To help detect infectious diseases such as anthrax, HIV, and smallpox, researchers from Northwestern University developed a technique for creating DNA detection probes to "fingerprint" these biological agents. Attached to tiny gold particles are molecules that provide a unique signal (the "fingerprint") when a light is shined on them and a single strand of DNA designed to recognize and bind a target of interest. If a disease target is present in the sample being tested, strands of DNA bind to the appropriate spot on the chip. Corresponding nanoparticle probes latch onto any matches, which are then coated with silver. A laser scans the chip, and signals for the probes are recorded. A unique "fingerprint" can be designed for each biological agent. For more information, contact Chad Mirkin at email@example.com.
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
Sharon Glotzer and David Pine are hoping to create the first liquid hard drive with liquid nanoparticles that can store 1TB per teaspoon. They aren't the first to find potential data stores, as Harvard researchers have stored 700 TB inside a gram of DNA.
If you see a hitchhiker along the road in Canada this summer, it may not be human. That’s because a robot is thumbing its way across our neighbor to the north as part of a collaborative research project by several Canadian universities.
SpaceX has 3D printed and successfully hot-fired a SuperDraco engine chamber made of Inconel, a high-performance superalloy, using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). The company's first 3D-printed rocket engine part, a main oxidizer valve body for the Falcon 9 rocket, launched in January and is now qualified on all Falcon 9 flights.
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