Welcome to the June Nano Bite, the monthly e-newsletter for the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net).
→ Thanks for Filling out Your NanoDays Report!
A few exciting results have already emerged from the existing report data. For example, of the 129 respondents who provided information about future use of NanoDays kits, all 129 indicated that they intend to use activities and resources from their kits as part of other, ongoing educational efforts! Also, 68% of those who reported by May 1st indicated that they partnered with at least one other organization. If you ever want to find other organizations in your area to partner with on nano, you can do an advanced search by region or state or contact your regional hub leader.
As a special thank you for filling out the NanoDays report by May 1st, NanoDays partners who completed reports by the deadline had their names entered into a drawing for a set of prizes including paper fold-your-own buckyball models, tattoos, t-shirts, and more. Two drawings were held using a random-number generator. Our winners are: Lexie Wallace of the Durango Discovery Museum in Colorado and Terese Janovec from University of Nebraska Lincoln.
- The deadline for reports was May 1st; but if you missed the deadline, we would still love to hear about your NanoDays event: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/486130/ND-2011-Report
→ New Blog Post
Nanotechnology Moves from Discovery to Commercialization: At a workshop on Nanotechnology, Business, and Anticipatory Governance organized by the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University, researchers discussed trends in the commercialization of nanotechnology which Larry Bell shares in this blog post.
→ Association of Children's Museums Pre-Conference Workshop
During the Association of Children's Museums' InterActivity 2011 conference in Houston, TX, NISE Net hosted a day-long pre-conference workshop at the Children's Museum of Houston on May 18th. The workshop was attended by 31 museum and informal science educators, and several local scientists and graduate students participated. The day-long workshop provided a showcase of children's museum-friendly nano programs developed by 8 different institutions featuring performances, science demonstrations, and hands-on programming; a nano-programming development session where participants worked side-by-side with graduate students focused on nanoscale research to create their own nano programming; and, a visit to Rice University's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN) for a tour of their imaging and HiPco (carbon nanotube production) labs.
→ Delicious Nanocrystalline Solar Cells
Nanotechnology brings us Delicious Nanocrystalline Solar Cells: This short, amusing video shows how to make nanotechnology-based solar cells from doughnuts and a cup of tea with the help of some lab equipment. This is also called a Dye Sensitized Solar Cell or a Nanocrystalline Titanium Dioxide Solar Cell. For a similar activity from the NISE Net Catalog, check out Dye Sensitized (Raspberry Juice) Solar Cell that you can try in a museum or classroom setting.
→ Biobarcodes: Antibodies and Nanosensors
If you have not seen it already, take a look at the cart demonstration Biobarcodes: Antibodies and Nanosensors. Biobarcoding is a medical technology that uses nanoparticles, antibodies, DNA, and magnetism to detect diseases earlier than we could before.
- In the blog post Why Does Nano Matter? Bio-Non-Bio Interfaces, Clark Miller explores the overlap between nanotechnology and biology. One of the examples presented of that overlap is the use of biobarcodes to detect diseases.
Nano in the News
- Researchers Create Functioning Synapse Using Carbon Nanotubes: Engineering researchers at University of Southern California have built a carbon nanotube synapse circuit whose behavior in tests reproduces the function of a neuron input, the synapse, a building block of the brain. The team used an interdisciplinary approach combining circuit design with nanotechnology to address the complex problem of capturing brain function.
- Forecast Calls for NanoFlowers to Help Return Eyesight: Physicist Leads Effort to Design Fractal Devices to Put in Eyes: University of Oregon researchers are developing nanoflowers seeded from nano-sized particles of metals that will self assemble in a natural process - diffusion limited aggregation. They will be fractals that mimic and communicate efficiently with neurons to carry light to the optic nerve.
- World's Smallest Wedding Rings: Interlocking Rings of DNA Visible through Scanning Force Microscope: DNA nanotechnology makes use of the ability of natural DNA strains' capacity for self assembly. Researchers from Goethe University were able to create two rings of DNA only 18 nanometers in size, and to interlock them like two links in a chain. The two rings are freely pivotable, which makes them suitable as components of molecular machines or of a molecular motor.
- For several full-body interactive games that model the process of self assembly in nature and nanotechnology, go to Exploring Fabrication - Self-Assembly.
- Finding a Needle in a Haystack: MIT researchers have created a detector that can pick up a single molecule of an explosive. They created these sensors by coating carbon nanotubes with protein fragments normally found in bee venom.
Bee venom and nanotubes
Raise nano red flags
For super small explosives
by Vrylena Olney of the Museum of Science, Boston. This haiku was written in response to the above news piece, Finding a Needle in a Haystack.
Questions? Haikus? Contributions to the newsletter? Contact Eli Bossin at [email protected]