Magnetics researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) colored lots of eggs recently. Bunnies and children might find the eggs a bit small - in fact, too small to see without a microscope. But these "eggcentric" nanomagnets have another practical use, suggesting strategies for making future low-power computer memories.
While the primary job of DNA in cells is to carry genetic information from one generation to the next, some scientists also see the highly stable and programmable molecule as an ideal building material for nanoscale structures that could be used to deliver drugs, act as biosensors, perform artificial photosynthesis and more.
The UK's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued information for companies using nanomaterials covered by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulation. The information includes basic risk management and legal duties.
A gold plated window as the transparent electrode for organic solar cells is now a reality thanks to a team of researchers from the University of Warwick in the UK. The upshot of this development, apart from its innovation, is that it could be relatively cheap because the gold used is just 8 nanometers thick.
When it comes to dreaming about diamonds, energy efficiency and powerful information processing aren't normally the thoughts that spring to mind. Unless, of course, you are a quantum physicist looking to create the most secure and powerful networks around.
Researchers at Oregon State University have found a way to use magnetic "nanobeads" to help detect chemical and biological agents, with possible applications in everything from bioterrorism to medical diagnostics, environmental monitoring or even water and food safety.
Water molecules surround the genetic material DNA in a very specific way. Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have discovered that, on the one hand, the texture of this hydration shell depends on the water content and, on the other hand, actually influences the structure of the genetic substance itself. These findings are not only important in understanding the biological function of DNA; they could also be used for the construction of new DNA-based materials.
Planes were grounded all over Europe when the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in Iceland last year. But no one knew if the no fly zone was really necessary. And the only way to find out would have been to fly a plane through the ash cloud - a potentially fatal experiment. Now a team of researchers from the University of Copenhagen and the University of Iceland have developed a protocol for rapidly providing air traffic authorities with the data they need for deciding whether or not to ground planes next time ash threatens airspace safety.
Vanderbilt researchers working at the smallest scale celebrate a huge milestone this year. The Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (VINSE), seeded from a university-funded $16 million venture capital fund initiative, celebrates its 10th anniversary in December.
A team of researchers at the University of Costa Rica has found that some beetles' metallic appearance is created by the unique structural arrangements of many dozens of layers of exo-skeletal chitin in the elytron, a hardened forewing that protects the delicate hindwings that are folded underneath.