Press Releases: Research Funded by Agencies Participating in the National Nanotechnology Initiative

The following press releases describe the results of research activities that are funded by Federal agencies that participate in the National Nanotechnology Initiative.
  • September 06, 2019
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy)

    Platinum has long been used as a catalyst in fuel cells, but the metal's high cost has hindered fuel cells from competing with cheaper ways of powering automobiles and homes. Now researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new platinum-based catalytic system that is more durable than traditional commercial systems and has a potentially longer lifespan. The process involves using nanoscale spheres of selenium that react with a salt precursor to platinum to generate particles of platinum smaller than two nanometers in diameter.

  • September 04, 2019
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy)

    A team of scientists has discovered a new possible pathway toward forming carbon structures in space using a specialized chemical exploration technique at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. This study is part of an ongoing effort to retrace the chemical steps leading to the formation of complex carbon-containing molecules in deep space.

  • September 04, 2019
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy)

    Researchers at Rice University have developed a catalytic reactor that uses carbon dioxide as its feedstock and produces highly purified and high concentrations of formic acid. Tests showed that nearly half of the electrical energy could be stored in formic acid as liquid fuel.

  • September 04, 2019
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture)

    Plant-derived compounds called phytosterol have been found to lower LDL cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol that contributes to plaque buildup in arteries. Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have found that nanoparticles embedded in granola bars and pudding boosted the absorption of phytosterol in the body.

  • September 04, 2019
    (Funded by the National Institutes of Health)

    A collaborative project from a nanoparticles expert at The University of Texas at Arlington has yielded promising results in the search for more effective, targeted cancer treatments. The team investigated the use of X-rays and copper-cysteamine nanoparticles to treat deep-seated tumors, resulting in statistically significant reduction in tumor size.

  • September 04, 2019
    (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation)

    Tools that detect cancer in its early stages can increase patient survival and quality of life. But cancer screening often calls for expensive equipment and trips to the clinic, which may not be feasible in some rural or developing areas. Now scientists have developed a simple and sensitive urine test that can produce a color change in urine to signal growing tumors in mice.

  • September 04, 2019
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy)

    Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have demonstrated that it is possible to see greater details of DNA origami nanostructures. DNA origami is the folding of long "scaffold" strands of circular DNA molecules held together using short "staple" strands to create various two- and three-dimensional shapes at the nanometer scale.

  • August 29, 2019
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation)

    Scientists have demonstrated a wireless sensor small enough to be implanted in the blood vessels of the human brain, so it could help clinicians evaluate the healing of aneurysms -- bulges that can cause death or serious injury if they burst.

  • August 29, 2019
    (Funded by the National Institutes of Health)

    Drugs that help prevent the formation of unwanted or harmful proteins are currently being developed to treat a number of diseases, including cancer. The drugs are based on small interfering RNA (siRNA), which are pieces of nucleic acids that interfere with the production of proteins. But getting these drugs to the right target remains challenging because siRNAs can degrade rapidly in the body. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and colleagues report on a hydrogel-based carrier that can deliver siRNAs directly to where they are needed.

  • August 28, 2019
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation and the Air Force Research Laboratory)

    Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created the biggest computer chip yet made from carbon nanotubes: rolled up sheets of atom-thick graphene that conduct electricity at super-fast speeds. Some researchers hope that carbon nanotubes could be used in future computers, because they conduct electricity faster and more efficiently than silicon.

Pages