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Biological nanowires carry electricity thanks to special amino acids

In nature, the bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens uses these nanowires, called pili, to transport electrons to remote iron particles or other microbes, but the benefits of these wires can also be harnessed by humans for use in fuel cells or bioelectronics. A new study reveals that a core of aromatic amino acids are required to turn these hair-like appendages into functioning electron-carrying biological wires.

Posted: Mar 12th, 2013

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Researchers solve riddle of what has been holding two unlikely materials together

For years, researchers have developed thin films of bismuth telluride - which converts heat into electricity or electricity to cooling - on top of gallium arsenide to create cooling devices for electronics. But while they knew it could be done, it was not clear how - because the atomic structures of those unlikely pair of materials do not appear to be compatible. Now researchers have solved the mystery, opening the door to new research in the field.

Posted: Mar 11th, 2013

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Nanotechnology on a megascale

Eric Louis has been doing research into advanced multi-layer mirrors used for computer chips, among other things, for more than 20 years. This is nanotechnology in its truest sense, because each layer is only a few nanometres thick. However, this is done on a mega scale, because the mirrors can be up to one metre in size.

Posted: Mar 11th, 2013

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