Ever wondered what it’s like to go into a “clean room”? A couple weeks ago a group of students from the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology (CSN) got to find out during a tour at the Minnesota Nano Center.
As a fan of sci-fi, I recently watched two classic movies: the original Star Wars (which you’re probably familiar with) and Ghost in the Shell (a post-cyberpunk Japanese animation). Both movies had a very interesting commonality: human-machine hybrids. But what does this have to do with nanotechnology?
As a chemistry graduate student I don’t normally take classes outside of the chemistry building, but this semester I happened to have an optics course in the physics department. So a few months ago when scientists at the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO for short) found gravitational waves,1 I got an inside look at just how excited physicists can get! Everyone in the department was walking around with smiles on their faces and talking animatedly to each other in the hallways. They were like kids at Christmas. Well, like kids who know a lot of math and like to talk about physics.
Now that spring semester is coming to an end, a lot of scientists are getting ready to go to scientific conferences over the summer. During spring break I had the opportunity to participate in the American Chemical Society conference held in San Diego. This national conference attracts thousands of chemists from all over the country to spend five days learning about the latest information in their areas of professional interest and networking with colleagues. Moreover, this conference was particularly interesting to me as an undergrad student because it provides an opportunity for undergrads to present an oral or poster presentation on their research. Here’s a picture of me presenting the work that I did last summer with Dr. Vivian Feng as part of the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology.
You’ve probably heard of the Human Genome Project (HGP), which was a collaborative international research program to map and understand all the genes of human beings. The HGP was declared complete in April 2003 and gave us the amazing ability to read the complete genetic blueprint for a human being, leading to a new era of molecular medicine.
So what is the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI)?
My recent visit to Washington, D.C. to receive the PECASE award was amazing, overwhelming, unbelievable, such an honor…
Along with eight colleagues (most from the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology) I recently co-authored an article in the American Chemical Society’s Chemistry of Materials journal titled “Impact of Nanoscale Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC) on the Bacterium Shewanella oneidensis MR‐1.”1 Just as the name suggests, we analyzed how nanoscale NMC, an important material in some lithium-ion batteries, affected the growth and survival of an important soil dwelling bacterium. Since its publication, it has received some media attention for being the first scientific study characterizing the direct influence of battery materials on an organism – you can read more about the press coverage here and here.