Home > Nanotechnology Columns > Brian Wang
|May 7th, 2009|
DNA Nanotechnology Advance : DNA Boxes
Danish researchers have made a nano-sized box out of DNA that can be locked or opened in response to 'keys' made from short strands of DNA. By changing the nature or number of these keys, it should be possible to use the boxes as sensors, drug delivery systems or even molecular computers. Read the Whole Article
|February 5th, 2009|
Nanosand Could Make Deserts Green, Alleviate Poverty and Water Scarcity
Waterproof sand is being placed into plastic sheets and then buried under the topsoil to create an artificial water table and reduce water losses in irrigation by 75%. Eighty-five percent of the water in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region is used for irrigation and that is potentially the main area from which the growing urban demand can be met. 3000 tons of the waterproof nanosand are being made per day. 1 ton of sand would probably cover 10 square meters. 4 days to cover a square kilometer.
The plant is ready to meet the demands of potential customers such as Dubai Municipality which has inquired about the product as it works toward greening the Emirate from the current 3.7 per cent of total landscape to eight per cent by 2015.
Some people are concerned about plastic being used on such a large scale or the environmental effect of the plastic. Yet they are also concerned that plastic will sit in landfills forever. They can select a plastic that will not decompose. This is rolls of plastic filled with waterproof sand buried under the topsoil to create an artificial water table.
This is the first use of nanotechnology to make a major impact on a major problem. Ironically it is similar to the first product that claimed to use nanotechnology, which were waterproof/stain resistant pants. Nanotechnology could make more impact on water scarcity with emerging nano-membranes for water purification and desalination.
* Saving 75% of water from irrigation could save millions of lives and prevent a massive humanitarian disaster and regional chaos with water wars
-Whatever downsides some may be worried about consider the upside.
Water scarcity gets mitigated and regional poverty (from more local agriculture) gets reduced and the chance and probably the amount of water wars will be less. This helps the areas with the worst poverty and violence (The middle east and Africa.) Read the Whole Article
|January 22nd, 2009|
DNA/biotech/synthetic biology, nanotechnology to Watch in 2009+
Technological and other developments to watch was expanded to four parts for 2009+. This is the third section DNA/biotech/synthetic biology, nanotechnology to Watch in 2009+.
1. DNA nanotechnology
2. Synthetic biology
3. Synthetic life
4. Moriarty/Freitas/Merkle diamondod nanotech
5. Zyvex atomically precise manufacturing
6. UK ideas factory projects through 2010
7. Stem Cells
8. Gene therapy Read the Whole Article
|January 18th, 2009|
Status of Carbon Nanotubes for Wiring, Superink, Super-Batteries and other Applications
Carbon nanotube wiring could make a huge difference in satellites and planes. This article reviews progress towards carbon nanotubes for wiring, superink, batteries and more.
-Copper wiring makes up as much as one-third of the weight of a 15-ton satellite
-Similarly, reducing the weight of wiring in UAVs would enable them to fly longer before refueling or carry more sensors and weapons.
- CNT wiring would yield the same sort of savings for commercial aircraft. A Boeing 747 uses about 135 miles of copper wire that weighs 4,000 pounds. Replacing that with 600 or 700 pounds of nanotube wire would save substantial amounts of fuel.
-In addition, CNT wires do not corrode or oxidize, and are not susceptible to vibration fatigue
-Carbon nanotubes can theoretically have 1000 times the energy density of copper Read the Whole Article
|March 16th, 2008|
DNA Nanotechnology : a new age of mega-molecular construction
Along with the four natural DNA bases there are now two man made DNA bases. This combines with the other recent announcements about using DNA to assemble millions of three dimensional nanoparticles, being able to synthesize strings of DNA over 500,000 base pairs long and all molecular programmable DNA construction.
I would say that the combined work indicates that we are completely within the age of DNA nanotechnology (using DNA for programmatic molecular control and construction). Read the Whole Article