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Archive for the ‘nanotechnology’ category

Jan 12, 2020

Recent progress and perspectives of space electric propulsion systems based on smart nanomaterials

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, robotics/AI, satellites

Drastic miniaturization of electronics and ingression of next-generation nanomaterials into space technology have provoked a renaissance in interplanetary flights and near-Earth space exploration using small unmanned satellites and systems. As the next stage, the NASA’s 2015 Nanotechnology Roadmap initiative called for new design paradigms that integrate nanotechnology and conceptually new materials to build advanced, deep-space-capable, adaptive spacecraft. This review examines the cutting edge and discusses the opportunities for integration of nanomaterials into the most advanced types of electric propulsion devices that take advantage of their unique features and boost their efficiency and service life. Finally, we propose a concept of an adaptive thruster.

Jan 11, 2020

Dynamic DNA material with emergent locomotion behavior powered by artificial metabolism

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, nanotechnology, quantum physics, robotics/AI

Interesting research paper on a new nanobot technology. I’m watching for ways in which suitable substrates for mind uploading can be constructed, and DNA self-guided assembly has potential.

Here are some excerpts and a weblink to the paper:

“…Chemical approaches have opened synthetic routes to build dynamic materials from scratch using chemical reactions, ultimately allowing flexibility in design…”

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Jan 11, 2020

Immunotherapy supercharges metal nanoparticles to destroy cancer cells

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

An international team of cancer researchers has developed a new type of copper-based nanoparticle that can kill tumor cells in mice. While the technology showed effectiveness on its own, by combining it with immunotherapy the scientists say it produced long-lasting effects, quickly killing off any cancer cells that dared to return.

The therapy centers on new knowledge around tumors’ aversion to certain types of nanoparticles. The research team made up of scientists from KU Leuven, the University of Bremen, the Leibniz Institute of Materials Engineering, and the University of Ioannina, discovered that tumor cells were particularly sensitive to nanoparticles made from copper and oxygen.

Once these copper oxide nanoparticles enter a living organism they dissolve and become toxic, killing off cancer cells that happen to be in the area. Key to the new nanoparticle design was the addition of iron oxide, which the researchers say enables it to kill off cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact.

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Jan 9, 2020

Light hits near infinite speed in silver-coated glass

Posted by in category: nanotechnology

Circa 2013


A new metamaterial is the first with a refractive index near zero, allowing light waves to propagate ultrafast over nano-distances.

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Jan 9, 2020

Nanoparticles deliver ‘suicide gene’ therapy to pediatric brain tumors growing in mice

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology, neuroscience

Johns Hopkins researchers report that a type of biodegradable, lab-engineered nanoparticle they fashioned can successfully deliver a “suicide gene” to pediatric brain tumor cells implanted in the brains of mice. The poly(beta-amino ester) nanoparticles, known as PBAEs, were part of a treatment that also used a drug to kill the cells and prolong the test animals’ survival.

In their study, described in a report published January 2020 in the journal Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, the researchers caution that for safety and biological reasons, it is unlikely that the herpes simplex virus type I thymidine kinase (HSVtk)—which makes tumor cells more sensitive to the lethal effects of the anti-viral drug ganciclovir—could be the exact therapy used to treat human medulloblastoma and atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RT) in children.

So-called “suicide ” have been studied and used in cancer treatments for more than 25 years. The HSVtk gene makes an enzyme that helps restore the function of natural tumor suppression.

Jan 8, 2020

Synopsis: Levitated Nanoparticle Goes Quantum

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, quantum physics

Optically levitated nanosphere shows definitive signature of its quantum ground state of motion.

Picture a marble rolling around inside a bowl. The motion of the marble represents its center-of-mass temperature, a quantity distinct from the object’s physical temperature. Now replace the marble with a levitated nanosphere and the bowl with an optical trap, and you have the experiment used by Felix Tebbenjohanns and colleagues at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, to reduce a levitated nanoparticle’s center-of-mass temperature to close to its quantum ground state. The experimental signature showing that the nanosphere had entered the quantum regime had, until now, been seen only in mechanically clamped systems coupled to optical cavities.

Jan 4, 2020

A new way to warm up frozen tissue could help with the organ shortage

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cryonics, life extension, nanotechnology

This technology may one day be used to revive patient suspended in cryonics.


A new way to warm up frozen tissue using tiny vibrating particles could one day help with the problem of organ shortages.

We know how to cool organs to cryogenic temperatures, which is usually below 320 degrees Fahrenheit. But the organs can’t be stored for long — sometimes only four hours for heart and lungs — because they get damaged when you try to warm them up. As a result, more than 60 percent of donor hearts and lungs aren’t transplanted. In a study published today in Science Translational Medicine, scientists used nanoparticles to warm up frozen tissue quickly and without damaging the organs. Within a decade, this could lead to being able to store entire organs in organ banks for a long period of time, the authors say.

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Jan 3, 2020

PostHuman — What does it mean?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology, robotics/AI, transhumanism

We often hear this word used in Transhumanist (H+) discussions, but what is meant by it? After all, if H+ is about using scitech to enhance Human capabilities via internal modifications what does it mean to go beyond these? In the following I intend to delineate possible stages of enhancement from what exists today to what could exist as an endpoint of this process in centuries to come.

Although I have tried to put it in what I believe to be a plausible chronological order a great deal depends on major unknowns, most especially the rapidity with which Artificial Intelligence (AI) develops over the next few decades. Although AI and biotech are at present evolving separately and in parallel I would expect at some point fairly soon for there to be a massive crossover. Exactly how or when that might happen is again a moot question. There is also a somewhat artificial distinction between machines and biology, which exists because our current machines are so primitive. Once we have a fully functioning nanotechnology, just like Nature’s existing nanotech (life), that distinction will disappear completely.

Jan 2, 2020

A quantum breakthrough brings a technique from astronomy to the nano-scale

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, quantum physics, space

Researchers at Columbia University and University of California, San Diego, have introduced a novel “multi-messenger” approach to quantum physics that signifies a technological leap in how scientists can explore quantum materials.

The findings appear in a recent article published in Nature Materials, led by A. S. McLeod, postdoctoral researcher, Columbia Nano Initiative, with co-authors Dmitri Basov and A. J. Millis at Columbia and R.A. Averitt at UC San Diego.

“We have brought a technique from the inter-galactic scale down to the realm of the ultra-small,” said Basov, Higgins Professor of Physics and Director of the Energy Frontier Research Center at Columbia. Equipped with multi-modal nanoscience tools we can now routinely go places no one thought would be possible as recently as five years ago.”

Jan 2, 2020

Researchers build a particle accelerator that fits on a chip

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, computing, nanotechnology

The accelerator-on-a-chip demonstrated in Science is just a prototype, but Vuckovic said its design and fabrication techniques can be scaled up to deliver particle beams accelerated enough to perform cutting-edge experiments in chemistry, materials science and biological discovery that don’t require the power of a massive accelerator.

“The largest accelerators are like powerful telescopes. There are only a few in the world and scientists must come to places like SLAC to use them,” Vuckovic said. “We want to miniaturize accelerator technology in a way that makes it a more accessible research tool.”

Team members liken their approach to the way that computing evolved from the mainframe to the smaller but still useful PC. Accelerator-on-a-chip technology could also lead to new cancer radiation therapies, said physicist Robert Byer, a co-author of the Science paper. Again, it’s a matter of size.

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