Scientists develop DNA microcapsules with built-in ion channels

Science Daily  September 18, 2019 By utilising DNA nanotechnology, a team of researchers in Japan designed DNA nanoplates as a nanopore device for ion transportation and stabilised the oil–water interface. Microscopic examination revealed the microcapsule formed by the accumulation of amphiphilic DNA nanoplates at the oil–water interface. Ion current measurements revealed the nanoplate pores functioned as channel to transport ions. These findings provide a general strategy for the programmable design of microcapsules to engineer artificial cells and molecular robots. Such systems could be used to develop artificial neural networks…read more. TECHINCAL ARTICLE

Engineers Build a Device That Effectively Transforms CO2 Into Liquid Fuel

Science Alert  September 8, 2019 Usually people reduce carbon dioxide in liquid electrolyte like salty water. The dissolved salts help convert the gas into a molecule that stores energy. Formic acid is sifted out of the thick briny soup. An international team of researchers (USA – Rice University, Harvard University, Northeastern University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Saudi Arabia) reports that continuous electrocatalytic conversion of CO2 to pure liquid fuel solutions in cells which utilize solid electrolytes, where electrochemically generated cations (such as H+) and anions (such as HCOO−) are combined to form pure product solutions without mixing with other ions. They […]

Using nature to produce a revolutionary optical material

Nanowerk  September 5, 2019 An international team of researchers (China, Israel, Ireland) reports on the unique nano-photonic properties of elemental tellurium particles [Te(0)], as harvest from a culture of a tellurium-oxyanion respiring bacteria. These nano-crystals prove effective in the photonic applications in the mid-infrared range compared to the chemically-formed nano-materials, suggesting a unique and environmentally friendly route of synthesis. They used the nanocrystals and a polymer to build an electro-optic switch that is immune to damage from lasers. The new material could be used to safeguard drones, surveillance cameras and other equipment against laser attacks, which can disable or destroy […]

Better chemistry through tiny antennae

Phys.org  August 29, 2019 Selective bond cleavage via vibrational excitation is the key to active control over molecular reactions. However, the practical implementation in condensed phases have been hampered to date by poor excitation efficiency due to fast vibrational relaxation. Researchers in Japan fabricated tiny gold antennae, each 300 nanometers wide, and illuminated them with infrared lasers. When infrared light of the right frequency was present, the electrons in the antennae oscillated back creating plasmonic resonance. The plasmonic resonance focused the laser’s energy on nearby molecules, which started vibrating. The vibration was further boosted by shaping the waveform of the […]

Will your future computer be made using bacteria?

EurekAlert July 10, 2019 A major hurdle in adopting graphene for everyday applications is producing it at a large scale, while still retaining its amazing properties. An international team of researchers (The Netherlands, USA – University of Rochester) has developed a method to produce graphene by mixing oxidized graphite with bacteria. They exfoliated the graphite to produce graphene oxide (GO), which they then mixed with the bacteria Shewanella. After the beaker of bacteria and precursor materials sit overnight, the bacteria reduced the GO to a graphene material. The graphene is thinner, more stable, and can be stored for longer periods […]

3D Printing of Hypersonic Missile Swarms

Next Big Future   June 19, 2019 The vision is to make swarms of up to 30 hypersonic scramjets the size of cruise missiles, launched from air, land and sea. The missiles will share data with each other, correcting their flights, perhaps changing targets midcourse. And they can be manufactured relatively quickly and for much less cost than most of the hypersonic vehicles that have been built so far. 3D Printing will make construction faster and significantly less expensive to manufacture. The weapon has completed ground testing and will fly soon…read more.

Building the tools of the next manufacturing revolution

MIT News  June 17, 2019 In partnership with industry, researchers at MIT are developing advanced materials — new types of polymers, nanocomposites, and metal alloys — and the development of novel machines and processes that use and shape materials, such as high-speed 3-D printing, roll-to-roll graphene growth, and manufacturing techniques for low-cost sensors and electronics. Leveraging advances in computation, digitization, and automation, the group sees the potential for 3-D printing to dramatically streamline and speed up global supply chains. They are also pursuing a series of projects related to carbon nanotubes, exploring ways to form nanotubes into advanced wires, fibers, […]

The military wants to build barracks autonomously

Fedscoop  April 26, 2019 The Department of Defense’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) is looking for companies to help build the barracks of the future. They want tech that works with minimal operator input, can be deployed in about an hour and is able to operate in a range of different conditions. Beyond these few directives, the solicitation doesn’t offer much specification on what it is looking for. Interested companies have until May 7 to respond to the Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO)…read more.

Assembly in the air: Using sound to defy gravity

Phys.org  March 4, 2019 Researchers at the University of Chicago levitated particles using sound to study how clusters are formed. They found that at a minimum six particles are needed to change between different shapes. By changing the ultrasound frequency, they could make the particle clusters move about and rearrange. This opens new possibilities for manipulating objects to form complex structures, develop new products and tools in the fields of wearable technology and soft robotics…read more. Open Access TECHNICAL ARTICLE

Seeing through walls: Indoor positioning system

Eurekalert  December 3, 2018 According to an international team of researchers (Russia, China, India) none of the existing systems is accurate enough: they are unable to track an item inside a place from door to door with a centimeter-level precision. They are developing algorithms and software and hardware systems for high-precision indoor positioning. According to the researchers this type of technology is particularly relevant when it comes to unmanned production settings where precision positioning of components is required…read more