Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > ASU researchers going new places with nanotechnology

TINY TECHNOLOGY: Postgraduate student Ashley Kibel displays some the nanochips used in her nanotechnology research, focused on biomimicry. The scale of a nano is roughly 40,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. (Photo by Michael Arellano)
TINY TECHNOLOGY: Postgraduate student Ashley Kibel displays some the nanochips used in her nanotechnology research, focused on biomimicry. The scale of a nano is roughly 40,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. (Photo by Michael Arellano)

Abstract:
ASU scientists using nanotechnology are proving that bigger isn't always better.

ASU researchers going new places with nanotechnology

Tempe, AZ | Posted on February 17th, 2010

Nanotechnology, research and technology development at the atomic or molecular level, is a field ASU has delved into to advance understanding in bioscience.

ASU scientists are developing a DNA sequencer they say could one day redefine the world of medicine.

Stuart Lindsay is leading the team of researchers in creating a new device that could map human DNA at a record pace. Lindsay is a professor and the director of the Biodesign Institute's Center for Single Molecule Biophysics.

"In principle, our main goal is fast DNA sequencing that is going to personalize medicine" Stuart said.

Essentially, the sequencer would work like a miniscule barcode reader, but instead of reading labels, it would read genetic code, giving an accurate readout of an individual's medicinal needs based on his or her DNA.

Scientists hope it will become a useful tool for diagnosis and treatment for future patients.

Similar projects that aim to map or read parts of the human genome using technologies outside of nanoscience can take years and cost substantially more, Biodesign Institute spokesman Joseph Caspermeyer said.

"Sequencing technology is based in a multi-billion dollar industry," Caspermeyer said "The Human Genome Project took about a dozen years and cost billions of dollars."

The Human Genome Project, an international scientific effort to map and identify DNA, took 13 years from its start in 1990 to produce completed data.

The capabilities of nanotechnology change all that, Caspermeyer said.

"In the future, our project aims to make it possible for a DNA sequencing to be as typical as an ordinary blood test," he said.

Caspermeyer described nanotechnology as taking existing technology and shrinking it.

ASU's nanotechnology research is funded by a combination of investments and grants.

"There is a competitive process for getting funding from federal agencies," he said.

About one in 10 institutions that apply for nanotechnology funding actually receive grants, Caspermeyer said.

"So there is a 90 percent chance that as a nanotechnology researcher, you are going to get turned down," he said.

ASU is one of the few colleges in the nation that does extensive nanotechnology research, he said.

With any new science comes new risk, Caspermeyer said, and critics argue that nanotechnology could create problems for people that scientists cannot accurately predict.

"You're creating particles and chemicals that probably have not existed before," Caspermeyer said, "On top of that, there are environmental concerns."

In response to these concerns, Caspermeyer said ASU has a section of research dedicated to analyzing risk.

"We have a group here studying social ramifications of nanotechnology," he said. "There is a combination of too much hype at this point.

"Those that see it as a panacea — solving all problems of society — and then there are the naysayers that fear any new type of innovation because we don't know the harm of it."

Lindsay said the fears about nanotechnology aren't well founded.

"There is a fear of the unknown, which makes me angry because we are so irrational of the hazards in our every day life," Lindsay said.

Graduate student Ashley Kibel has worked with nanotechnology since she earned her bachelor's degree from ASU in physics in 2005.

Kibel worked closely on the DNA sequencer project with Lindsay.

"The excitement you get when you see a result that is interesting — the excitement you get when you've spent two years of work and nothing comes of it and finally there's something — makes it worth a million bucks," Kibel said.

It is impossible to know at this point when a DNA sequencer might be used in the medical field, she said.

"We have a lot of work to get done, but we have made great progress," Kibel said.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Kyle Patton

Copyright © Arizona State University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Atomic force imaging used to study nematodes: KFU bionanotechnology lab (head - Dr. Rawil Fakhrullin) has obtained 3-D images of nematodes' cuticles February 23rd, 2017

Particle Works creates range of high performance quantum dots February 23rd, 2017

EmTech Asia breaks new barriers with potential applications of space exploration with NASA and MIT February 22nd, 2017

JPK selects compact tensile stage from Deben for their NanoWizard® AFM platform to broaden capabilities for materials characterisation February 22nd, 2017

Possible Futures

EmTech Asia breaks new barriers with potential applications of space exploration with NASA and MIT February 22nd, 2017

Tiny nanoclusters could solve big problems for lithium-ion batteries February 21st, 2017

Nominations Invited for $250,000 Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience: Major international prize recognizes a visionary nanotechnology researcher February 20th, 2017

Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms: In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport February 20th, 2017

Nanomedicine

Atomic force imaging used to study nematodes: KFU bionanotechnology lab (head - Dr. Rawil Fakhrullin) has obtained 3-D images of nematodes' cuticles February 23rd, 2017

Nominations Invited for $250,000 Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience: Major international prize recognizes a visionary nanotechnology researcher February 20th, 2017

Good vibrations help reveal molecular details: Rice University scientists combine disciplines to pinpoint small structures in unlabeled molecules February 15th, 2017

In-cell molecular sieve from protein crystal February 14th, 2017

Announcements

Atomic force imaging used to study nematodes: KFU bionanotechnology lab (head - Dr. Rawil Fakhrullin) has obtained 3-D images of nematodes' cuticles February 23rd, 2017

Particle Works creates range of high performance quantum dots February 23rd, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Announces Availability of 45nm RF SOI to Advance 5G Mobile Communications: Optimized RF features deliver high-performance solutions for mmWave beam forming applications in 5G smartphones and base stations February 22nd, 2017

EmTech Asia breaks new barriers with potential applications of space exploration with NASA and MIT February 22nd, 2017

Grants/Sponsored Research/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

Oxford Instruments announces Dr Brad Ramshaw of Cornell University, as winner of the 2017 Lee Osheroff Richardson Science Prize February 20th, 2017

Nominations Invited for $250,000 Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience: Major international prize recognizes a visionary nanotechnology researcher February 20th, 2017

'Lossless' metamaterial could boost efficiency of lasers and other light-based devices February 20th, 2017

Good vibrations help reveal molecular details: Rice University scientists combine disciplines to pinpoint small structures in unlabeled molecules February 15th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project