New Robotic Tweezers Can Grab A Single Human Cell

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The University of Toronto in Canada has developed a pair of robotic grippers that can apply as little of 20 nanoNewtons of force on an object, using its three-millimeters-long arms to grab cells 10 micrometers across and transport them. What’s more, the gripper has sensors that allow it to know how hard it’s grabbing something and keep it from running into things – an important development for robotic grippers.

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Nanotech Venture Capital is Out of Sync with Returns

Nanotech Venture Capital is Out of Sync with Returns

 Nanomedical start-ups generate 77% of returns but get only 27% of investment

Venture capital (VC) firms invested $702 million in nanotechnology start-ups last year across 61 deals, slightly down from $738 million across 73 deals in 2006. But this VC spending is sharply out of sync with investment returns. Although application-oriented life-sciences companies have delivered the majority of VC returns in nanotech, VC firms consistently devote most of their funding to companies in other areas, according to a new report from Lux Research entitled “How Venture Capitalists Are Misplaying Nanotech.”  

 

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Targeting Tumors with Tiny ‘Nanoworms’

Targeting Tumors with Tiny ‘Nanoworms’

 Segmented “nanoworms” composed of magnetic iron oxide and
coated with a polymer are able to find and attach to tumors.

Scientists at UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara and MIT have developed nanometer-sized “nanoworms” that can cruise through the bloodstream without significant interference from the body’s immune defense system and—like tiny anti-cancer missiles—home in on tumors.

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Nano-Bandages Used to Stop Severe Bleeding

Nano-Bandages Used to Stop Severe Bleeding

 New gauze material is infused with nanoparticles to quickly stop bleeding

Medical gauze has received its first upgrade since World War I. Chemists have infused it with nanoparticles derived from kaolin clay, which somehow give it an amazing ability to stop severe bleeding. It was developed when the Navy approached a team of inorganic chemists at the University of California Santa Barbara to solve a problem with QuikClot, a zeolite-based hemostatic agent that became way too hot and caused burns when it came in contact with water or blood. While performing blood clotting tests, they realized that kaolin clay, which has been used as a control for clotting experiments since the 1950’s, could also be used as a first aid product.

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Approaching the $100 Genome

 Approaching the $100 Genome
Threading long DNA molecules through nano-sized channels on a specially
fabricated chip could provide a cheaper way to sequence DNA.

It currently costs roughly $60,000 to sequence a human genome, and a handful of research groups are hoping to achieve a $1,000 genome within the next three years. But two companies, Complete Genomics and BioNanomatrix, are collaborating to create a novel approach that would sequence your genome for less than the price of a nice pair of jeans–and the technology could read the complete genome in a single workday.

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UK Scientists Make Transistor One Atom Long, 10 Atoms Wide

 

UK Scientists Make Transistor One Atom Long, 10 Atoms Wide
Chunks of this atom-thick material just one nanometer across can function as transistor

A leading contender to replace silicon as the basis for computing has made another step forward.

Transistors one atom thick and ten atoms wide have been made by UK researchers. They were carved from graphene, predicted by some to one day oust silicon as the basis of future computing.

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Microscope Helps Prevent Shellfish Poisoning

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Underwater cell analyzer used to detect harmful marine algae

Through the use of an automated, underwater cell analyzer developed at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), researchers and coastal managers were recently able to detect a bloom of harmful marine algae in the Gulf of Mexico and prevent human consumption of tainted shellfish.

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