Movie characters from the Terminator to the Bionic Woman use bionic eyes to zoom in on far-off scenes, have useful facts pop into their field of view, or create virtual crosshairs. Off the screen, virtual displays have been proposed for more practical purposes - visual aids to help vision-impaired people, holographic driving control panels and even as a way to surf the Web on the go.
Science fiction author Kathleen Ann Goonan was writing about nanotechnology before most people even know it existed. Her Nanotech Quartet, including her celebrated first novel Queen City Jazz, is about a future United States where nanotech has gone wild and turned cities into living entities - and reprogrammed people to reenact scenarios from US history and literature.
Scientists have discovered a way of speeding up the production of hollow-core optical fibres - a new generation of optical fibres that could lead to faster and more powerful computing and telecommunications technologies.
The phrase 'sex sells' takes on special significance when scientists and students gather. While nature's showiest subjects step out to promote reproductive success and survival with bright colors, flash and iridescence in feathers, scales, petals and wings, biologists, physicists, behaviorists and materials scientists will delve into whatâ??s behind all the bling at a workshop on 'Iridescence' to be held Feb. 6-9 at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz.
Within the next month, a panel of advisers to the Department of Public Health in Cambridge will deliver a set of recommendations to the City Council on how to deal with nanotechnology firms operating inside the city's boundaries.
While undergraduate students may think that the University of Alberta emphasizes research over teaching, those in research say thatâ??s not the case, arguing that good teaching needs good research programs.
The NanoSTEM initiative recognizes that the Chippewa Valley is positioned to be a hub of nanotechnology activity. It would provide additional resources to the Universities of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Stout and to Chippewa Valley Technical College, and provide tax incentives for businesses that partner with the schools to develop nanotechnologies.
Using computer simulations, researchers at the University of Illinois have demonstrated a strategy for sequencing DNA by driving the molecule back and forth through a nanopore capacitor in a semiconductor chip. The technique could lead to a device that would read human genomes quickly and affordably.
The quest for an effective antitumor vaccine has received a boost from the results of work aimed at developing a nanoparticle that delivers tumor antigens to the immune system cells that trigger antibody production.
Aptamers, short stretches of DNA or RNA that can act much like antibodies, have shown promise as targeting agents for selective nanoparticle trafficking to tumors. Their ability to recognize and bind to tumor-specific molecules is undisputed, but the strength with which aptamers bind to their molecular targets is often insufficient to act as an effective targeting agent under clinically relevant conditions.
Cancer cells display a variety of proteins on their outer membranes that are not present on the surface of normal cells. Although these proteins are likely to be critical to the survival or metastatic spread of cancer, investigators at North Dakota State University have turned one of these proteins against the malignant cell, using it to trigger the release of dye molecules entrapped in a nanoparticle.
The long and challenging effort to find blood-borne markers for cancer and other diseases may soon enter a new realm of success using a new nanoparticle that preferentially and rapidly removes small proteins and other molecules from blood while simultaneously protecting them from degradation.