Chiral quantum optics: A new research field with bright perspectives

Surprising direction-dependent effects emerge when light is guided in microscopic structures. This discovery shows promise for both classical and quantum information processing.

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New ‘needle-pulse’ beam pattern packs a punch

A new beam pattern could bring unprecedented sharpness to ultrasound and radar images, burn precise holes in manufactured materials at a nano scale — even etch new properties onto their surfaces.

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‘Sweet’ 1950s separation method to clean nanoparticles from organisms

Giving a 65-year-old laboratory technique a new role, researchers have performed the cleanest separation to date of synthetic nanoparticles from a living organism.

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Antioxidants get small: Molecular compounds mimic effective graphene agents, show potential for therapies

New single-molecule compounds that are efficient antioxidants in their own right help scientists understand how larger nanoparticles quench damaging reactive oxygen species in the body.

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Sound waves create whirlpools to round up tiny signs of disease

Mechanical engineers have demonstrated a tiny whirlpool that can concentrate nanoparticles using nothing but sound. The innovation could gather proteins and other biological structures from blood or urine samples for future diagnostic devices.

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Nanostructured coatings take a bite out of pollutants

Low-cost iron hydroxide coatings with unique fin-like shapes can clean heavily contaminated water with a simple dipping procedure.

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Taking materials into the third dimension

To create more efficient catalysts, scientists would like to start with porous materials with controlled atomic-scale structures as random defects can hamper performance. Now a team has created a one-pot method that produces the structures.

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New class of materials could revolutionize biomedical, alternative energy industries

Polyhedral boranes, or clusters of boron atoms bound to hydrogen atoms, are transforming the biomedical industry. These humanmade materials have become the basis for the creation of cancer therapies, enhanced drug delivery and new contrast agents needed for radioimaging and diagnosis. Now, a researcher has discovered an entirely new class of materials based on boranes that might have widespread potential applications, including improved diagnostic tools for cancer and other diseases as well as low-cost solar energy cells.

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New sensors can detect single protein molecules

For the first time, engineers have designed sensors that can detect single protein molecules as they are secreted by cells. These sensors, which consist of modified carbon nanotubes, could help scientists with any application that requires detecting very small amounts of protein, such as tracking viral infection, monitoring cell manufacture of useful proteins, or revealing food contamination.

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