Brighten and whiten your teeth (more safely) with nanoparticles?

This is for anyone who’s ever suspected that the all the tooth brightening and whitening might not be such a good idea after all. A July 18, 2018 news item on Nanowerk announces work on what scientists hope will be a safer way to whiten teeth (Note: A link has been removed), In the age of Instagram and Snapchat, everyone wants to have perfect pearly whites. To get a brighter smile, consumers can opt for…

Continue reading


Online Link to Intelligence Squared’s De-Extinction Debate in NYC on January 31, 2919 at 7 pm ET (or 4 pm PT)

Click https://www.youtube.com/embed/N-1iqmKlTs8 at 7 pm ET (or 4 pm PT) to listen on the De-Extinction debate. The proposition for the debate is: “Don’t bring extinct creatures back to life” and arguing against are George Church, Professor of Genetics at Harvard and MIT & Founder, Personal Genome Project, and Stewart Brand, Co-Founder of Revive & Restore & Founder of Whole Earth Catalog and arguing for are Dr. Ross MacPhee: Curator, Department of Mammalogy, Division of Vertebrate…

Continue reading


Diatoms show off their nanofabrication skills

Base-pairing properties of DNA were used to construct tiny structures that accumulated a silica outer skeleton similar to shell-building organisms known as diatoms. Credit: Yan Lab. [downloaded from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-single-celled-architects-nanotechnology.html]The gif below isn’t quite so pretty as the image above but it’s both an example of the kind of imagery (lots of grey), that scientists routinely work with and it shows the work in more detail, 3D cube made using DNA Origami Silicification (DOS), which deposits…

Continue reading


Manipulating light at the nanoscale with kiragami-inspired technique

At left, different patterns of slices through a thin metal foil, are made by a focused ion beam. These patterns cause the metal to fold up into predetermined shapes, which can be used for such purposes as modifying a beam of light. Courtesy of the researchers Nanokiragami (or nano-kiragami) is a fully fledged field of research? That was news to me as was much else in a July 6, 2018 news item on ScienceDaily, Nanokirigami…

Continue reading


Nanoparticle detection with whispers and bubbles

Caption: A magnified photograph of a glass Whispering Gallery Resonator. The bubble is extremely small, less than the width of a human hair. Credit: OIST (Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University) It was the reference to a whispering gallery which attracted my attention; a July 11, 2018 news item on Nanowerk is where I found it, Technology created by researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) [Japan] is…

Continue reading


Nanotechnology tackles nail fungus

I never thought I’d be highlighting nail fungus here but sometimes life throws you a twist and a turn. Researchers at George Washington University (GWU; Washington, DC, US) announce their latest nanotechnology-enabled approach to nail fungus in a July 11, 2018 news item on ScienceDaily, Onychomycosis, a nail fungus that causes nail disfigurement, pain, and increased risk of soft tissue infection, impacts millions of people worldwide. There are several topical antifungal treatments currently available; however,…

Continue reading


Brainy and brainy: a novel synaptic architecture and a neuromorphic computing platform called SpiNNaker

I have two items about brainlike computing. The first item hearkens back to memristors, a topic I have been following since 2008. (If you’re curious about the various twists and turns just enter  the term ‘memristor’ in this blog’s search engine.) The latest on memristors is from a team than includes IBM (US), École Politechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL; Swizterland), and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT; US). The second bit comes from a…

Continue reading


Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Marcel Duchamp, and the Fountain

There is a controversy over one of the important pieces (it’s considered foundational) of modern art, “Fountain.” The original Fountain by Marcel Duchamp photographed by Alfred Stieglitz at the 291 (Art Gallery) after the 1917 Society of Independent Artists exhibit. Stieglitz used a backdrop of The Warriors by Marsden Hartley to photograph the urinal. The entry tag is clearly visible. [downloaded from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fountain_%28Duchamp%29 Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven the real artist behind the ‘Fountain’ According to Theo…

Continue reading


Algae outbreaks (dead zones) in wetlands and waterways

It’s been over seven years since I first started writing about Duke University’s  Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology and mesocosms (miniature ecosystems) and the impact that nanoparticles may have on plants and water (see August 11, 2011 posting). Since then, their focus has shifted from silver nanoparticles and their impact on plants, fish, bacteria, etc. to a more general examination of metallic nanoparticles and water. A June 25, 2018 news item on ScienceDaily…

Continue reading


Canada’s Perimeter Institute, graphic novels, physics, and a public webcast

The full name is Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. The abbreviation I’m most familiar with is PI but there’s also Perimeter or PITP according to the institute’s Wikipedia entry. It is the only such institute in the country (as far as I’m aware) and it is very active in science outreach such as their latest foray: Graphic Talk about the Universe: a Clifford V. Johnson public lecture webcast. A January 16, 2019 posting on the…

Continue reading