Nanoscopic News

  • A team at Rice University builds a nanoscopic car chassis out of buckyballs and nanotubes. They claim the wheels roll but, some are skeptical.
  • Over at the Georgia Institute of Technology, they hope to domesticate microbes and coax them into building complex circuit elements and other microscopic structures for us more cheaply than photolithography.
  • A month ago at UC Riverside, they announced a molecule that waddles across a surface in a manner similar to those cheap, wind-up toy robots.
  • A private company, ProtoLife, is working to build synthetic organisms, artificial cells, in hopes of turning them into chemical workhorses and tools for medical research. (If we can create life from scratch, what does that tell you about the premise of intelligent design advocates?)
  • Back in September a team at Dartmouth announced a tiny robot built with photolithgraphy. The robot is untethered and controlled from the outside. I wonder if they’ll try using this idea to improve scanning probe microscopy.
  • A team at Queen’s University, Belfast has built tiny logic gates, logic probes and sensors. The hope is one day these tools can be used to build an entire computer only a few nanometers in size.

I guess now that since everyone is back from summer vacation, the last few months have been very busy ones. I always love doing these little news bulletins of things nanoscopic!

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