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 13, 2019
    (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)

    A chameleon can alter the color of its skin by using periodic optical nanostructures, called photonic crystals, in its skin. So far, scientists have made versions of a photonic crystal "smart skin" that changes color in response to the environment, but the sizes of these versions of “smart skin” also change. This time, chemists at Emory University have developed a flexible smart skin that reacts to heat and sunlight while maintaining a near constant volume.

  • September 13, 2019
    (Funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology)

    The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded a total of nearly $4 million in grants to 19 small businesses to support innovative technology development. Five of the 19 small businesses (Graphene Waves LLC, Parman Tech LLC, Xallent LLC, Advanced Silicon Group, and Applied NanoFluorescence) were awarded nearly $1.1 million awarded for nanotechnology development.

  • September 10, 2019
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health)

    The typical method for delivering genes inside cells is by using altered viruses that carry genome-editing machinery rather than their own viral genes into cells. But alterations of such viruses can be laborious and manufacturing them can be complicated. To address these issues, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have, instead, packed a gene-editing payload into a tiny customizable, synthetic nanocapsule.

  • 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.

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