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April 28, 2008, 5:27 PM CT

'Sticky nanotubes' hold key to future technologies

'Sticky nanotubes' hold key to future technologies
Nanotube attached to a "microcantilever"
Scientists at Purdue University are the first to precisely measure the forces mandatory to peel tiny nanotubes off of other materials, opening up the possibility of creating standards for nano-manufacturing and harnessing a gecko's ability to walk up walls.

So-called "peel tests" are used extensively in manufacturing. Knowing how much force is needed to pull a material off of another material is essential for manufacturing, but no tests exist for nanoscale structures, said Arvind Raman, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue.

Scientists are trying to learn about the physics behind the "stiction," or how the tiny structures stick to other materials, to manufacture everything from nanoelectronics to composite materials, "nanotweezers" to medical devices using nanotubes, nanowires and biopolymers such as DNA and proteins, he said.

Flexible carbon nanotubes stick to surfaces differently than larger structures because of attractive forces between individual atoms called van der Waals forces.

"Operating in a nanoscale environment is sort of like having flypaper everywhere because of the attraction of van der Waals forces," Raman said. "These forces are very relevant on this size scale because a nanometer is about 10 atoms wide".........

Posted by: John      Read more         Source


Wed, 23 Apr 2008 21:59:35 GMT

Oncology Diagnostics By AviaraDx

Oncology Diagnostics By AviaraDx
Innovations on cancer diagnostics are what AviaraDx, Inc. brought to the market.


© AviaraDx, Inc.


Two new oncology tests have been launched for the classification of metastatic cancer and identification of patients with estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer who are at high risk of recurrence and also those unlikely to respond favorably to standard adjuvant endocrine therapy.

The said tests are the following:

AviaraDx, Inc.

Assists physicians in diagnosing metastatic cancer types based on a 92-gene expression assay that is capable of classifying 39 tumor types as well as 64 cancer subtypes. The results help clinicians quickly identify the primary tumor site and avoid unnecessary repetitive imaging and immunohistological procedures in attempting to establish the cancer origin. Successful cancer classification is critical for physicians to select the appropriate treatment regimen.

AviaraDx, Inc.

Assists physicians in determining the optimal treatment for patients with ER positive, node-negative breast cancer by using two newly developed gene-based biomarkers to evaluate the risk of recurrence and probable response to endocrine therapy. The test is the first tool designed to identify the 10 to 20% of ER positive breast cancers that will relapse within five to 10 years when treated with standard endocrine therapy, enabling oncologists to recommend more aggressive regimens to help improve clinical outcomes.

Here's the good news though: The tests (based on proprietary AviaraDx molecular technologies) are New York state-approved and available through the company's CAP-certified CLIA laboratory. [Both can utilize small formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue samples easily available from imaging-guided needle biopsies.]

There you go. Read more.

[Thanks to Laura Baumgartner for the hat tip!]

Posted by: Gloria Gamat      Read more     Source


April 10, 2008, 8:06 PM CT

Waterman Award to UCLA's 'Mozart of Math'

Waterman Award to UCLA's 'Mozart of Math'
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is proud to announce that 32-year-old Terence Tao, a professor of mathematics at the University of California at Los Angeles, will receive its 2008 Alan T. Waterman Award. Called a "supreme problem-solver," and named one of "the Brilliant 10" researchers by Popular Science (October 2006), Tao's extraordinary work, much of which has been funded by NSF through the years, has had a tremendous impact across several mathematical areas. He will receive the award at a black tie dinner program at the U.S. Department of State on May 6.

The annual Waterman award recognizes an outstanding young researcher in any field of science or engineering supported by NSF. Candidates may not be more than 35 years old, or seven years beyond receiving a doctorate, and must stand out for their individual achievements. In addition to a medal, the awardee receives a grant of $500,000 over a 3-year period for scientific research or advanced study in their field.

Terence Tao was born in Adelaide, Australia, in 1975. His genius at mathematics began early in life. He started to learn calculus when he was 7 years old, at which age he began high school; by the age of 9 he was already very good at university-level calculus. By the age of 11, he was thriving in international mathematics competitions. Tao was 20 when he earned his doctorate from Princeton University, and he joined UCLA's faculty that year. UCLA promoted him to full professor at age 24. Tao now holds UCLA's James and Carol Collins Chair in the College of Letters and Science. He is also a fellow of the Royal Society and the Australian Academy of Sciences (corresponding member).........

Posted by: John      Read more         Source


Sun, 30 Mar 2008 22:55:37 GMT

Origami Space Flight

Origami Space Flight
Japanese scientists and origami masters hope to launch a paper airplane from space and learn from its trip back to Earth. It''s no joke. A prototype passed a durability test in a wind tunnel this month, Japan''s space agency adopted it Wednesday for feasibility studies, and a well-known astronaut is interested in participating.

In the picture above, a 2.8 inches long and 2 inches wide Space Shuttle-shaped paper plane is seen in a wind tunnel before a durability test at a Tokyo University laboratory.

Posted by: Gerard      Read more     Source


March 18, 2008, 4:54 AM CT

Fake Diamonds Help Jet Engines Take The Heat

Fake Diamonds Help Jet Engines Take The Heat
Ohio State University engineers are in the process of developing a technology to coat jet engine turbine blades with zirconium dioxide -- usually called zirconia, the stuff of synthetic diamonds -- to combat high-temperature corrosion.

The zirconia chemically converts sand and other corrosive particles that build up on the blade into a new, protective outer coating. In effect, the surface of the engine blade constantly renews itself.

Ultimately, the technology could enable manufacturers to use new kinds of heat-resistant materials in engine blades, so that engines will be able to run hotter and more efficiently.

Nitin Padture, professor of materials science and engineering at Ohio State, said that he had military aircraft in mind when he began the project. He was then a professor at the University of Connecticut.

"In the desert, sand is sucked into the engines during takeoffs and landings, and then you have dust storms," he said. "But even commercial aircraft and power turbines encounter small bits of sand or other particles, and those particles damage turbine blades".

Jet engines operate at thousands of degrees Fahrenheit, and blades in the most advanced engines are coated with a thin layer of temperature-resistant, thermally-insulating ceramic to protect the metal blades. The coating -- referred to as a thermal-barrier coating -- is designed like an accordion to expand and contract with the metal.........

Posted by: John      Read more         Source


March 9, 2008, 4:59 PM CT

Skewered Pumpkins

Skewered Pumpkins
We encounter valves every day, whether in the water faucet, the carburetor in our car, or our bicycle tire tube. Valves are also present in the world of nanotechnology. A team of scientists headed by J. Fraser Stoddart and Jeffrey I. Zink at the University of California, Los Angeles, has now developed a new nanovalve. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, the researchers reveal what is special about it: In contrast to previous versions, which only function in organic solvents, this valve operates in an aqueous environment and under physiological conditions-prerequisites for any application as a gate for nanoscopic drug-transport agents, which need to set their cargo free at the right place and time.

In order for pharmaceuticals to affect only the target diseased organ, suitable nanopackaging is mandatory to bring the drug to the target area and release it only there. One example of a good nanoscopic packaging agent is a tiny sphere of porous silica. Its pores can be filled with the drug and closed with tiny controllable valves.

The researchers attached stem-shaped molecules onto the surface of the porous spheres and filled the pores with guest molecules. At neutral to acidic pH values, they stacked cucurbituril molecules onto these "stems". Cucurbituril is a fat, ring-shaped molecule reminiscent of a pumpkin that has both ends hollowed out. The resulting supramolecular structure, which resembles a skewered pumpkin and is known to chemists as a pseudorotaxane, blocks the pores, so that the guest molecules cannot exit. The nanovalve is closed.........

Posted by: John      Read more         Source


Thu, 24 Jan 2008 02:09:37 GMT

Groundbreaking Technology in Spam Prevention

Groundbreaking Technology in Spam Prevention
According to Ferris Research, spam can cost over $500 per user a year. Even with spam filters in place, they claim it still costs $140 per user a year. It also results in lost productivity and higher IT costs. InformationWeek is offering an interesting white paper detailing a groundbreaking new anti-spam technology used in the Abaca Email Protection Gateway. The new approach involves analyzing the relationship between sender and receiver and claims it can block 99 percent of incoming spam. Check it out for yourself here and leave a comment letting us know what you think.

Posted by: Sue Walsh      Read more     Source


Thu, 24 Jan 2008 01:07:57 GMT

Transparent toaster

Transparent toaster
I know there are fancy toasters out there, but essentially most toasters work in the same way, whether you paid $10 for your little machine or $300. You set the timer, put the slice of bread in, and it pops out when done. If it''s not quite toasty enough, you put it back in. If it''s burned and inedible, you throw it out and start over with a new piece of bread.

But here''s a concept product that not only takes the guess work out of toasting, but also turns something common into a bit of visual interest for your kitchen. The Transparent Toaster toasts your bread or pastry (using "heating glass technology," whatever that is) in plain view so you can watch it to be sure it comes out just right

Via Ananova (but no information about the designer or prospects for making this into a commercial product). This tiip comes from Emily.

Posted by: Sarah      Read more     Source


December 20, 2007, 9:36 PM CT

Proton Camera

Proton Camera
Lab researchers, working with Teledyne Imaging Sensors, have built the world's fastest camera, and it has just won an R&D 100 Award from R&D Magazine as one of the 100 most technologically significant products of 2007.

Made from two bonded microelectronic chips, the "Camera on a Chip" can capture 2.8 million frames per second. A normal motion picture camera captures 24 frames per second.

The camera produces movies of ultra-short (sub-microsecond) processes, mostly induced by powerful high explosives. These processes are studied using a remarkable imaging technique known as proton radiography, in which high-energy protons pass through an explosives-driven object to a screen, where they produce a blue "shadowgraph," essentially a two-dimensional representation of the object.

The camera takes pictures of the shadowgraphs in as little as 50 billionths of a second per frame, freezing images of the object's high-speed motions and storing up to three of them "on-chip" at one time. Several cameras can be used together to make a movie of tens of frames or more.

With very high sensitivity in both the visible and near-visible frequencies, the camera can also be used for a number of other applications, including studies of internal-combustion engines, vehicle-impact tests, and armor-penetration experiments; laser-beam identification of minerals on Mars; and location of fast-moving targets in space.........

Posted by: John      Read more         Source


December 12, 2007, 10:04 PM CT

Nanoscale Details of Photolithography Process

Nanoscale Details of Photolithography Process
Schematic of the photolithography process shows the formation of a gradient extending from the photoresist material to be removed (center) into the unexposed portions of the resist on the sides. NIST measurements document the residual swelling fraction caused by the developer that can contribute to roughness in the final developed image.
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have made the first direct measurements of the infinitesimal expansion and collapse of thin polymer films used in the manufacture of advanced semiconductor devices. It's a matter of only a couple of nanometers, but it can be enough to affect the performance of next-generation chip manufacturing. The NIST measurements, detailed in a new paper,* offer a new insight into the complex chemistry that enables the mass production of powerful new integrated circuits.

The smallest critical features in memory or processor chips include transistor "gates." In today's most advanced chips, gate length is about 45 nanometers, and the industry is aiming for 32-nanometer gates. To build the nearly one billion transistors in modern microprocessors, manufacturers use photolithography, the high-tech, nanoscale version of printing technology. The semiconductor wafer is coated with a thin film of photoresist, a polymer-based formulation, and exposed with a desired pattern using masks and short wavelength light (193 nm). The light changes the solubility of the exposed portions of the resist, and a developer fluid is used to wash the resist away, leaving the pattern which is used for further processing.

Exactly what happens at the interface between the exposed and unexposed photoresist has become an important issue for the design of 32-nanometer processes. Most of the exposed areas of the photoresist swell slightly and dissolve away when washed with the developer. However this swelling can induce the polymer formulation to separate (like oil and water) and alter the unexposed portions of the resist at the edges of the pattern, roughening the edge. For a 32-nanometer feature, manufacturers want to hold this roughness to at most about two or three nanometers.........

Posted by: John      Read more         Source


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