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February 16 2017


Food additive found in candy, gum could alter digestive cell structure and function

The ability of small intestine cells to absorb nutrients and act as a barrier to pathogens is "significantly decreased" after chronic exposure to nanoparticles of titanium dioxide, a common food additive found in everything from chewing gum to bread, according to research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Breakthrough in 'wonder' materials paves way for flexible tech

Gadgets are set to become flexible, highly efficient and much smaller, following a breakthrough in measuring two-dimensional 'wonder' materials by the University of Warwick.

'Smart' mobile tool may be used to diagnose and treat serious diseases

Finding practical solutions to detect proteins, cancer biomarkers, viruses and other small objects has been a key challenge for researchers worldwide for decades. These solutions hold promise for saving lives through more timely diagnosis and treatment of serious infections and diseases.

February 15 2017


Using 'Scotch tape' and laser beams, researchers craft new material that could improve LED screens

A cover story appearing in the peer-reviewed journal Nanoscale Horizons reports a new bilayer material, with each layer measuring less than one nanometer in thickness, that someday could lead to more efficient and versatile light emission.

New, ultra-flexible probes form reliable, scar-free integration with the brain

Engineering researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have designed ultra-flexible, nanoelectronic thread (NET) brain probes that can achieve more reliable long-term neural recording than existing probes and don't elicit scar formation when implanted. The researchers described their findings in a research article published on Feb. 15 in Science Advances.

Engineers shrink microscope to dime-sized device

Researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas have created an atomic force microscope on a chip, dramatically shrinking the size—and, hopefully, the price tag—of a high-tech device commonly used to characterize material properties.

How to roll a nanotube: Demystifying carbon nanotubes' structure control

Pioneering research published in Nature by Professor Feng Ding's team from the Center for Multidimensional Carbon Materials, within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS), in collaboration with Professor Jin Zhang's team, at Peking University and colleagues, has demonstrated how to control the synthesis of special tiny carbon cylinders known as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), in order to synthesize horizontal arrays of CNTs with the same structure.

Scientists combine disciplines to pinpoint small structures in unlabeled molecules

Five years of hard work and a little "cosmic luck" led Rice University researchers to a new method to obtain structural details on molecules in biomembranes.

Nanotechnology based gene editing to eradicate HIV brain reservoir in drug abusers

Opiate abuse is a significant risk factor for HIV infection, and in combination they can have a devastating effect on the brain. Scientists at FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM) are studying new therapies that can short-circuit HIV infection and mitigate the damaging effects that opiate addiction has on the central nervous system.

Making sodium-ion batteries that last

Lithium-ion batteries have become essential in everyday technology. But these power sources can explode under certain circumstances and are not ideal for grid-scale energy storage. Sodium-ion batteries are potentially a safer and less expensive alternative, but current versions don't last long enough yet for practical use. Now, scientists have developed an anode material that enables sodium-ion batteries to perform at high capacity over hundreds of cycles, according to their report in the journal ACS Nano.

Team makes high-quality graphene with soybeans

A breakthrough by CSIRO-led scientists has made the world's strongest material more commercially viable, thanks to the humble soybean.

New economic water-splitting catalyst, Ru@C2N

UNIST scientists have developed an exiting new catalyst that can split water into hydrogen almost as good as platinum, but less costly and found frequently on Earth.

Plant-made virus shells could deliver drugs directly to cancer cells

Viruses are extremely efficient at targeting and delivering cargo to cells. In the journal ACS Nano, researchers report they have harnessed this well-honed ability—minus the part that makes us sick—to develop virus-like nanoparticles to deliver drugs straight to affected cells. In lab tests, they show that one such particle can be produced in plants and it ferries small molecules to cancer cells.

New type of nanosensor detects DNA building blocks

Researchers at Uppsala University and in Brazil have developed a new type of nanosensor that can detect single molecules. The nanosensor, comprising a combination of two different materials, has been used to identify the different building blocks in DNA.

Imaging technique for unique views of single molecules that conventional methods can't match

Determining the exact configuration of proteins and other complex biological molecules is an important step toward understanding their functions, including how they bind with receptors in the body. But such imaging is difficult to do. It usually requires the molecules to be crystallized first so that X-ray diffraction techniques can be applied—and not all such molecules can be crystallized.

February 14 2017


New iron oxide nanoparticles could help avoid a rare side effect caused by current contrast agents for MRI

A new, specially coated iron oxide nanoparticle developed by a team at MIT and elsewhere could provide an alternative to conventional gadolinium-based contrast agents used for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures. In rare cases, the currently used gadolinium agents have been found to produce adverse effects in patients with impaired kidney function.

Turning up the heat for perfect (nano)diamonds

Quantum mechanics, the physics that governs nature at the atomic and subatomic scale, contains a host of new physical phenomena to explore quantum states at the nanoscale. Though tricky, there are ways to exploit these inherently fragile and sensitive systems for quantum sensing. One nascent technology in particular makes use of point defects, or single-atom misplacements, in nanoscale materials, such as diamond nanoparticles, to measure electromagnetic fields, temperature, pressure, frequency and other variables with unprecedented precision and accuracy.

NASA and MIT Collaborate to develop space-based quantum-dot spectrometer

A NASA technologist has teamed with the inventor of a new nanotechnology that could transform the way space scientists build spectrometers, the all-important device used by virtually all scientific disciplines to measure the properties of light emanating from astronomical objects, including Earth itself.

A nanofiber matrix for healing

A new nanofiber-on-microfiber matrix could help produce more and better quality stem cells for disease treatment and regenerative therapies.

Learning how to fine-tune nanofabrication

Daniel Packwood, Junior Associate Professor at Kyoto University's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS), is improving methods for constructing tiny "nanomaterials" using a "bottom-up" approach called "molecular self-assembly". Using this method, molecules are chosen according to their ability to spontaneously interact and combine to form shapes with specific functions. In the future, this method may be used to produce tiny wires with diameters 1/100,000th that of a piece of hair, or tiny electrical circuits that can fit on the tip of a needle.
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