Can nanotechnology help make a better COVID-19 test?

Did you know that scientists have used nanotechnology to develop a test for the MERS coronavirus? The results of the test can be seen by the naked eye within 10 minutes of interacting with the viral DNA, which can shorten the analysis and interpretation time.1 Current testing for the COVID-19 virus takes hours or days.2 So, …

What gives gold nanoparticles their color?

In a previous post, Can gold melt at room temperature? Melting temperature depression!, we talked about how the color of gold changes from shiny yellow to dark red when it is shrunk down to the nanoscale. We know that lots of materials have interesting properties when they get that small, but why do gold nanoparticles have …

Have You Ever Heard a Lemon Sing? Music and Chemistry

Have you ever used a poem or song to help yourself remember a complicated concept or a list that you were sure to forget? (Figure 1) As I sat and thought about the many times that songs and clever poems helped me to remember things like the history and progression of the atomic model or …

Electrocuting a Pickle: Demonstrating Major Concepts in Science

pickle

Have you ever made lightning in a pickle? I have. It involves putting two iron nails in a pickle and applying 110 volts of electricity. It’s pretty smelly, but it is worth it to see what looks like yellow-orange lightning in the pickle. What’s going on? The principle of “put in electricity – get out …

Royal Rife’s Universal Microscope (and Why It Can’t Exist)

Royal Rife

In the 1930s, microscope designer Royal Rife made a splash with reports that he had designed a new microscope that could view nanoscale objects such as viruses!1 The only problem was that it didn’t work. In fact, it couldn’t work, based on the basic physics of light. Rife was attempting to improve upon the optical …

Ep 7. What Do Glaciers Have to Do With Nanoscience?

Sustainable Nano Podcast cover image

Why do glaciers sometimes look blue? Hint: it's not for the same reason we see blue as the color of the sky!

On this episode of the podcast, we have an interview with Dr. Robert Hamers, following up on his recent blog post. Bob is the Director of the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology, and he tells us about a recent family trip to Alaska that got him wondering about why some glaciers have an amazing blue color.

Sunburns and Circuits: How Nanotechnology is Pushing the Boundaries of Computing

Last July, IBM announced that it had developed a new computer chip that could boost computer speeds by 50%.1 The company achieved this performance boost by building their chip with transistors a mere 7 nanometers in diameter. To put this incredible feat of engineering into perspective, the building blocks of these new chips are smaller …

How the Fruits Got Their Colors

It’s Sunday night and I am watching one of my favorite shows, which of course revolves around food. In this particular episode, competitors were challenged to incorporate blue into their baked delights without using artificial coloring. That may not seem to be much of a challenge, but there are actually very few naturally occurring blue …