th, 2008

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