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Archive for the 'Nanotech' Category

Photos from 2014 Foresight Technical Conference

Posted by Jim Lewis on June 24th, 2014

The photos from the 2014 Foresight Technical Conference highlight entrepreneurial efforts in space, biotechnology, and life extension.

Robust triangular RNA brick adds to RNA nanotechnology toolkit

Posted by Jim Lewis on June 24th, 2014

The complex molecular recognition code of RNA offers RNA nanotechnology a greater variety of 3D structures and functions than are present in DNA nanotechnology, but the RNA structures can be fragile. New RNA triangles that resist boiling solve this problem.

Novel properties for nanotechnology rebar-graphene reinforced with carbon nanotubes

Posted by Jim Lewis on June 9th, 2014

Carbon-containing functional groups decorating carbon nanotubes decompose upon heating on copper foil to form a nanotube-reinforced graphene with novel properties that mimic those of expensive indium-tin-oxide.

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.

A bird's-eye view of half a century of nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 7th, 2014

Reviewing Eric Drexler’s Radical Abundance, Phil Bowermaster provides an informed and insightful overview of the controversies that greeted the proposal for a nanotechnology aimed at developing a practical technology for atomically precise manufacturing. Along the way he shows how Drexler’s outlook evolved from 1986 to 2013.

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.

US government report highlights flaws in US nanotechnology effort

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 1st, 2014

The concern of the US GAO for a gap in nanomanufacturing is well-placed, but it is only half of the problem with the limited US vision of the impact of nanotechnology on the future world economy.

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.

Notes on 2014 Foresight nanotechnology conference

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 7th, 2014

A “sense of energy, momentum, and collegiality throughout the weekend” united attendees hearing about the integration of nano-engineered devices and materials into more complex systems, and the integration of nanoscale technologies into diverse applications.

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.