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Nanotechnology for medicine: Harvard’s new Kavli Institute to develop tiny machines for nanomedicine

Philanthropist Fred Kavli has extended his nanotech research giving to found the Kavli Institute for Bionano Science and Technology at Harvard. From the Harvard press release:

The Kavli Foundation and Harvard University have agreed to establish the Kavli Institute for Bionano Science and Technology (KIBST). The endowment from the Kavli Foundation will help to boost the University’s research efforts at the interfaces of biology, engineering, and nanoscale science. In particular, the gift will fund postdoctoral research fellows and support a lectureship series dedicated to “nano-” or small-scale science.

A “nanometer” is one-billionth of a meter, about a 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of the average human hair. Nanoscience offers scientists a way to get a close-up view of life’s building blocks – near-atomic-resolution images that help to determine the structure and function of proteins and even to follow the dynamics of individual molecules. Likewise, advances in manipulating nanoscale matter and materials are likely to lead to tiny machines that could deliver medicine or detect viruses.

The same “tiny machines” wording is in the Kavli Foundation release. Someone at Kavli or Harvard has figured out that tiny machines are going to be very big in nanomedicine. That’s excellent, and bravo to Fred Kavli. Check out the other things he’s funded. He is definitely on my “top ten people I’d most like to have dinner with” list. —Christine

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