Rapid DNA sequencing could soon become a routine part of your medical record

DNA sequencing

The latest technological competition involves the idea of threading a single strand of DNA through a tiny, molecular-scale eyelet known as a nanopore.

Rapid DNA sequencing can provide enormous amount of information previously sequestered in the human genome’s 3 billion nucleotide bases and soon may become a routine part of each individual’s medical record.

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Dental filling of the future kills bacteria and regenerates tooth

dental filling of the future

The new filling contains calcium phosphate nanoparticles that rebuild tooth minerals.

Thanks to a new dental breakthrough, the dreaded trip to the dentist to replace a worn-out filling could soon be a thing of the past.  Scientists have used nanotechnology to create the first cavity-filling composite that kills harmful bacteria and regenerates tooth structure lost to decay.

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Self-Assembling Highly Conductive Plastic Nanofibers

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Artist’s impression based on a real atomic force microscopy (AFM) image showing conductive supramolecular fibers trapped between two gold electrodes spaced 100 nm apart. Each plastic fiber is composed of several short fibers and is capable of transporting electrical charges with the same efficiency as a metal.

Researchers from CNRS and the Université de Strasbourg, headed by Nicolas Giuseppone (1) and Bernard Doudin (2), have succeeded in making highly conductive plastic fibers that are only several nanometers thick. These nanowires, for which CNRS has filed a patent, “self-assemble” when triggered by a flash of light. Inexpensive and easy to handle, unlike carbon nanotubes (3), they combine the advantages of the two materials currently used to conduct electric current: metals and plastic organic polymers (4). In fact, their remarkable electrical properties are similar to those of metals.

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Heated farbric using carbon nanotube coated fibers


Kuraray Living and  Hokkaido University have been working together to create a soft washable fabric woven with carbon nanotube coated fibers that produces heat when electricity is applied. So when it’s perfected, your electric blanket could get a lot less bulky.

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Power Felt – thermoelectric fabric lets you sit on your phone to power it

Power Felt

Power Felt

A Wake Forest University’s Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials team has created a new thermoelectric fabric they call Power Felt. It’s constructed of “tiny carbon nanotubes locked up in flexible plastic fibers,” though the final product looks and feels like fabric, and creates and electrical charge from changes in temperature–like, say, touching it with your hot finger, or sitting on it with your hot butt (hot in this case referring to temperature and thus wholly inoffensive science).

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Japan to have space elevator by 2050

sky tree

Obayashi Corp. is building the Tokyo Sky Tree and plans to build a space elevator by 2050.

Space elevators are one of the promising technologies of the future. Now a Japanese construction firm that specializes in the very tall could make them a reality. By 2050, so still pretty far on that horizon, but it’s a start.

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Nanoparticles in food, vitamins could harm human health

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An intestinal cell monolayer after exposure to nanoparticles, shown in green.

Billions of engineered nanoparticles in foods and pharmaceuticals are ingested by humans daily, and new Cornell research warns they may be more harmful to health than previously thought.

A research collaboration led by Michael Shuler, the Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Chemical Engineering and the James and Marsha McCormick Chair of Biomedical Engineering, studied how large doses of polystyrene nanoparticles — a common, FDA-approved material found in substances from food additives to vitamins — affected how well chickens absorbed iron, an essential nutrient, into their cells…

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New nano-material combinations produce leap in infrared technology

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ASU engineers are working on technological advances that promise to help enhance infrared photodetection used in sophisticated weapons and surveillance system, industrial and home security systems, medical diagnostics and night vision equipment for law enforcement and driving safety.

Arizona State University researchers are finding ways to improve infrared photodetector technology that is critical to national defense and security systems, as well as used increasingly in medical diagnostics, commercial applications and consumer products…

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Spray-on antenna for low power wireless everywhere


There may be a simple solution to your lack of a wireless signal soon. Scientists have developed a spray-on coating that can boost your phone’s reception, make your home amplify signals instead of attenuating them, or even turn a tree into a transmitter.

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Researchers develop ‘smart paint’ that monitors structural damage


Dr Mohamed Saafi and David McGahon have developed a smart paint that can detect microscopic faults in large structures.

Researchers have developed a ‘smart paint’ able to detect tiny faults before damage can occur, and at a fraction of the cost of current methods.

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Virtual reality contact lenses could be here by 2014

contact lens

The lenses sit directly on the eyeball, and have been engineered using nanoscale techniques to work as a focusing device that pairs with a pair of hi-tech glasses.

Innovega, a company in the U.S. says, contact lenses which focus 3D screens directly into people’s eyeballs could be on sale as early as 2014.  The tiny ‘screens’ sit directly on users’ eyeballs and work with a pair of lightweight glasses with a built-in translucent screen.

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