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Nano Bite: July 2013

Welcome to the July Nano Bite, the monthly e-newsletter for the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net).

What's New?

Online Brown-Bag Conversations
In the coming months, the NISE Network will continue to offer a series of online brown-bag conversations focused on helping NISE Network partners share their work and learn from others in the Network. Keep an eye out for more details on these conversations and links to sign up on the NISE Network's events page: Recordings of past online brown-bag conversations are also archived on the events page.
Convergence of Knowledge, Technology, and Society - Blog Post
At the NISE Net's reverse site visit at NSF this year, Mihail Roco, NSF's Senior Advisor for Nanotechnology, suggested that NISE Net envision it activities in the years ahead to encompass the applications that will be made possible by convergence. Here is the full blog post from Larry Bell, which includes the link to that just-published report: /blog/post/convergence-knowledge-technology-and-society.

New in the Catalog
Team-Based Inquiry Guide Now Available
The team-based inquiry guide is ready for download from the catalog! Team-based inquiry (TBI) is a practical approach to empowering education professionals to get the data they need, when they need it, to improve their products and practices and, ultimately, more effectively engage public and professional audiences. The TBI process involves an ongoing cycle of inquiry: question, investigate, reflect, and improve.

This guide explains each step of the TBI process, and features ways TBI is used in the NISE Network to improve educational experience and professional practice:

New Linked Products in the Catalog

What Else?

Visitor Studies Association Conference
The Visitor Studies Association (VSA) will be hosting their annual coference July 15-19 in Milwaukee, WI. Details about sessions and a workshop relating to NISE Net work are available here: /events/other/visitor-studies-association-conference.

Get Ready for "Making More Stuff!"
A new season of Making Stuff starts October 16th! NOVA is organizing 40 science cafes in conjunction with the episodes. Interested in being a cafe organizer or speaker? Visit:

 Science Xplained with Ainissa Ramirez: Fun Ferrofluids
Liquids that respond to a magnet? This is not science fiction, but science fact. In this segment, Dr. Ainissa Ramirez shows the wonderful world of ferrofluids, which are iron particles floating in a liquid. When a magnet is nearby, the ferrofluid makes weird shapes and increases in viscosity. Dr. Ramirez also demonstrates how you can make a ferrofluid at home using breakfast cereal:

Partner News

Former NanoDays Volunteers from Montana State Earn NSF Fellowships
Suzi Taylor, of Montana State University, shares the news that recently seven of their alumni received prestigious fellowships from the National Science Foundation. Two of those students are former NanoDays volunteers!

Nano in the News
  • Big Multiple Sclerosis Breakthrough: A phase 1 clinical trial for the first treatment to reset the immune system of multiple sclerosis patients showed the therapy was safe, according to researchers from Northwestern University. The treatment uses patients' own specially processed white blood cells to deliver billions of antigens so their immune systems would recognize them as harmless and develop tolerance to them.
    • ​The NISE Net activitiy Biobarcodes: Antibodies and Nanosensors teaches visitors about antibodies, how each antibody binds to a unique protein, and how biobarcoding uses nanoparticles, antibodies, DNA, and magnetism to detect diseases.
  • Nanotechnology Through History: Carbon-based Nanoparticles from Prehistory to Today: Since our early ancestors first learned to make fires, humans have been producing carbon-based nanoparticles. The smoke and soot from their campfires contained nanoparticles known as fullerenes and carbon nanotubes, along with many other combustion by-products. They must have thought the very crude nanoparticle preparations they created were a bit of a nuisance (depending on how concerned they were about cleanliness), until they decided they could use them in art. Little did they realize that some of the structures in the smudgy black stuff they made would some day help solve our energy problems.
    • ​The NISE Net activity Forms of Carbon demonstrates how the nanoscale arrangement of atoms dramatically impacts a material's macroscale behavior.
  • Spill a lot? NeverWet's Ready to Coat your Gear: The superhydrophobic nanotechnology-based coating, now available in stores, repels liquids with ease.
    • ​The NISE Net activity Exploring Products - Nano Fabrics lets visitors investigate the hydrophobic properties of pants made from nano fabric and ordinary fabric.
  • Controlling Magnetic Clouds in Graphene: Researchers from the University of Manchester have shown that graphene can be made magnetic. And, its magnetism can be switched on and off at the press of a button, opening a new avenue towards electronics with very low energy consumption.

Nano Haiku

Printed batteries
the size of a grain of sand
Power the future

Brad Herring of the Museum of Life and Science, referring to recent work at Harvard University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign using 3D printing to create lithium-ion batteries the size of a grain of sand. The "ink" in this case contains nanoparticles of a lithium metal oxide compound with the right electrochemical properties.

Questions? Haikus? Contributions to the newsletter? Contact Eli Bossin at [email protected]
Read the Nano Bite e-newsletter online at /newsletter/nano-bite-july-2013.

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