February 2010

How to study for a career in nanotechnology

February 24, 2010

Students often ask me for advice on how to study for a career in nanotechnology, and as you might imagine, providing a good answer is challenging. “Nanotechnology” refers to a notoriously broad range of areas of science and technology, and progress during a student’s career will open new areas, and some are yet to be […]

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Chemists deserve more credit:
Atoms, Einstein, and the Matthew Effect

February 17, 2010

Johann Josef Loschmidt Chemist, atomic scientist Chemists understood the atomic structure of molecules in the 1800s, yet it is often said that Einstein established the existence of atoms in a paper on Brownian motion, “Die von der Molekularkinetischen Theorie der Wärme Gefordete Bewegung von in ruhenden Flüssigkeiten Suspendierten Teilchen”, published in 1905. This is perverse, […]

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Cell-free synthetic biology

February 12, 2010

“Cells” (Courtesy, Robert Hooke) Synthetic biology doesn’t require cells, and in several ways, cells are liabilities. Cells can make engineering difficult. Cell membranes and bacterial walls stand between new genes and the machinery needed to transcribe and translate them. They are barriers to liberating gene products. They contain systems that are complex products of eons […]

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Exploiting strong, covalent bonds
for self assembly of robust nanosystems

February 6, 2010

“Porous, Crystalline, Covalent Organic Frameworks”Côté et al. Atomically precise self-assembly of complex structures can be engineered by providing for multiple binding interactions that Cooperate to stabilize the correct configuration, in a thermodynamic sense, and Do not stabilize any other configuration, in a kinetic sense Roughly speaking, in the correct configuration, the parts fit together to […]

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