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Nanotechnology Goes Out on a Wing

Insect wings used to pattern nanoscale structures


What does a colorful and noisy backyard insect have to do with nanotechnology? Plenty, according to Jin Zhang and Zhongfan Liu, both professors at Peking University. A team of researchers led by Zhang and Liu have used the wings of cicadas, ubiquitous insects best known for their acoustic skills, ...


New and improved right to the last drop

Trapping enzymes in silica beads


Biomolecules have become almost ubiquitous in laundry and personal care products. Biological washing powders usually contain enzymes to help digest stains while the latest shampoos and conditioners often use proteins to add shine and thickness to hair. Now, researchers writing in the latest issue ...


Researchers get their teeth into artificial dental enamel

A natural fix to avoid metal fillings


An international team of researchers have finally got their teeth into making artificial dental enamel. Their work, published in the journal Advanced Materials, could lead to new tough coatings for engineering applications as well as the possibility of a natural fix for broken or rotten teeth ...


Simultaneous analysis

Simultaneous carbon dioxide and oxygen sensing


Only plants can make sugars from the carbon dioxide byproduct and at the same time expel oxygen during photosynthesis. This amazing skill has intrigued scientists for decades but separating out the carbon dioxide inputs and outputs while keeping tabs on oxygen levels has always proved ...


Organizing dumbbells for nanotech devices

Bridging the gap between nanoscience and nanotechnology


A team of chemists from France, Italy, Spain, the UK, and the US are working together to bridge the gap between nanoscience and nanotechnology. They have now devised a method that could allow them to organize tiny molecular machines on a surface and so build devices that pack in thousands of ...


Nanoscale Fiber Optics

Lipid membranes as molds for doped cadmium chloride nanowires with light-conducting properties


One-dimensional nanoscopic structures such as nanowires are important building blocks for future miniature opto-electronic components. Swiss researchers have now developed a new method for the production of nanowires; they use lipid membranes as "molds" and obtain high yields of cadmium chloride ...


Aligned nanowires: carbon nanotubes grow along atomic steps on sapphire surfaces


Defined structures of nanowires on a wafer consisting of a whisper-thin disc of semiconducting material are excellent candidates for the production of nanoscopic electrical circuits. A team at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel has now developed a new technique for forcing wires of ...


Breakwater against Diabetes

A new approach to type II diabetes? "Beta-breaker" should break up incorrectly folded, destructive protein structures


Type II diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes, is starting to reach epidemic proportions. More and more young people are suffering from this disease. In the meantime, it has generally been agreed that in type II diabetes-as well as in Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and "mad ...


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