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March/April 2010

Papers of Note

Mix the right two proteins with the right building blocks and you can make multifunctional nanoparticles that can, for example, target, tag and kill cancer cells.
Protein-assisted self-assembly of multifunctional nanoparticles, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Apply a little magnetic levitation and you can make a three-dimensional cell cultures that are more lifelike stand-ins for living tissue in testing new drugs and growing replacement organs.
Three-dimensional tissue culture based on magnetic cell levitation, Nature Nanotechnology

Combine the right types of DNA molecules and you can make nanotubes with built-in cargo holds for carrying nanoparticles and that can be opened with additional DNA strands to release their cargoes.
Loading and selective release of cargo in DNA nanotubes with longitudinal variation, Nature Chemistry

Stories Elsewhere

Bar codes could be next to check out, Science News
Nanotube RFID: Better Barcodes?, Technology Review
(Source: IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices paper All-Printed and Roll-to-Roll-Printable 13.56-MHz-Operated 1-bit RF Tag on Plastic Foils)

Paralysed limbs revived by hacking into nerves, New Scientist
(Source: Journal of Neural Engineering paper Selective stimulation of the human femoral nerve with a flat interface nerve electrode)

Babbage nanomachine promises low-energy computing, New Scientist
(Source: Nano Letters paper A Noise-Assisted Reprogrammable Nanomechanical Logic Gate)

Electronics 'missing link' brings neural computing closer, New Scientist
(Source: Nano Letters paper Nanoscale Memristor Device as Synapse in Neuromorphic Systems)

Human arm transmits broadband, New Scientist
(Source: Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering paper Wearable polyimide–PDMS electrodes for intrabody communication)

Macro-Weirdness: "Quantum Microphone" Puts Naked-Eye Object in 2 Places at Once, Scientific American
First quantum effects seen in visible object, New Scientist
(Source: Nature paper Quantum ground state and single-phonon control of a mechanical resonator)

Strung-out plastic performs heat feat, New Scientist
(Source: Nature Nanotechnology paper Polyethylene nanofibres with very high thermal conductivities)

3D invisibility cloak unveiled,
How to hide a bump with some logs, Science News
Invisibility cloak makes stuff disappear in three dimensions, Ars Technica
(Source: Science paper Three-Dimensional Invisibility Cloak at Optical Wavelengths)


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Energy Research News

April 17, 2010
Barabási's latest burst of activity

Albert-László Barabási, the physicist and network theory guru whose work we've covered over the years, has a new book that promises to show how human behavior is predictable.

"Physics is to the rest of science what machine tools are to engineering. A corollary is that science places power in our hands which can be used for good or ill. Technology has been abused in this way throughout the ages from gunpowder to atomic bombs."
- John Pendry, Imperial College London

Thanks to Kevin from
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