Newly Developed Nanopaper Is Tougher Than Cast Iron

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Nano-thinking at work

The days of having to decide between paper, plastic or cast iron bags at the grocery store are numbered thanks to the development of a new type of extremely tough nanopaper. The paper is made from nanosized (oh I get it!) cellulose fibers making it both stronger and lighter than traditional papers.

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Nanomaterials Movement Measured in Simple Model Food Chain

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New research* shows that while engineered nanomaterials can be transferred up the lowest levels of the food chain from single celled organisms to higher multicelled ones, the amount transferred was relatively low and there was no evidence of the nanomaterials concentrating in the higher level organisms.  

 

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Stanford Builds Better Chip With Carbon Nanoribbon Technology

 Stanford Builds Better Chip With Carbon Nanoribbon Technology

 Y-shaped nanotubes are ready-made transistors

For the first time, a research team led by Hongjie Dai, the J. G. Jackson and C. J. Wood Professor of Chemistry, has made transistors called “field-effect transistors”-a critical component of computer chips-with graphene that can operate at room temperature. Graphene is a form of carbon derived from graphite. Other graphene transistors, made with wider nanoribbons or thin films, require much lower temperatures.

“For graphene transistors, previous demonstrations of field-effect transistors were all done at liquid helium temperature, which is 4 Kelvin [-452 Fahrenheit],” said Dai, the lead investigator. His group’s work is described in a paper published online in the May 23 issue of the journal Physical Review Letters.

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Certain Nanotubes Can Cause Same Health Risks as Asbestos

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Beware of the hairy nanotubes, even though you can’t see them and have no idea where they might be

Certain types of carbon nanotubes could cause the same health problems as asbestos, according to the results of two recent studies. In one, published yesterday, tests in mice showed that long and straight multiwalled carbon nanotubes cause the same kind of inflammation and lesions in the type of tissues that surround the lungs that is caused by asbestos. The other study, also done in mice, showed that similar carbon nanotubes eventually led to cancerous tumors.

 

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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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Fly Language Proves Surprising

Fly Language Proves Surprising

A group of researchers has developed a novel way to view the world through the eyes of a common fly and partially decode the insect’s reactions to changes in the world around it. The research fundamentally alters earlier beliefs about how neural networks function and could provide the basis for intelligent computers that mimic biological processes.

In an article published in the Public Library of Science Computational Biology Journal, Los Alamos physicist Ilya Nemenman joins Geoffrey Lewen, William Bialek and Rob de Ruyter van Steveninck of the Hun School of Princeton, Princeton University and Indiana University, respectively, in describing the research.

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