The National Nanotechnology Initiative is a United States federal government program for the science, engineering, and technology research and development for nanoscale projects. “The NNI serves as the central point of communication, cooperation, and collaboration for all Federal agencies engaged in nanotechnology research, bringing together the expertise needed to advance this broad and complex field.” Initiative participants state that its four goals are to advance a world-class nanotechnology research and development program; foster the transfer of new technologies into products for commercial and public benefit; develop and sustain educational resources, a skilled workforce, and the supporting infrastructure and tools to advance nanotechnology; and support responsible development of nanotechnology.↑ ↑ Wikipedia.
News Article | May 1, 2017
Chemiluminescence, or chemical light, is the principle behind the glow sticks (also known as light sticks) used at rock concerts and as quick tools to grab when the electricity goes out. But they can also be used to diagnose diseases by identifying concentrations of biological samples. A new mechanism developed by Tel Aviv University researchers produces a 3,000-times-brighter, water-resistant chemiluminescent probe with particular application to medical and cancer diagnosis. The research found that tweaking the electronic structure of current probes improves their inherent fluorescence. This could lead to the invention of a new single-component system with multiple applications -- including the detection and measurement of cellular activity that points to certain pathologies, such as cancer. The study was recently published in ACS Central Science. "Chemiluminescence is considered one of the most sensitive methods used in diagnostic testing," said Prof. Doron Shabat of TAU's School of Chemistry, who led the research. "We have developed a method to prepare highly efficient compounds that emit light upon contact with a specific protein or chemical. These compounds can be used as molecular probes to detect cancerous cells, among other applications." The research, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Christoph Bauer of Geneva University, repairs an energy-loss "glitch" in current chemiluminescent probes. Most systems use a mixture of one emitter molecule that detects the species of interest, and another two additional ingredients -- a fluorophore and a soap-like substance called a surfactant -- that amplify the signal to detectable levels. But energy is lost in the transfer process from the emitter molecule to the fluorophore, and surfactants are not biocompatible. "As synthetic chemists, we knew how to link structure and function," said Prof. Shabat. "By adding two key atoms, we created a much brighter probe than those currently on the market. In addition, this particular molecule is suitable for direct use in cells." Based on this molecule, the researchers developed sensors to detect several biologically relevant chemicals. They also used the chemiluminescent molecule to measure the activity of several enzymes and to image cells by microscopy. "This gives us a new powerful methodology with which we can prepare highly efficient chemiluminescence sensors for the detection, imaging and analysis of various cell activities," said Prof. Shabat. The researchers are currently exploring ways of amplifying the chemiluminescence of the new probes for in vivo imaging. The research was funded in part by the Israel Science Foundation, the Binational Science Foundation, the German Israeli Foundation, and the Israeli National Nanotechnology Initiative. American Friends of Tel Aviv University (AFTAU) supports Israel's most influential, comprehensive and sought-after center of higher learning, Tel Aviv University (TAU). TAU is recognized and celebrated internationally for creating an innovative, entrepreneurial culture on campus that generates inventions, startups and economic development in Israel. For three years in a row, TAU ranked 9th in the world, and first in Israel, for alumni going on to become successful entrepreneurs backed by significant venture capital, a ranking that surpassed several Ivy League universities. To date, 2,400 patents have been filed out of the University, making TAU 29th in the world for patents among academic institutions.
News Article | November 2, 2016
The 2016 R&D 100 Conference kicked off today at 1 p.m. EST at the Gaylord National Resort in Washington, D.C., with the first of two keynote speeches by Rosemarie Truman, the director of Innovation Impact at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Truman’s presentation, titled “Valuable Federal Inventions: Moon Shot Unicorns Waiting to be Tapped,” addressed the crucial role of startup companies in the R&D sector, as well as the need to accelerate and commercialize more federal inventions. How do we connect these inventions to experienced, serial entrepreneurs with the relevant experience? How do we avoid failure? Truman spoke about Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s forthcoming startup challenge, a national competition featuring inventions that could be commercialized via business plans and startups. In addition to Truman’s keynote, there are four other sessions today in the R&D Strategies and Leadership Development track, the Advanced Materials and Emerging Technologies track, and the New Advances in Automation and Robotics track. Industry expert Vicki Barbur will take attendees through the typical science and technology career path, including some alarming statistics, today and tomorrow’s concerns, what we can do now, and opportunities to change the status quo. The presentation will outline key examples of ways in which companies can evolve their R&D strategy to ensure that passion is retained through their staff demographics—and that the same kind of commitment to R&D is pervasive for generations to come. Warren Grayson, Ph.D., an associate professor at Johns Hopkins University and a patent holder and the promising startup EpiBone, will be speaking about how he and his team are developing ready-to-implant plastic bone that can turn into living tissue. This could dramatically improve life for patients undergoing facials and other reconstructive surgery. Grayson’s presentation will focus on the breakthrough technologies used to enable precise control of the cellular microenvironment and address fundamental questions regarding the application of biophysical cues to regulate stem cell differentiation. Today’s attendees will also be hearing from current NASA employee and former director of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, Michael Meador. Meador will speak about how pervasive nanotechnology is in our lives today, and the opportunities and challenges it presents in the next 10 years. Bradford Goldense, CEO of the research firm Goldense Group, will also be presenting his “12 Trends in the Science of Managing R&D Product Development.” The presentation will examine a dozen trends currently being fleshed out by industry leaders in their quest to remain innovation pioneers in research and product development. Thursday’s conference agenda is also educationally robust, featuring a keynote from Stephen Shapiro, two general sessions, and nine regular presentation sessions. Thursday’s conference activities culminate in the 54th Annual R&D 100 Awards gala, which honors the 100 most innovative technologies and services of the past year. The R&D 100 Awards is an international competition honoring the 100 most technologically significant R&D products introduced into the marketplace over the past year. The Awards recognize excellence across a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, optics, high-energy physics, materials science, chemistry, and biotechnology. The awards not only recognize the efforts of the development team and partners, they provide a mark of excellence known to industry, government, and consumers. The R&D 100 Awards Committee will also honor excellence in four Special Recognition categories – Market Disruptor Services, Market Disruptor Products, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Green Tech. Since 1963, the R&D 100 Awards program has identified revolutionary technologies newly introduced to the market. The R&D 100 Awards identify and celebrate the top technology products of the year. Past winners have included sophisticated testing equipment, innovative new materials, chemistry breakthroughs, biomedical products, consumer items, and high-energy physics spanning industry, academia, and government-sponsored research.
News Article | November 1, 2016
Home > Press > The Sustainable Nanotechnologies Projects Final Events: Bringing Nano Environmental Health and Safety Assessment to the Wider Discussion on Risk Governance of Key Enabling Technologies Abstract: The EU FP7 Sustainable Nanotechnologies (SUN) Project is coming to its end in March 2017. The project has designed its final events to serve as an effective platform to communicate the main results achieved in its course within the Nanosafety community and bridge them to a wider audience addressing the emerging risks of Key Enabling Technologies (KETs). The series of events include the New Tools and Approaches for Nanomaterial Safety Assessment: A joint conference organized by NANOSOLUTIONS, SUN, NanoMILE, GUIDEnano and eNanoMapper to be held on 7 9 February 2017 in Malaga, Spain, the SUN-CaLIBRAte Stakeholders workshop to be held on 28 February 1 March 2017 in Venice, Italy and the SRA Policy Forum: Risk Governance for Key Enabling Technologies to be held on 1- 3 March in Venice, Italy. Jointly organized by the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) and the SUN Project, the SRA Policy Forum will address current efforts put towards refining the risk governance of emerging technologies through the integration of traditional risk analytic tools alongside considerations of social and economic concerns. The parallel sessions will be organized in 4 tracks: Risk analysis of engineered nanomaterials along product lifecycle, Risks and benefits of emerging technologies used in medical applications, Challenges of governing SynBio and Biotech, and Methods and tools for risk governance. The SRA Policy Forum has announced its speakers and preliminary Programme. Confirmed speakers include: Keld Alstrup Jensen (National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Denmark) Elke Anklam (European Commission, Belgium) Adam Arkin (University of California, Berkeley, USA) Phil Demokritou (Harvard University, USA) Gerard Escher (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland) Lisa Friedersdor (National Nanotechnology Initiative, USA) James Lambert (President, Society for Risk Analysis, USA) Andre Nel (The University of California, Los Angeles, USA) Bernd Nowack (EMPA, Switzerland) Ortwin Renn (University of Stuttgart, Germany) Vicki Stone (Heriot-Watt University, UK) Theo Vermeire (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Netherlands) Tom van Teunenbroek (Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, The Netherlands) Wendel Wohlleben (BASF, Germany) The New Tools and Approaches for Nanomaterial Safety Assessment (NMSA) conference aims at presenting the main results achieved in the course of the organizing projects fostering a discussion about their impact in the nanosafety field and possibilities for future research programmes. The conference welcomes consortium partners, as well as representatives from other EU projects, industry, government, civil society and media. Accordingly, the conference topics include: Hazard assessment along the life cycle of nano-enabled products, Exposure assessment along the life cycle of nano-enabled products, Risk assessment & management, Systems biology approaches in nanosafety, Categorization & grouping of nanomaterials, Nanosafety infrastructure, Safe by design. The NMSA conference key note speakers include: Harri Alenius (University of Helsinki, Finland,) Antonio Marcomini (Ca Foscari University of Venice, Italy) Wendel Wohlleben (BASF, Germany) Danail Hristozov (Ca Foscari University of Venice, Italy) Eva Valsami-Jones (University of Birmingham, UK) Socorro Vázquez-Campos (LEITAT Technolоgical Center, Spain) Barry Hardy (Douglas Connect GmbH, Switzerland) Egon Willighagen (Maastricht University, Netherlands) Nina Jeliazkova (IDEAconsult Ltd., Bulgaria) Haralambos Sarimveis (The National Technical University of Athens, Greece) During the SUN-caLIBRAte Stakeholder workshop the final version of the SUN user-friendly, software-based Decision Support System (SUNDS) for managing the environmental, economic and social impacts of nanotechnologies will be presented and discussed with its end users: industries, regulators and insurance sector representatives. The results from the discussion will be used as a foundation of the development of the caLIBRAtes Risk Governance framework for assessment and management of human and environmental risks of MN and MN-enabled products. The SRA Policy Forum: Risk Governance for Key Enabling Technologies and the New Tools and Approaches for Nanomaterial Safety Assessment conference are now open for registration. Abstracts for the SRA Policy Forum can be submitted till 15th November 2016. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
News Article | January 26, 2016
Home > Press > Inspiring with Nano: NNCO Highlights a Suite of Education and Outreach Activities Abstract: As highlighted in the White House blog today, the National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with NBC Learn, has launched Nanotechnology: Super Small Science, a series of videos for middle and high school students. This video series features six areas where nanotechnology has a significant impact, including advanced electronics, renewable energy, and human health. The content, which was developed for classroom use, will reach a potential audience of 9 million students across the country. Highlights will also be shared with the more than 200 NBC affiliate stations for use in news segments. The videos are also available through NSFs Science360 website and Nano.gov. Over the past 15 years, the Federal Government has invested over $22 billion in R&D under the auspices of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) to understand and control matter at the nanoscale and develop applications that benefit society. As these nanotechnology-enabled applications become a part of everyday life, it is important for students to have a basic understanding of material behavior at the nanoscale, and some states have even incorporated nanotechnology concepts into their K-12 science standards. Furthermore, application of the novel properties that exist at the nanoscale, from gecko-inspired climbing gloves and invisibility cloaks, to water-repellent coatings on clothes or cellphones, can spark students excitement about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The Generation Nano: Small Science, Superheroes contest, hosted by NSF and the NNI, aims to do just that by asking high school students to design nanotechnology-enabled gear for an original superhero. Submissions (due February 2, 2016) include a brief technical description of the gear and either a video or comic showing their superhero using that gear. Three semi-finalists will win a trip to the 2016 USA Science & Engineering Festival on April 16-17, 2016, in Washington, D.C., where they will present their entries and compete for cash prizes. Nanotechnology: Super Small Science videos and the Generation Nano contest are just two examples of how the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) is promoting nanoscale science and engineering education across the country. Other activities include expanding teacher resources on Nano.gov and working with nanoHUB to develop a searchable database for nanoeducation; collaborating with a local school district to develop educational videos that were distributed nationwide (Innovation Workshop: Nanotechnology); providing guidance to students making animations about nanotechnology featured on Science Matters, Community Idea Stations; coordinating a growing, national Nano & Emerging Technologies Student Network; and providing outreach via presentations, workshops, participation in trade shows, and the administration of contests, including EnvisioNano and Tiny Science. Big Impacts. Cool Videos on behalf of the NNI agencies. Activities like the ones described above are critical to our future, as a highly skilled and motivated workforce with increasing knowledge of STEM will be required to ensure Americas global competitiveness. We at the NNCO look forward to working with colleagues from across the educational spectrum to promote STEM education and awareness of nanotechnology. If youd like more information about any of these activities or to share opportunities to advance nanoeducation, contact us at About National Nanotechnology Coordination Office The NNI is a U.S. Government research and development (R&D) initiative involving 20 departments and independent agencies working together toward the shared vision of "a future in which the ability to understand and control matter at the nanoscale leads to a revolution in technology and industry that benefits society." The NNI brings together the expertise needed to advance this broad and complex fieldcreating a framework for shared goals, priorities, and strategies that helps each participating Federal agency leverage the resources of all participating agencies. With the support of the NNI, nanotechnology R&D is taking place in academic, government, and industry laboratories across the United States. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
Identifying Commercial Success Stories from the National Nanotechnology Initiative National Nanotechnology Coordination Office and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Issue a Request for Information on NNI Supported Success Stories
News Article | February 3, 2016
Home > Press > Identifying Commercial Success Stories from the National Nanotechnology Initiative: National Nanotechnology Coordination Office and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Issue a Request for Information on NNI-Supported Success Stories Abstract: he National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) are asking for examples of commercialization success stories arising from Federal investments in nanotechnology research & development since the inception of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) in 2001. Under the NNI, the U.S. Government has invested more than $22 billion in fundamental and applied research in nanotechnology, the development of world-class user facilities for fabrication, characterization and modeling/simulation, and in the responsible development of nanotechnology. The formal Request for Information (RFI) can be found in todays Federal Register; its purpose is to gather information to better understand how these investments and resources have been utilized in the successful transition of nanotechnology-based products from the lab to market. I look forward to hearing more commercialization success stories from the U.S. nanotechnology community, said Dr. Michael Meador, NNCO Director. Fifteen years ago, the NNI planted the seeds of foundational research in nanoscience and nanoengineering, and now we are seeing the fruits of these investments. Businesses across the country have grown from the idea stage into market-ready products with the support of the NNI, and we want to hear their stories. An OSTP blog post today details a number of recent nanotechnology success stories, including work that led to two National Medal of Science awards and one Medal of Technology and Innovation award this year. Submissions for the RFI are due February 29, 2016. About National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) About Dr. Meador and the NNCO: Dr. Michael Meador serves as Director of the NNCO, which is leading the efforts to promote the goals of the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) in fostering cutting-edge nanotechnology R&D; establishing world-class testing, characterization, and fabrication facilities; facilitating commercialization of nanotechnology-based products; and promoting the responsible development of nanotechnology. The NNCO serves as a central point of contact for U.S. nanotechnology R&D activities, and provides public outreach on behalf of the NNI, including hosting and curating Nano.gov, the U.S Governments nanotechnology website. As NNCO Director, Dr. Meador is also a staff member at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He is a strong advocate for the nanotechnology business community, seeking pathways to commercialization, and helping companies overcome the challenges to success that are specific to nanotechnology businesses. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
News Article | April 27, 2016
A Dartmouth College scientist and his collaborators have created an artificial protein that organizes new materials at the nanoscale. "This is a proof-of-principle study demonstrating that proteins can be used as effective vehicles for organizing nano-materials by design," says senior author Gevorg Grigoryan, an assistant professor of computer science at Dartmouth. "If we learn to do this more generally - the programmable self-assembly of precisely organized molecular building blocks -- this will lead to a range of new materials towards a host of applications, from medicine to energy." The study appears in the journal in Nature Communications. According to the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative, scientists and engineers are finding a wide variety of ways to deliberately make materials at the nanoscale - or the atomic and molecular level -- to take advantage of their enhanced properties such as higher strength, lighter weight, increased control of light spectrum and greater chemical reactivity than their larger-scale counterparts. Proteins are "smart" molecules, encoded by our genes, which organize and orchestrate essentially all molecular processes in our cells. The goal of the new study was to create an artificial protein that would self-organize into a new material -- an atomically periodic lattice of buckminster fullerene molecules. Buckminster fullerene (buckyball for short) is a sphere-like molecule composed of 60 carbon atoms shaped like a soccer ball. Buckyballs have an array of unusual properties, which have excited scientists for several decades because of their potential applications. Buckyballs are currently used in nanotechology due to their high heat resistance and electrical superconductivity, but the molecule is difficult to organize in desired ways, which hampers its use in the development of novel materials. In their new research, Grigoryan and his colleagues show that their artificial protein does interact with buckyball and indeed does organize it into a lattice. Further, they determined the 3-dimensional structure of this lattice, which represents the first ever atomistic view of a protein/buckyball complex. "Learning to engineer self-assembly would enable the precise organization of molecules by design to create matter with tailored properties," Grigoryan says. "In this research, we demonstrate that proteins can direct the self-assembly of buckminsterfullerene into ordered superstructures. Further, excitingly, we have observed this protein/buckyball lattice conducts electricity, something that the protein-alone lattice does not do. Thus, we are beginning to see emergent material behaviors that can arise from combing the fascinating properties of buckyball and the abilities of proteins to organize matter at the atomic scale. Taken together, our findings suggest a new means of organizing fullerene molecules into a rich variety of lattices to generate new properties by design."
News Article | December 5, 2016
WiseGuyReports.Com Publish a New Market Research Report On – “Agribusiness Market 2016:Competitor,Share,Demand,Applications,Opportunities & Forecasts to 2020”. The analysts forecast the global agribusiness market to grow at a CAGR of 2.6% during the period 2016-2020. Nanotechnology applications in global agribusiness are considered the new industrial revolution, and both developed and developing countries are investing in this technology to secure a sizeable market share. For instance, the US leads the world with an investment of $3.7 billion through its National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). The US is followed by Japan and the European Union (EU), which have both committed substantial funds with $750 million and $1.2 billion per year respectively. For more information or any query mail at [email protected] Covered in this report The report covers the present scenario and the growth prospects of the global agribusiness market for 2016-2020. To calculate the market size, the report has taken into consideration the revenue generated from the total market sales of agribusiness products to retailers, wholesalers, and institutional buyers like restaurants and hotels. The market is divided into the following segments based on geography: • Americas • APAC • Europe • ROW The report, Global Agribusiness Market 2016-2020, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market. Market driver • Increasing demand for livestock and dairy products • For a full, detailed list, view our report Market challenge • Changes in land reform legislation • For a full, detailed list, view our report Market trend • Introduction of trade policies in agribusiness • For a full, detailed list, view our report Key questions answered in this report • What will the market size be in 2020 and what will the growth rate be? • What are the key market trends? • What is driving this market? • What are the challenges to market growth? • Who are the key vendors in this market space? • What are the market opportunities and threats faced by the key vendors? • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the key vendors? PART 06: Market segmentation by product • Global market for grains • Global market for oilseed • Global market for dairy • Global market for livestock • Global market for others PART 07: Geographical segmentation • Segmentation of global agribusiness market by geography • Agribusiness market in the Americas • Agribusiness market in APAC • Agribusiness market in Europe • Agribusiness market in ROW PART 08: Key leading countries PART 09: Market drivers • Increasing demand for livestock and dairy products • Government support for farmers' credit • Growing significance of bio crops • Introduction of biotechnology in agribusiness PART 10: Impact of drivers PART 11: Market challenges • Changes in land reform legislation • Agribusiness resource shortage • Volatility in prices of grain For more information or any query mail at [email protected] Wise Guy Reports is part of the Wise Guy Consultants Pvt. Ltd. and offers premium progressive statistical surveying, market research reports, analysis & forecast data for industries and governments around the globe. Wise Guy Reports features an exhaustive list of market research reports from hundreds of publishers worldwide. We boast a database spanning virtually every market category and an even more comprehensive collection of market research reports under these categories and sub-categories.
News Article | November 18, 2016
Agribusiness Market report 2016-2020 provides forecast and analysis of the Agribusiness industry on global and regional level. The report provides historic data with forecast from 2016 to 2020 based on volume and revenue. It includes drivers and restraints of the Agribusiness market along with their impact on demand during the forecast period. The report also comprises the study of opportunities available in the market for Agribusiness on the global and regional level. The Agribusiness market research is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of Agribusiness Industry. Analysts forecast the Global Agribusiness Market to grow at a CAGR of 2.6% during the period 2016-2020. Nanotechnology applications in global agribusiness are considered the new industrial revolution, and both developed and developing countries are investing in this technology to secure a sizeable market share. For instance, the US leads the world with an investment of $3.7 billion through its National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). The US is followed by Japan and the European Union (EU), which have both committed substantial funds with $750 million and $1.2 billion per year respectively. The report provides a basic overview of the Agribusiness Market 2016-2020 including definitions, classifications, applications and market Sales chain structure. The Agribusiness Market 2016-2020 report enlists several important factors, starting from the basics to advanced market intelligence which play a crucial part in strategizing. Agribusiness Market report provides more drivers, challenges, trend with impact of drivers and challenges on market. Also Agribusiness Market research report covers the present scenario and the growth prospects of the global Agribusiness industry for 2016-2020. Agribusiness market report provides key statistics on the market status of the Agribusiness manufacturers and is a valuable source of guidance and direction for companies and individuals interested in the Agribusiness industry. The Agribusiness market report gives the vendor landscape and detailed analysis of the major vendors operating in the market. The market is characterized by the presence of several established international Agribusiness manufacturers who generate revenues through both direct and indirect sales. Vendor competition in the market is intense and vendors usually compete on the basis of product features, price, customized solutions, and services offered. Well-known Agribusiness companies mainly focus on expanding their geographical reach, increasing production capacities, and upselling products by upgrading the existing ones. Also, manufacturers are solely responsible for the integration of systems, testing, and commercializing these products into the market. Geographical Segmentation and Analysis of the Agribusiness Market: For Any Query, Contact Our Expert @ http://www.360marketupdates.com/enquiry/pre-order-enquiry/10292808 The report gives all the answer related to Agribusiness market development trends. Report having detailed analysis of upstream raw materials, downstream demand, and current market dynamics is also carried out. In the end, the report makes some important proposals for a new project of Agribusiness Market 2016-2020 Industry before evaluating its feasibility. Overall, the report provides an in-depth insight of 2016-2020 global Agribusiness Market covering all important parameters. About 360 Market Updates: 360 Market Sales Updates is the credible source for gaining the market research reports that will exponentially accelerate your business. We are among the leading report resellers in the business world committed towards optimizing your business. The reports we provide are based on a research that covers a magnitude of factors such as technological evolution, economic shifts and a detailed study of market segments.
News Article | April 26, 2016
"This is a proof-of-principle study demonstrating that proteins can be used as effective vehicles for organizing nano-materials by design," says senior author Gevorg Grigoryan, an assistant professor of computer science at Dartmouth. "If we learn to do this more generally - the programmable self-assembly of precisely organized molecular building blocks—this will lead to a range of new materials towards a host of applications, from medicine to energy." The study appears in the journal in Nature Communications. According to the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative, scientists and engineers are finding a wide variety of ways to deliberately make materials at the nanoscale - or the atomic and molecular level—to take advantage of their enhanced properties such as higher strength, lighter weight, increased control of light spectrum and greater chemical reactivity than their larger-scale counterparts. Proteins are "smart" molecules, encoded by our genes, which organize and orchestrate essentially all molecular processes in our cells. The goal of the new study was to create an artificial protein that would self-organize into a new material—an atomically periodic lattice of buckminster fullerene molecules. Buckminster fullerene (buckyball for short) is a sphere-like molecule composed of 60 carbon atoms shaped like a soccer ball. Buckyballs have an array of unusual properties, which have excited scientists for several decades because of their potential applications. Buckyballs are currently used in nanotechology due to their high heat resistance and electrical superconductivity, but the molecule is difficult to organize in desired ways, which hampers its use in the development of novel materials. In their new research, Grigoryan and his colleagues show that their artificial protein does interact with buckyball and indeed does organize it into a lattice. Further, they determined the 3-dimensional structure of this lattice, which represents the first ever atomistic view of a protein/buckyball complex. "Learning to engineer self-assembly would enable the precise organization of molecules by design to create matter with tailored properties," Grigoryan says. "In this research, we demonstrate that proteins can direct the self-assembly of buckminsterfullerene into ordered superstructures. Further, excitingly, we have observed this protein/buckyball lattice conducts electricity, something that the protein-alone lattice does not do. Thus, we are beginning to see emergent material behaviors that can arise from combing the fascinating properties of buckyball and the abilities of proteins to organize matter at the atomic scale. Taken together, our findings suggest a new means of organizing fullerene molecules into a rich variety of lattices to generate new properties by design."
News Article | April 22, 2016
A federal science competition for high school students led to the creation of Radio Blitz, a superhero who disposes of waste. Students were challenged by the National Science Foundation and the National Nanotechnology Initiative to create superheroes who use nanoscience in their powers. Radio Blitz is the creation of Madeleine Chang from Bergen County Academies in New Jersey. It won both second prize and the People’s Choice Award.