The NISE Net is a national community of researchers and informal science educators dedicated to fostering public awareness, engagement, and understanding of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology.
Red blood cells carry a protein called hemoglobin which has a molecular structure adapted to transport oxygen to body tissues. This scanning electron micrograph shows the cells' characteristic donut-like shapes.
Nanotubes Mimicking Gecko Feet
The nanoscale structures on a gecko's foot enable it to cling to most surfaces. This scanning electron microscope image shows multiwalled carbon nanotubes attached to a polymer backing, an experiment designed to replicate the gecko foot's adhesive properties.
The gecko's amazing ability to cling to vertical or inverted surfaces is due to the interaction between nanoscale structures on its feet and tiny crevices on the wall or ceiling. The soles of gecko feet are made up of overlapping adhesive lamellae covered with millions of superfine hairs, or setae, each of which branches out at the end into hundreds of spatula-shaped structures. These flexible pads—each measuring only a few nanometers across—curve to fit inside unseen cracks and divots on the surface. The combined adhesion of these millions of pads holds the gecko in place.
Gold Nanoshells (optical microscope)
To create this optical microscope image, gold nanoshells were dispersed in a drop of water which then dried on a glass microscope slide. The colors are due to selective scattering of light by nanoscale particles.
Gold Nanoshells have a variety of uses in nanotechnology, and especially in biomedical applications. Nanoshells like these may play important roles in new kinds of cancer treatments, disease detection, and imaging techniques.
Imagine going up to a kiosk in your local library and actually touching the surfaces of nanoscale objects scaled up to human dimensions! Using innovative 3D-tactile models this kiosk for libraries allow svisitors to feel the surfaces of nanoscale objects, thereby experiencing the amazing nanoscale structures that give these materials their unique properties. Developed by the Discovery Center Museum in Rockford, Illinois and the Institute for Chemical Education (ICE) at University of Madison Wisconsin.
This film asks scientists from Harvard, Princeton and Duke University to imagine the future of science and technology and the scientific enterprise as a whole. We wanted to know where they thought the world was headed. Not in three, or five years, but in thirty, or fifty years. No one knows what the world will be like in 2050, because we haven’t built that world yet. And scientists and engineers won’t build it alone. The more powerful science becomes, the more important it is for society to change their relationship with science and engage in the conversation about what we value in this world.
Climbable playground equipment in the shape of different forms of carbon. The pieces are part of the science playground installed at the Discovery Center Museum in Rockford, Illinois. Accompanying website and educational curriculum has been developed to complement the playground pieces. The website introduces children at the elementary school level to the properties of carbon. The children can follow the story of Carl, a carbon atom, on his quest to figure out what he wants to be when he grows up and learn about carbon-containing molecules. On Allotrope Island, visitors learn about allotropes of carbon through online video sources, interactive games, and other online adventures. Additionally, the website also provides Discovery Projects for children to examine the properties of carbon offline. Developed by the Discovery Center Museum in Rockford, Illinois and the Institute for Chemical Education (ICE) at University of Madison Wisconsin.