Decade-old controversy over structure of nuclear pore solved, thanks to new method in which EMBL scientists combine thousands of super-resolution microscopy images to reach a precision below one nanometer.
Researchers have shown how a phenomenon called superlubricity, long thought to be of purely academic interest, can enable microscopic devices to move at speeds of up to 90km/h, as fast as cars on a highway.
Combining experiment and theory, Cornell researchers have moved a step closer to making graphene a useful, controllable material. They showed that when grown in stacked layers, graphene produces some specific defects that influence its conductivity.
Laser frequency combs - high-precision tools for measuring different colors of light in an ever-growing range of applications - are not only getting smaller but also much easier to make. NIST physicists can now make the core of a miniature frequency comb in one minute. Conventional microfabrication techniques, by contrast, may require hours, days or even weeks.
Preparing semiconductor quantum dots is sometimes more of a black art than a science. That presents an obstacle to further progress in, for example, creating better solar cells or lighting devices, where quantum dots offer unique advantages that would be particularly useful if they could be used as basic building blocks for constructing larger nanoscale architectures.
Chemists have performed a DNA-based logic-gate operation within a human cell. The research may pave the way to more complicated computations in live cells, as well as new methods of disease detection and treatment.
A collaboration of biologists, engineers, and material scientists has found that jagged edges of graphene can easily pierce cell membranes, allowing graphene to enter the cell and disrupt normal function. Understanding the mechanical forces of nanotoxicity should help engineers design safer materials at the nanoscale.
Anyone who has ever worked in a laboratory has seen them: magnetic stirrers that rotate magnetic stir bars in liquids to mix them. The stir bars come in many different forms - now including nanometer-sized. Researchers have now introduced chains made of 40 nm iron oxide particles that act as the world's smallest magnetic stir bars, effectively stirring picoliter-sized drops of emulsion with a commercial magnetic stirrer.
Researchers have developed a concept to potentially improve delivery of drugs for cancer treatment using nanoparticles that concentrate and expand in the presence of higher acidity found in tumor cells.