Cultocracy note :
More evidence that the very essence of life is being deconstructed & re-engineered . Whilst there is no doubt that any scientific breakthrough can be used for the good of humanity , history tells a different story . This technology will be weaponized & used for war , enslavement & profit . The advances in bioengineering have overtaken the intellect of the current world leadership . Of course the various flavours of this emerging technology will have to be tested , who’s first ?
Nano engineering & synthetic D.N.A. – What could possibly go wrong ?
The most complex crystal designed and built from nanoparticles has been reported by researchers at Northwestern University and confirmed by researchers at the University of Michigan. The work demonstrates that some of nature’s most complicated structures can be deliberately assembled if researchers can control the shapes of the particles and the way they connect.
“This is a tour de force demonstration of what is possible when one harnesses the information content and chemistry of DNA and combines it with nanoparticles that are one size and one shape,” Northwestern’s Chad A. Mirkin said.
Mirkin is director of the research group that discovered such materials and a pioneer of the concept of programmable colloidal crystallization with nucleic acids. He is the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.
Nanotechnology promises to bring materials together in new ways, forging new capabilities by design. In 1996, Mirkin introduced the concept of using nanoparticles as atoms and synthetic DNA—the blue print of life—as a chemically programmable bond to make designer materials based upon the ability of the particles to recognize one another through sequences immobilized on their surfaces.
One potential application for crystals built of nanoparticles, such as these newly reported ones, is the control of light—nanoparticles interact well with light waves because they are similar in size. This could lead to materials that can change colors or patterns on command or block certain wavelengths of light, while transmitting or amplifying others. New types of lenses, lasers and even Star Trek-like cloaking materials are possible.
“We can build these complex building blocks that enable researchers to make materials that you can’t get naturally out of atoms and molecules,” said Sharon Glotzer, the Stuart W. Churchill Collegiate Professor of Chemical Engineering at U-M. She led the U-M portion of the study.
The study, titled “Clathrate Colloidal Crystals,” will be published March 3 in the journal Science. Mirkin and Glotzer are co-corresponding authors of the paper.
In chemistry, clathrates are known for their chambers that can house small molecules. They have been used for capturing pollutants from the environment, for example. The nanoparticle clusters also leave room for cargo, which Mirkin suggests could be useful for storing, delivering and sensing materials for environmental, medical diagnostic and therapeutic applications.