August 9th, 2011
Econintersect: Nanotechnology is quietly changing the potential for the future. An example of this is the number of nanotech topics covered just today (Aug. 8) by R&D Magazine Daily News. Areas that are covered include medicine, bioelectronics, wearable electronics and other novel clothing, stronger metals and fluids with new properties.
Follow up:Stronger alloys are being produced by incorporating uniformly sized nanoparticles. From an article discussing the new development:
Long before they knew they were doing it—as long ago as the Wright Brothers' first airplane engine—metallurgists were incorporating nanoparticles in aluminum to make a strong, hard, heat-resistant alloy. The process is called solid-state precipitation, in which, after the melt has been quickly cooled, atoms of alloying metals migrate through a solid matrix and gather themselves in dispersed particles measured in billionths of a meter, only a few-score atoms wide.
The problem has been that, over time, smaller participates have shrunk and larger participates have grown decreasing, and eventually degrading, the strength of the alloy. This is one of the processes that produces metal embrittlement. Uniformly sized nanoparticles not only produce stronger alloys, they also produce longer lived high strength materials.
Conducting chains of microbial nanowires in the bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens have been observed. Such research may lead to new understanding of natural microbial processes, improvement in environmental clean-up methods and the development of renewable energy sources.
A new polymer which is both elastic and light emitting may be adaptable for incorporating electronics into clothing and for biomedical devices. The polymer is built from carbon nanotubes.
From an article on a new microscope with molecular resolution:
Researchers can now watch molecules move in living cells, literally millisecond by millisecond, thanks to a new microscope developed by scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany. Published online today in Nature Biotechnology, the new technique provides insights into processes that were so far invisible.
This new microscope will have medical applications, investigating processes ranging from the role of growth hormones in cancer to the regulation of cell division and signalling and the patterning of tissue development in the embryo.
Another nanotech news item in R&D Magazine Daily News discussed research from Austria on particle strings in liquids which may have applications for mechanical applications and for protective clothing.
Source: R&D Magazine Daily News