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Archive for the ‘nanotechnology’ category: Page 5

May 7, 2019

Space experiment looks to slow the aging process using nanoparticles

Posted by in categories: life extension, nanotechnology, space travel

The latest SpaceX Dragon cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) included an experiment that could help to combat the ravages of time here on Earth. The European experiment will test how ceramic nanoparticles interact with cells to act as an anti-aging supplement that not only holds promise for alleviating the effects of growing old, but also for combatting chronic illness and space-related stresses for astronauts on prolonged space missions.

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May 6, 2019

Filming how our immune system kill bacteria

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

To kill bacteria in the blood, our immune system relies on nanomachines that can open deadly holes in their targets. UCL scientists have now filmed these nanomachines in action, discovering a key bottleneck in the process which helps to protect our own cells.

The research, published in Nature Communications, provides us with a better understanding of how the kills bacteria and why our own cells remain intact. This may guide the development of new therapies that harness the immune system against bacterial infections, and strategies that repurpose the immune system to act against other rogue cells in the body.

In earlier research, the scientists imaged the hallmarks of attack in live bacteria, showing that the immune system response results in ‘bullet holes’ spread across the cell envelopes of bacteria. The holes are incredibly small with a diameter of just 10 nanometres.

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May 4, 2019

A novel technique that uses quantum light to measure temperature at the nanoscale

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Being able to measure, and monitor, temperatures and temperature changes at miniscule scales—inside a cell or in micro and nano-electronic components—has the potential to impact many areas of research from disease detection to a major challenge of modern computation and communication technologies, how to measure scalability and performance in electronic components.

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Apr 30, 2019

DNA folds into a smart nanocapsule for drug delivery

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Researchers from University of Jyväskylä and Aalto University in Finland have developed a customized DNA nanostructure that can perform a predefined task in human body-like conditions. To do so, the team built a capsule-like carrier that opens and closes according to the pH level of the surrounding solution. The nanocapsule can be loaded—or packed—with a variety of cargo, closed for delivery and opened again through a subtle pH increase.

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Apr 26, 2019

Unprecedented insight into two-dimensional magnets using diamond quantum sensors

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, particle physics, quantum physics

For the first time, physicists at the University of Basel have succeeded in measuring the magnetic properties of atomically thin van der Waals materials on the nanoscale. They used diamond quantum sensors to determine the strength of the magnetization of individual atomic layers of the material chromium triiodide. In addition, they found a long-sought explanation for the unusual magnetic properties of the material. The journal Science has published the findings.

The use of atomically thin, two-dimensional van der Waals promises innovations in numerous fields in science and technology. Scientists around the world are constantly exploring new ways to stack different single atomic layers and thus engineer new materials with unique, emerging properties.

These super-thin composite materials are held together by van der Waals forces and often behave differently to bulk crystals of the same material. Atomically thin van der Waals materials include insulators, semiconductors, superconductors and a few materials with magnetic properties. Their use in spintronics or ultra-compact magnetic memory media is highly promising.

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Apr 25, 2019

New nanomedicine slips through the cracks

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, nanotechnology, neuroscience

In a recent study in mice, researchers found a way to deliver specific drugs to parts of the body that are exceptionally difficult to access. Their Y-shaped block catiomer (YBC) binds with certain therapeutic materials forming a package 18 nanometers wide. The package is less than one-fifth the size of those produced in previous studies, so it can pass through much smaller gaps. This allows YBCs to slip through tight barriers in cancers of the brain or pancreas.

The fight against cancer is fought on many fronts. One promising field is gene therapy, which targets genetic causes of diseases to reduce their effect. The idea is to inject a nucleic acid-based drug into the bloodstream—typically small interfering RNA (siRNA)—which binds to a specific problem-causing gene and deactivates it. However, siRNA is very fragile and needs to be protected within a nanoparticle or it breaks down before reaching its target.

“siRNA can switch off specific gene expressions that may cause harm. They are the next generation of biopharmaceuticals that could treat various intractable diseases, including cancer,” explained Associate Professor Kanjiro Miyata of the University of Tokyo, who jointly supervised the study. “However, siRNA is easily eliminated from the body by enzymatic degradation or excretion. Clearly a new delivery method was called for.”

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Apr 25, 2019

DNA as you’ve never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

You are probably familiar with graphics depicting the double helix structure of DNA. But have you ever seen a single DNA molecule standing straight?

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Apr 25, 2019

Cooling with light

Posted by in categories: innovation, nanotechnology

ETH researchers have cooled a nanoparticle to a record low temperature, thanks to a sophisticated experimental set-up that uses scattered laser light for cooling. Until now, no one has ever cooled a nanoparticle to such low temperatures in a photon cage. Dominik Windey and René Reimann – a doctoral student and postdoc in the group led by Lukas Novotny, Professor of Photonics – have succeeded in cooling a 140 nanometre glass bead down to a few thousandths of a degree above absolute zero.

The researchers recently published details of their work in the journal Physical Review Letters. Their breakthrough came in the form of a sophisticated experimental set-up involving , whereby a nanoparticle can be made to levitate with the aid of a laser beam. The group has already used the same optical tweezers in previous work, in which they caused a nanoparticle to rotate around its own axis at extremely high speed.

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Apr 25, 2019

Building a printing press for new quantum materials

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, nanotechnology, quantum physics

Checking out a stack of books from the library is as simple as searching the library’s catalog and using unique call numbers to pull each book from their shelf locations. Using a similar principle, scientists at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN)—a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory—are teaming with Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to create a first-of-its-kind automated system to catalog atomically thin two-dimensional (2-D) materials and stack them into layered structures. Called the Quantum Material Press, or QPress, this system will accelerate the discovery of next-generation materials for the emerging field of quantum information science (QIS).

Structures obtained by stacking single atomic layers (“flakes”) peeled from different parent bulk crystals are of interest because of the exotic electronic, magnetic, and that emerge at such small (quantum) size scales. However, flake exfoliation is currently a manual process that yields a variety of flake sizes, shapes, orientations, and number of layers. Scientists use optical microscopes at high magnification to manually hunt through thousands of flakes to find the desired ones, and this search can sometimes take days or even a week, and is prone to .

Once high-quality 2-D flakes from different crystals have been located and their properties characterized, they can be assembled in the desired order to create the layered structures. Stacking is very time-intensive, often taking longer than a month to assemble a single layered structure. To determine whether the generated structures are optimal for QIS applications—ranging from computing and encryption to sensing and communications—scientists then need to characterize the structures’ properties.

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Apr 25, 2019

Scientists discover coal-derived ‘dots’ are effective antioxidant

Posted by in categories: health, nanotechnology, neuroscience, quantum physics

Graphene quantum dots drawn from common coal may be the basis for an effective antioxidant for people who suffer traumatic brain injuries, strokes or heart attacks.

Their ability to quench after such injuries is the subject of a study by scientists at Rice University, the Texas A&M Health Science Center and the McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Quantum dots are semiconducting materials small enough to exhibit that only appear at the nanoscale.

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