News

NANO 50â„¢ AWARDS -DEADLINE EXTENSION

Nanotech Briefs(R) magazine is now accepting nominations for its third annual Nano 50 awards competition. The Nano 50 recognizes the top 50 technologies, innovators, and products with the greatest potential to advance the commercialization of nanotechnology. There is no cost to submit a nomination. All nominations must be submitted by APRIL 2, 2007. Entries will be judged by an independent, expert panel, and awards will be presented at a special Nano 50 awards dinner, to be held in November 2007 at NASA Tech Briefs National Nano Engineering Conference in Boston. For complete rules and to submit a nomination, visit the official Web site.

Posted in: Blog

Read More >>

Natural-Gas Autos

Researchers have created carbon briquettes with complex nanopores capable of storing natural gas at a density of 180 times their own volume and at one- seventh the pressure of conventional natural gas tanks. The briquettes are the first technology to meet the 180 to 1 storage to volume target set by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2000. Supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Partnership for Innovation program, researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) and Midwest Research Institute (MRI) in Kansas City developed the technology. "We are very excited about this breakthrough because it may lead to a flatand compact tank that would fit under the floor of a passenger car, similar to current gasoline tanks," said Peter Pfeifer of MU. "Such a technology would make natural gas a widely attractive alternative fuel for everyone." For more information, click here.

Posted in: Blog

Read More >>

Disposable Sensor

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a disposable sensor for detecting hazardous uranium ions, with sensitivity that rivals the performance of much more sophisticated laboratory instruments.According to the researchers, the sensor provides a fast, on-site test for assessing uranium contamination in the environment, and the effectiveness of remediation strategies. While most DNA is double stranded, the catalytic DNA the research group used has a single strand region that can wrap around like a protein. In that single strand, the researchers fashion a specific binding site -- a kind of pocket that can only accommodate the metal ion of choice. For more information, click here.

Posted in: Blog

Read More >>

Tech Needs

A fluorescent coating is needed to alter emitted wavelength from UV LEDs. The goal of this project is to create a white light source with a uniform spectral output. Due to size and power constraints, LEDs are the preferred light source. To respond to this Tech Need, click here. A cost-efficient anti-graffiti coating solution is needed for application to flexible PVC film. The coating should add a flexible transparent layer with specific properties: scratch & UV resistant, stable physical behavior between -30 degrees and 90 degrees Celsius, and resistant to solvents and alcohols used for graffiti cleaning. To respond to this Tech Need click here. The Technology Needs of the Week are anonymous requests for technology, distributed through the yet2.com marketplace, that you and your organization may be able to fulfill. Responding to a Tech Need is the first step to gaining an introduction with a prospective "buyer" for your technology solution.

Posted in: Blog

Read More >>

NASA NEWS

According to a recent report based on some of the first observations by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, fluids that flowed through cracks penetrating underground rock on ancient Mars may have produced conditions to support possible habitats for microbial life. Dr. Chris Okubo, a geologist at the University of Arizona, Tucson, discovered the patterns in an image of exposed layers in a Martian canyon named Candor Chasma. The image was taken in September 2006 by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera aboard the orbiter. The haloes visible along fractures seen in the Candor Chasma image appear to be slightly raised relative to surrounding, darker rock. This is evidence that the circulating fluids hardened the lining of the fractures, as well as bleaching it. The harder material would not erode away as quickly as softer material farther from the fractures. Read the full story here. For the images showing the haloes along the fractures, click here.

Posted in: Blog

Read More >>

Robotic Exoskeleton

Researchers at the University of Michigan (U-M, Ann Arbor, MI) developed a robotic exoskeleton controlled by the wearer's own nervous system that could help users regain limb function. Healthy subjects first wore the exoskeleton to measure how the device affected ankle function before researchers tested the device on disabled patients. Electrodes are attached to the wearer's leg and electrical signals received from the brain are translated into movement by the exoskeleton. The U-M team has no plans to build a commercial exoskeleton, but their results suggest promising applications for rehabilitation and physical therapy. “This could benefit stroke patients or patients with incomplete injuries of the spinal cord,” said Daniel Ferris, associate professor in movement science at U-M. “For patients that can walk slowly, a brace like this may help them walk faster and more effectively.” For more information, click here.

Posted in: Blog

Read More >>

Viral Traps

Biologists at Yale University (New Haven, CT) are developing a process to trap viruses in habitats that force their extinction. Viruses are chemically lured into the wrong cells, thus preventing virus reproduction and alleviating disease. The research was conducted on phi-6 virus populations in environments containing different mixtures of ordinary source bacteria (a supportive habitat) and mutant “trap” cells (a non-supportive habitat). The research showed that when the number of trap cells exceeded a key threshold in the mixtures, the virus population could no longer sustain itself and declined toward extinction. The same process could be used with HIV by luring the virus into engineered trap cells that have no nucleus and therefore cannot facilitate viral reproduction. For more information, click here.

Posted in: Blog

Read More >>