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Archive for the 'Research' Category

Novel nanoparticle efficiently silences gene expression in liver cells

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 29th, 2014

RNA interference provides potential cures for various diseases by silencing the expression of specific genes in specific organs, but delivering the RNA molecules to the right place is very difficult. A novel nanoparticle provides unprecedented efficiency in silencing target genes in liver cells.

Physicists suppress 'stiction' force that bedevils microscale machinery

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 19th, 2014

A possible top-down path to atomically precise manufacturing that passes through microscale machinery might be rendered easier because of recent progress in suppressing the Casimir force, which contributes to the ‘stiction’ problem often encountered with microelectromechanical systems.

Programmable nanoprocessors integrated into a nanowire nanocomputer

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 30th, 2014

Pioneering a design and fabrication strategy to address individual nanoscale electronic devices to enable large-scale assembly into integrated computer circuits, a MITRE-Harvard team has assembled a functional nanoelectronic control computer.

Bigger, stiffer, roomier molecular cages from structural DNA nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 29th, 2014

Using struts made of DNA to stiffen polyhedral corners, scientists have build rigid DNA cages an order of magnitude larger than previous DNA nanostructures, and only one order of magnitude smaller than bacterial cells.

Chemists provide new tool for nanotechnology-modifying the right carbon atom

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 27th, 2014

A new tool to chemically modify one specific carbon atom among several chemically very similar ones will facilitate building larger, more complex molecules for drug discovery and for nanotechnology.

Will crowdsourced RNA designs advance nanotechnology?

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 6th, 2014

A very large community of online gamers has consistently produced RNA designs that outperform the best design algorithms by a large margin. Can online gamers designing RNA, protein, and other molecules contribute to the development of atomically precise manufacturing?

In mice, nanoparticle reduces inflammation in atherosclerotic plaques

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 5th, 2014

A reconstituted high-density lipoprotein nanoparticle reduces inflammation in advanced atherosclerotic plaques in mice. Will it work in humans to prevent repeat heart attacks and stroke?

Better nanoswitches by integrating double and triple strand DNA

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 28th, 2014

A DNA clamp engineered for higher specificity and higher affinity may improve cancer diagnosis and treatment and may also mean better control over building nanomachines.

Integrating DNA nanotechnology and RNA to transport nanoparticles along nanotubes

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 21st, 2014

A possible forerunner to a future molecular assembly line uses an artificial DNA motor to transport an artificial nanoparticle along a carbon nanotube track.

RNA nanotechnology - fewer structures in living cells than in test tubes

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 14th, 2014

A study of RNA structures actually present in cells reveals that cells spend energy restricting thermodynamically driven RNA folding so that fewer RNA structures are found in cells than in test tubes.

Advanced technologies by design

Posted by Stephanie C on December 16th, 2013

Design and prediction are integral to Atomically Precise Manufacturing and its development. This is in part because fully functional APM can be readily explored computationally today, to levels of precision that cannot be experimentally developed today. In such a context, design is not just a resource but an approach. With rapidly expanding computational power, examples [...]

2013 conference video: Mechanical Atom Manipulation

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 2nd, 2013

At the 2013 Conference Philip Moriarty presented non-contact Atomic Force Microscope experiments demonstrating mechanical toggling of silicon dimers on a silicon surface. The crucial role of precise control of probe tip structure was emphasized.

Nanotrain uses molecular motors and DNA nanotechnology controls

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 2nd, 2013

Using DNA nanotechnology to control and organize molecular motors and the molecular tracks that they run on, a novel nanotrain transports molecular cargos tens of micrometers.

Graphene nanoribbon senses passage of individual bases of DNA

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 19th, 2013

A nanoribbon transistor no thicker than the distance between adjacent DNA bases provides high resolution sensing of DNA passage through nanopores, perhaps leading eventually to rapid DNA sequencing.

Nanoparticle therapy for incurable brain cancer effective in mice

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 15th, 2013

Gold nanoparticles densely coated with RNA molecules intended to silence a gene essential for an incurable brain cancer proved effective in mice engrafted with human glioblastoma multiforme tumor.

Adding more chemical interactions to DNA nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 24th, 2013

Modifying DNA strands with lipid-like molecules opens more possibilities for designing DNA structures for drug delivery and other purposes.

Biology is capable of evolving functional mechanical gears

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 16th, 2013

Nymphs of certain jumping insects have evolved 400-micrometer mechanical gear strips to precisely synchronize legs when jumping.

Carbyne: the strongest, stiffest carbon chain

Posted by Stephanie C on October 11th, 2013

Carbyne – a straight line of carbon atoms linked by double bonds or by alternating single and triple bonds — is the next stiff, carbon-based structure with unusual and desirable properties. It has been observed under limited natural and experimental conditions, is expected to be difficult to synthesize and store, and now has been theoretically [...]

Nanotubes aren't stiff if they aren't straight

Posted by Stephanie C on October 3rd, 2013

Materials scientists have pursued the question of why vertically aligned carbon nanotube forests show much lower modulus values than expected. Now researchers from Georgia Tech have found that the nanotubes they fabricate contain kinks that dramatically diminish modulus value. In other words, the nanotubes are not straight; therefore, they are not stiff. The government-funded research [...]

Computational design of protein-small molecule interactions

Posted by Jim Lewis on September 26th, 2013

A major advance in the computational design of proteins that bind tightly to specific small molecules will facilitate several technologies, possibly including the development of atomically precise manufacturing.