October 2010

Why “Science Policy”
is a mistake from the start

October 29, 2010

Science and engineering drive the great technological revolutions of our time, and it might be helpful to have some idea of what they are — for example, to recognize that they are fundamentally different. Colin Macilwain offers a guide for the perplexed: Science is mainly concerned with unearthing knowledge. Engineering seeks to deliver working solutions […]

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Nanomedicine by nanoparticle:
Toward killing cancer,
tweaking cell function,
and inserting Boolean logic

October 24, 2010

Compared to small molecules, nanoparticles offer more physical scope for functional engineering, and according to a report in Science, more than 50 companies are pressing forward to exploit this for cancer diagnosis and treatment. Nearly a dozen nanoparticle-based medicines are reportedly in clinical trials, and lab research suggests a road to programmable control of cellular […]

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As the word turns…

October 21, 2010

Latest semantic news: …the field of nanotechnology deals only with the science and technology of entities dominated by surface atoms….nanomedicine is a field of science, which is based on cellular uptake of targetable nano-sized materials….Hence nanobiotechnology or the science nanomedicine derived from it is a part of cell biology and under no circumstances can be […]

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Electron cryomicroscopy
reaches landmark molecular resolution

October 17, 2010

Electron microscopes can image biological macromolecules in cryogenic ice, but it shows them as low-contrast features in a grainy image (see below). Using enough electrons to reduce the graininess would first destroy the specimen. The trick to getting enough information without frying the molecules is to image many specimens that are known to be identical, […]

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The 2010 Nobel Prize
for Graphene Nanotechnology

October 5, 2010

Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov have just won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene”, and their work has opened a broad frontier in nanotechnology. Graphene is best known for its remarkable electronic properties, which make it both a wonderland for physicists and a contender for future transistors […]

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Evolutionary refinement of engineered molecules

October 5, 2010

Blind variation and focused selection have made the biosphere, and they’re being used in the lab to make functional biomolecular components. The laboratory methods often go under the names of “directed evolution” and (in single-round versions) “high-throughput screening”, and they hold promise as partners for rational design in macromolecular systems engineering. As background, here are […]

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