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Chasing the Future
information related to new technologies & innovation, developments in science and space exploration
Curated by Sílvia Dias
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Butterfly Wings Inspire Better Sensors

Butterfly Wings Inspire Better Sensors | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it

Researchers at GE Global Research are taking a closer look. Not at Lorenz’s question but at the wings themselves. They are using nanotechnology to mimic the iridescent sheen of butterflies from the Morpho genus and develop fast and super sensitive thermal and chemical imaging sensors. In the future, the technology could be used in night vision goggles, surveillance cameras and even medical diagnostic devices.


Imitating nature is not a new idea. Swiss engineer George de Mestro invented Velcro after his dog came home covered with thistle burrs, Speedo came up with fast sharkskin swimsuits, and every aircraft engineer since Leonardo has been aping birds.


When the GE team put Morpho wings under a powerful microscope, they saw a layer of tiny scales just tens of micrometers across. In turn, each of the scales had arrays of ridges a few hundred nanometers wide. This complex structure absorbs and bends light and gives Morfo butterflies their trademark shimmering blue and green coat.

 

But the GE team also observed that the color of the wings changed when they came into contact with heat, gases and chemicals. Working with DARPA, the scientists started exploring and enhancing the wing’s properties and geometry to build better sensors. 

 

Detectors based on their research could one day they help doctors create visual heat maps of internal organs, assess wound healing, test food and water safety and monitors power plant emissions.

 

The findings could also lead to new sensors for detecting warfare agents and explosives.

 

Radislav Potyrailo, principal scientist at GE Global Research who leads the photonics program, found that when infrared radiation hits the wing, the nanostructures on the wing heat up and expand, causing iridescence and color change.

 

He and his team added tiny nanotubes to the wings and were able to increase the amount of radiation the wings can absorb, improving their heat sensitivity.

 

“This new class of thermal imaging sensors promises significant improvements over existing detectors in their image quality, speed, sensitivity, size, power requirements and cost,” Potyrailo says.


Via Miguel Prazeres, Jocelyn Stoller, Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, April 6, 2:50 PM

Great ideas are often taken from nature! Check this one out!

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UW engineers invent programming language to build synthetic DNA

UW engineers invent programming language to build synthetic DNA | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it

Similar to using Python or Java to write code for a computer, chemists soon could be able to use a structured set of instructions to “program” how DNA molecules interact in a test tube or cell.
A team led by the University of Washington has developed a programming language for chemistry that it hopes will streamline efforts to design a network that can guide the behavior of chemical-reaction mixtures in the same way that embedded electronic controllers guide cars, robots and other devices. In medicine, such networks could serve as “smart” drug deliverers or disease detectors at the cellular level.


Via Szabolcs Kósa
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jakiydom's curator insight, October 7, 2013 5:19 AM

good program !

 

jumping jack flash's curator insight, October 7, 2013 12:25 PM

Singularity is close

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Nanotechnology's Revolutionary Next Phase

Nanotechnology's Revolutionary Next Phase | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it

The fruition of atomically precise manufacturing (APM) — nanotech’s next phase — promises to create such “radical abundance” that it will not only change industry but civilization itself.
At least that’s the view of Eric Drexler, considered by most to be the father of nanotechnology. An American engineer, technologist and author with three degrees from M.I.T., Drexler is currently at the “Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology” at Oxford University in the U.K.

Forbes.com questioned Drexler about points discussed in his forthcoming book, Radical Abundance: How a Revolution in Nanotechnology Will Change Civilization, due out in May.


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Roger Ellman's curator insight, February 27, 2013 2:53 AM

We'll get there - you'll see!

Sworoba OyetKep's curator insight, March 19, 2013 12:12 AM

This article as the question how will nanotechnology change the course of civilization. The arrticle criticises material science and focuses on the inovations nanotechnology will have in the near future. It puts emphasis on the benifits of nanotechnology and how large corporations can take advantage. The article critically reviews the role atomically precise manufacturing (AMP) will impact in the future. How effective will AMP be in reaching its intended purpose. The article also points to other technologies that derives from manufacturing with the aid of nanotechnology. These into nanomedicine, the military and possibly nanotechnology in aerospace. In summary the point being forward here is that all roads will lead to some sort of nanotechnology.

Ryan Murphy's curator insight, March 21, 2013 6:54 PM

An interesting look at the future posibilities of Nanotechnology on the Atomic Scale.

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Nanomedicine: DNA clamp to grab cancer before it develops

Nanomedicine: DNA clamp to grab cancer before it develops | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it

As part of an international research project, a team of researchers has developed a DNA clamp that can detect mutations at the DNA level with greater efficiency than methods currently in use. Their work could facilitate rapid screening of those diseases that have a genetic basis, such as cancer, and provide new tools for more advanced nanotechnology.


Via Szabolcs Kósa
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Layered '2-D nanocrystals' promising new semiconductor

Layered '2-D nanocrystals' promising new semiconductor | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
(Phys.org) —Researchers are developing a new type of semiconductor technology for future computers and electronics based on 'two-dimensional nanocrystals' layered in sheets less than a nanometer thick that could replace today's transistors.

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Nanoparticles that look, act like cells

Nanoparticles that look, act like cells | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it

By cloaking nanoparticles in the membranes of white blood cells, scientists at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute may have found a way to prevent the body from recognizing and destroying them before they deliver their drug payloads. 


Via Szabolcs Kósa
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