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Nano Roundup

May 5, 2006

Nanotechnology involves building extremely small structures–something nature has been doing for billions of years. Here we learn about scientists who are enlisting viruses to build tiny batteries.


Getting a charge out of viruses. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Researchers at MIT have genetically engineered viruses to collect cobalt and gold, and then assemble themselves into incredibly thin wires, suitable for use in tiny, powerful batteries. Reporting in the journal Science, the team claims the resulting batteries could pack triple the amount of power as would conventional batteries.

In other nanotechnology news. University of Toronto scientists have developed laser paint. It’s a substance that can be smeared onto a surface and, when dry, will generate beams of light. They report in the journal Optics Express that the light created by the paint-on laser is tuned to the precise wavelength needed for use in microprocessors, potentially leading to smaller and faster devices. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.