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August 11th

Nanotechnology – SciPol Weekly, August 5 – August 11

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  • Nanotechnology

Controlled Environments – Protein Cages May Have Applications in Nanotechnology and Synthetic Biology

A multidisciplinary team from the Bristol BioDesign Institute has come together to study the self-assembly of protein building into protein cages, leading to new research which has potential applications in nanotechnology and synthetic biology. The paper: Beyond icosahedral symmetry in packings of proteins in spherical shells, describes theoretical work and numerical simulations by a team of mathematicians, theoretical physicists, chemists and biochemists from the University of Bristol's BioDesign Institute, and is published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Engineering.com – Nanotechnology Used in Self-Healing Batteries

Li-ion is becoming the standard technology for rechargeable batteries, but it's not devoid of shortcomings. The problem is that silicon expands and contracts with recharge cycles, eventually causing the electrode to fall apart, kind of like freezing and thawing of a road surface creates potholes. One potential solution is a self-healing electrode that uses a conductive substance embedded into microcapsules. As the electrodes expand, the microcapsules rupture and disperse the crack-filling material.

Nanowerk News – From greenhouse gas to 3-D surface-microporous graphene

A material scientist at Michigan Technological University invented a novel approach to take carbon dioxide and turn it into 3-D graphene with micropores across its surface. The process is the focus of a new study published in the American Chemical Society's Applied Materials & Interfaces ("An Ideal Electrode Material, 3D Surface-Microporous Graphene for Supercapacitors with Ultrahigh Areal Capacitance").

Nanowerk News – Marriage of microscopy techniques reveals 3-D structure of critical protein complex

Researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have solved the three-dimensional structure of a complex that is essential for the correct sorting of chromosomes into eggs and sperm during reproductive cell division or meiosis. When this structure, called the synaptonemal complex, doesn't assemble properly in the cell, it can lead to chromosomal abnormalities, miscarriages, and birth defects.

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