Monthly Archives: January 2016

Inspiring with Nano – Education & Outreach

As highlighted in the White House blog today, the National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with NBC Learn, has launched Nanotechnology: Super Small Science, a series of videos for middle and high school students.  This video series features six areas where nanotechnology has a significant impact, including advanced electronics, renewable energy, and human health. The content, which was developed for classroom use, will reach a potential audience of 9 million students across the country. Highlights will also be shared with the more than 200 NBC affiliate stations for use in news segments. The videos are also available through NSF’s Science360 website and

NBC Learn Nanotechnology title slide with lettering and logosOver the past 15 years, the Federal Government has invested over $22 billion in R&D under the auspices of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) to understand and control matter at the nanoscale and develop applications that benefit society. As these nanotechnology-enabled applications become a part of everyday life, it is important for students to have a basic understanding of material behavior at the nanoscale, and some states have even incorporated nanotechnology concepts into their K-12 science standards. Furthermore, application of the novel properties that exist at the nanoscale, from gecko-inspired climbing gloves and invisibility cloaks, to water-repellent coatings on clothes or cellphones, can spark students’ excitement about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The “Generation Nano: Small Science, Superheroes” contest, hosted by NSF and the NNI, aims to do just that by asking high school students to design nanotechnology-enabled gear for an original superhero. Submissions (due February 2, 2016) include a brief technical description of the gear and either a video or comic showing their superhero using that gear. Three semi-finalists will win a trip to the 2016 USA Science & Engineering Festival on April 16-17, 2016, in Washington, D.C., where they will present their entries and compete for cash prizes.

Nanotechnology: Super Small Science videos and the Generation Nano contest are just two examples of how the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) is promoting nanoscale science and engineering education across the country. Other activities include expanding teacher resources on and working with nanoHUB to develop a searchable database for nanoeducation; collaborating with a local school district to develop educational videos that were distributed nationwide (Innovation Workshop: Nanotechnology); providing guidance to students making animations about nanotechnology featured on Science Matters, Community Idea Stations; coordinating a growing, national Nano & Emerging Technologies Student Network; and providing outreach via presentations, workshops, participation in trade shows, and the administration of contests, including EnvisioNano and Tiny Science. Big Impacts. Cool Videos on behalf of the NNI agencies.

Activities like the ones described above are critical to our future, as a highly skilled and motivated workforce with increasing knowledge of STEM will be required to ensure America’s global competitiveness.

We at the NNCO look forward to working with colleagues from across the educational spectrum to promote STEM education and awareness of nanotechnology. If you’d like more information about any of these activities or to share opportunities to advance nanoeducation, contact us at

Lisa E. Friedersdorf
Deputy Director, National Nanotechnology Coordination Office

Media contact:
Marlowe Newman, NNCO Communications Director

upcoming personal medicine virtual event


 Latest advances in personalized medicine direct to researchers

 SELECTBIO’S latest virtual event to offer free access to latest research

Sudbury, UK, 13 January 2016SELECTBIO, a leading organiser of scientific conferences, is delighted to announce that registration for their first personalised medicine virtual event is now open.

Available to watch from 1 February 2016, Personalized Medicine and its Impact in the Clinic is a free to attend online event that features presentations from leading academic and industry professionals. Using a custom designed platform, researchers around the world have the opportunity to hear the latest research from this rapidly evolving field.

Presentations at this virtual event include:

  • Developing Personalized Medicine in Oncology
    Christof von Kalle, Head of Translational Oncology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
  • Liquid Biopsy: Detection and molecular characterization of circulating tumor cells and DNA

Klaus Pantel, Director, Institute for Tumor Biology, University of Hamburg

  • Oncology and beyond : PHC approaches and the benefit to patients / healthcare

Jean-Jacques Palombo, Senior Vice President, Roche

  • Early Engagement with Health Technology Assessment: Its Role in Evidence Generation

Ailish Higgins, Analyst, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

Commenting on the event, Sara Spencer, Conference Director, said “At SELECTBIO we understand that the pressures placed on today’s researchers can often make it difficult for them to attend conferences. We believe that through providing on demand access to the latest research, SELECTBIO is offering a convenient, modern service to the scientific community.”
The virtual event Personalized Medicine and its Impact in the Clinic is available to watch from 1st February. Registration to this event is now open.

Australian scientists leading Bio-Nano research

In the latest 007 film, Spectre, James Bond is injected with “smart blood”, a miniature device that tracks his location and monitors his vital signs. As the British Secret Service’s head of R&D, Q, explains patiently to his spy, “it’s nanotechnology” — and Australia is, in many ways, leading the world in it.

Nanotechnology refers to technologies and devices that are as small as a molecule, the width of a hair, and it has been a staple of science fiction plots for decades. Think Fantastic Voyage with its tiny spaceship and cargo of humans whizzing around the human blood system.

However, unlike many of the fantastical devices and technologies in the Bond films, the idea that a tiny device can be injected into the human body to scan and deliver information is real, and it is being developed by a unique collaboration of scientists across Australia.

This year the ARC Centre for Bio-Nano Science was created to bring together our world-class nano-scientists into one organisation. Although based in Melbourne the Bio-Nano Centre has researchers across five universities nationally — experts in everything from chemistry to engineering, drug design to cancer biology. Rest (paywall)

Molecular information transfer from DNA nanostructures to gold nanoparticles

ABSTRACT: DNA nanotechnology offers unparalleled precision and programmability for the bottom-up organization of materials. This approach relies on pre-assembling a DNA scaffold, typically containing hundreds of different strands, and using it to position functional components. A particularly attractive strategy is to employ DNA nanostructures not as permanent scaffolds, but as transient, reusable templates to transfer essential information to other materials. To our knowledge, this approach, akin to top-down lithography, has not been examined. Here we report a molecular printing strategy that chemically transfers a discrete pattern of DNA strands from a three-dimensional DNA structure to a gold nanoparticle. We show that the particles inherit the DNA sequence configuration encoded in the parent template with high fidelity. This provides control over the number of DNA strands and their relative placement, directionality and sequence asymmetry. Importantly, the nanoparticles produced exhibit the site-specific addressability of DNA nanostructures, and are promising components for energy, information and biomedical applications.