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Gainesville, FL, United States

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Site: http://phys.org/nanotech-news/

Scrona Ltd. and ETH Zurich have been announced official World Record Holders for the smallest inkjet-printed colour image. The Guinness World Records Limited achievement involved the use of the groundbreaking 3D NanoDrip printing technology, invented at ETH Zurich and now commercialized by the ETH spin-off company Scrona. The printed image measures a minuscule 0.0092 mm2 in area, or 80 µm x 115 µm. That's about the cross-sectional area of a human hair or the area covered by a single pixel of a retina display. Being so small, the image is totally invisible to the naked eye. To see it, the official witnesses had to use a special microscope. The printed image represents a scenery of clown fishes around sea anemones. The colorful little fishes that grow to a size of just about 10 cm (3.9 in.) in real life have been shrunk to approximately 30 µm (0.001 in.). But the fishes do not seem to feel any discomfort in their 3'333-fold miniaturization. Thanks to 24bit color depth in the printout the picturesque scene that depicts their home appears almost as colorful as in reality. What makes the image appear so lively is the result of so-called quantum-dots (QDs). QDs are nanoparticles that emit light of a very specific color. By tuning their size, this color can be freely engineered, for example from orange to yellow. QDs are known to be very intense in their color appearance, a reason why they currently make a strong debut in flat panel displays. To create the clown fishes and their cozy sea anemone homes, layers of red, green and blue quantum dots were printed at a resolution of 25'000 DPI, i.e. at an inter-pixel distance of 500 nanometers. To define the 24bit color space the thickness of the deposited quantum dot layers had to be controlled with incredible sub-nanometer precision, at each pixel location. Until now, even with cutting-edge semiconductor technology, it was not possible to handle these nanostructured materials with the incredible accuracy that is demonstrated by this Guinness World Records Ltd. achievement. Therefore, the image printed by Scrona and ETH Zurich is not only nice to look at. It highlights new avenues towards the use of nanostructured materials in future electronics and optics, particularly in the display sector. But before hitting industry, Scrona is now providing a unique opportunity for everyone to experience the technology. Via kickstarter they offer copies of the true-to-life micro-image, but instead of clown fishes they print the personal content provided by the buyers. In the package is also contained a powerful miniature microscope that is used to render the microscopic pictures visible. This offer is open until 9th of January when their campaign ends.

Kendra P.E.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Sanchez J.S.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Montgomery W.S.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Okins K.E.,DPI | And 4 more authors.
Florida Entomologist | Year: 2011

The redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus Eichhoff (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae), is an exotic wood-boring insect that vectors laurel wilt, a lethal vascular disease of trees in the Lauraceae, including avocado (Persea americana) and native Persea species (redbay, swampbay). As part of research to identify host-based attractants for X. glabratus, we discovered that a diverse array of non-target ambrosia beetles was attracted to the same substrates as X. glabratus. During Sep-Dec 2009, several field tests were conducted in north Florida (in woodlands with advanced stages of laurel wilt) with traps baited with commercial lures of the essential oils, manuka and phoebe, and with freshly-cut wood bolts of avocado (a known host) and lychee (Litchi chinensis, a non-host high in the sesquiterpene α-copaene, a putative host attractant). In addition, manuka-baited traps were deployed in avocado groves in south Florida to monitor for potential spread of X. glabratus. The combined trapping results indicated that none of these substrates was specific in attraction of X. glabratus. Numerous non-target ambrosia beetles were captured, including 17 species representative of 4 tribes within the subfamily Scolytinae. This report provides photo-documentation and data on the species diversity and relative abundance for a group of poorly-studied beetles, the scolytine community in Florida Persea habitats. Source

De Luca F.,CNR Plant Protection Institute | Troccoli A.,CNR Plant Protection Institute | Duncan L.W.,University of Florida | Subbotin S.A.,Plant Pest Diagnostic Center | And 5 more authors.
Nematology | Year: 2012

A new root-lesion nematode, particularly pathogenic to Musa spp. and causing important plantain losses in Ghana, is described and named Pratylenchus speijeri n. sp. The cryptic status of this species within the P. coffeae species complex has been assessed and confirmed in this study. An extensive comparison of the morphological and molecular characteristics of this new species with those of P. coffeae and other related amphimictic species did not result in an unambiguous separation of this species from P. coffeae because only a few morphological features of diagnostic value were found. Sequence and phylogenetic analyses of the D2-D3 expansion segments of the 28S rRNA gene, the ITS rRNA gene and a portion of the hsp90 gene of P. speijeri n. sp. and P. coffeae species complex populations from different sources generated majority consensus BI trees with three major clades: P. speijeri n. sp. from Musa spp. roots in Ghana; unidentified or putative new Pratylenchus sp. C1 from Colocasia esculenta roots in Japan and P. coffeae with non-homogeneous relationships from different hosts and distant geographical areas. These results confirmed the validity of P. speijeri n. sp. as a new taxon and indicated that P. coffeae populations from Colocasia in Japan also need to be considered as a new species. Sequence differences in the ITS were used to design group- and species-specific primers to detect P. speijeri n. sp. and other species of P. coffeae species complex. The use of these species-specific primers for the separation of P. speijeri n. sp., Pratylenchus sp. C1 and P. coffeae has important practical application in breeding programmes for agriculture in West Africa. © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2012. Source

Campos-Herrera R.,University of Florida | Campos-Herrera R.,CSIC - Institute of Agricultural Sciences | Pathak E.,University of Florida | El-Borai F.E.,University of Florida | And 6 more authors.
Soil Biology and Biochemistry | Year: 2013

Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) are widely distributed in natural and managed ecosystems worldwide. Due to the cryptic nature of soil food webs, EPN ecology and their role in modulating insect population dynamics remain largely a matter of speculation. A weevil pest of citrus, Diaprepes abbreviatus, is less abundant in orchards on the central ridge (hilly topography, deep, coarse sand soils) than in the flatwoods (flat topography, fine sand soils with a high water table). We speculate that native EPNs are a key factor regulating these weevils and thus hypothesized that EPNs are most abundant and/or species diverse in central ridge orchards. In this study, we measured and analyzed the natural distributions of EPNs in these two regions concomitantly with those of selected abiotic and biotic soil components. Our objective was to identify physical properties that can potentially be manipulated to conserve native EPNs that serve to control D.abbreviatus. We used species-specific qPCR probes for i) 13 EPN species, ii) two species of Paenibacillus that are ectoparasitically associated with EPNs, iii) free-living bacteriophagous nematodes (Acrobeloides-group) that might compete with EPNs, and iv) oomycete pathogens of citrus roots, Phytophthora nicotianae and Phytophthorapalmivora. Citrus orchards were surveyed in eco-regions categorized as central ridge (23 localities) and flatwoods (30 localities). EPNs and Acrobeloides-group were detected in all sites and the abundances of the two guilds were positively related. Heterorhabditids comprising two species occurred in more localities at higher numbers than did five steinernematid species. Heterorhabditis indica dominated flatwoods communities, whereas communities with abundant Steinernema diaprepesi, Heterorhabditis zealandica and H.indica occurred on the central ridge. Spatial patterns of S. diaprepesi were more aggregated than those of H.indica and other dominant species. The central ridge supported greater EPN evenness, diversity and species richness. For the first time, quantitative natural positive associations between EPNs and two species of Paenibacillus bacteria were assessed. The oomycete pathogen P.palmivora was only detected in the flatwoods, whereas P.nicotianae was widespread and equally abundant in both regions. Four variables that affect soil water potential (groundwater depth, available water capacity, clay and organic matter content) significantly contributed to explain the variability in a redundancy analysis of the selected soil communities. Management of soil water potential may aid in establishing and conserving diverse EPN communities that provide more effective control of Diaprepes root weevils. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

A nanotechnology breakthrough from DTU revolutionizes laser printing technology, allowing you to print high-resolution data and colour images of unprecedented quality and microscopic dimensions. Using this new technology, DTU researchers from DTU Nanotech and DTU Fotonik have reproduced a colour image of Mona Lisa which is less than one pixel on an iPhone Retina display. The laser technology allows printing in a mind-blowing resolution of 127,000 DPI. In comparison, weekly or monthly magazines are normally printed in a resolution equivalent to 300 DPI. Printing the microscopic images requires a special nanoscale-structured surface. The structure consists of rows with small columns with a diameter of merely 100 nanometres each. This structured surface is then covered by 20 nanometres of aluminium. When a laser pulse is transmitted from nanocolumn to nanocolumn, the nanocolumn is heated locally, after which it melts and is deformed. The temperature can reach up to 1,500°C, but only for a few nanoseconds, preventing the extreme heat from spreading. The intensity of the laser beam determines which colours are printed on the surface, since the extent of column deformation decides which colour is reflected. Low-intensity laser pulses lead to a minor deformation of the nanocolumn, resulting in blue and purple colour tone reflections. Strong laser pulses create a drastic deformation, which gives the reflection from the nanocolumn an orange and yellow colour tone. "Every time you make a slight change to the column geometry, you change the way it absorbs light. The light which is not absorbed is the colour that our eyes see. If the column absorbs all the blue light, for example, the red light will remain, making the surface appear red." The DTU researchers believe that there is considerable scope for application of the new laser printing technology. Professor Anders Kristensen from DTU Nanotech elaborates: "It will be possible to save data invisible to the naked eye. This includes serial numbers or bar codes of products and other information. The technology can also be used to combat fraud and forgery, as the products will be labelled in way that makes them very difficult to reproduce. It will be easier to determine whether the product is an original or a copy." The new laser printing technology can also be used on a larger scale to personify products such as mobile phones with unique decorations, names, etc. Foreign companies producing parts for cars, such as instrument panels and buttons, are already taking a keen interest in the technology as it can simplify the production. Today, the large number of different instrument panels must be adapted to the various accessories that the car has, including airconditioning, USB, cigarette lighters, etc. The technology has been patented, and the researchers will now focus on developing the technology, so that it can replace the conventional laser printers that we have at our offices and in our homes.

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