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Putting more science into the art of making nanocrystals

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.

Posted: Jul 10th, 2013

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Researchers perform DNA computation in living cells

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.

Posted: Jul 10th, 2013

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Jagged graphene can slice into cell membranes

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.

Posted: Jul 10th, 2013

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For perfect nanocrystals just add water

A simplified technique to fabricate nanocrystals of cerium dioxide, which have wide-ranging technological and industrial applications, has been 'unexpectedly' demonstrated by a UNSW chemist.

Posted: Jul 10th, 2013

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Stirred, not shaken: Nanoscale magnetic stir bars

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.

Posted: Jul 10th, 2013

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Rapid cooling leads to stronger alloys

This new technique will play a major role in the production of novel materials, from metals, alloys, metal matrix composites to micro- and nanostructured semiconductors.

Posted: Jul 10th, 2013

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Heat radiation of small objects: Beyond Planck's equations

All the objects around us emit thermal radiation. Usually, this radiation can be described very accurately using Planck's law. If, however, the radiating object is smaller than the thermal wavelength, it behaves according to different rules and cannot emit the energy efficiently. This has now been confirmed by a team of researchers at the Vienna University of Technology.

Posted: Jul 10th, 2013

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Microparticles create localized control of stem cells

Researchers are reporting advances in these areas by using gelatin-based microparticles to deliver growth factors to specific areas of embryoid bodies, aggregates of differentiating stem cells. The localized delivery technique provides spatial control of cell differentiation within the cultures, potentially enabling the creation of complex three-dimensional tissues.

Posted: Jul 9th, 2013

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