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Archive for the 'Research' Category

DNA nanotechnology replicates enzyme cascade

Posted by Jim Lewis on June 4th, 2014

A swinging DNA arm added to a DNA scaffold makes it possible for two enzymes attached to the scaffold to complete a coupled chemical reaction.

Expanded DNA alphabet provides more options for nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 14th, 2014

A bacterium has been engineered to stably propagate a DNA written with six letters instead of the usual four, greatly expanding the number of amino acids, both natural and synthetic, that can be genetically encoded. Further work could lead to novel proteins incorporating these additional amino acids, and from there to novel materials, devices, and machines.

Nanotechnology to provide efficient, inexpensive water desalination

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 12th, 2014

Two different nanotechnology-based approaches to use graphene as the basis for purification and desalination of water look promising.

Nanotechnology to provide better solar cells, optical devices

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 9th, 2014

A novel method to control the configuration of atoms in semiconductors grown on graphene will make possible a vast array of new optical devices, including better solar cells.

To fight inflammation nanoparticles turn 'naughty' neutrophils into 'nice' neutrophils

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 1st, 2014

By targeting the protein that attaches a type of immune cell called neutrophils to blood vessel walls where they cause serious tissues damage, the neutrophils are released and returned to the circulation to resume their normal functions.

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.