An estimated 70 percent of heavy metals in US landfills come from discarded electronics, and as big screen TVs get less expensive, environmental costs continue to mount. To remedy this, researchers are applying organic nano-technology to "green" the optics and electronics industry. Their technology could make flat screen TV production more environmentally friendly and can even make medical devices more sensitive.
In a real-life "back to the future" story, scientists have reported that the sustainable, environmentally-friendly process that gave birth to plywood a century ago is re-emerging as a "green" alternative to wood adhesives made from petroleum. Researchers have described development of new soy-based glues that use a substance in soy milk and tofu and could mean a new generation of more eco-friendly furniture, cabinets, flooring and other wood products.
An unusual substance known as "dry water," which resembles powdered sugar, could provide a new way to absorb and store carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, scientists report.
Sputter deposition is used to make many products from the lining of potato chip bags to the coatings on advanced X-ray lenses. But, for decades, scientists and manufacturers have been unable to explain why these thin films sometimes peel, bend or get too rough. Now researchers have an answer: unexpected nanoparticles that form in the flux.
Crazy bands are cool because no matter how long they've been stretched around a kid's wrist, they always return to their original shape, be it a lion or a kangaroo. Now chemists have found a polymer molecule that's so springy it snaps back from stretching much smaller than it was before.
The science behind gecko toes holds the answer to a dry adhesive that provides an ideal grip for robot feet. Stanford mechanical engineer Mark Cutkosky is using the new material, based on the structure of a gecko foot, to keep his robots climbing.
If a drug can be guided to the right place in the body, the treatment is more effective and there are fewer side-effects. Researchers in Sweden have now developed magnetic nanoparticles that can be directed to metallic implants such as artificial knee joints, hip joints and stents in the coronary arteries.
Researchers have developed extremely small microneedles that can be used to deliver medically-relevant nanoscale dyes called quantum dots into skin -- an advance that opens the door to new techniques for diagnosing and treating a variety of medical conditions, including skin cancer.