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The First Ever Optical Rectenna Turns Light Directly Into DC Current

This fancy-looking slab is the world’s first optical rectenna, a small device that’s part antenna, part rectifier diode — and it’s able to convert light directly into DC current.

Robotic Microfish Can Sense And Remove Toxins From Their Environment

In the not-too-distant future, tiny robotic fish could be cruising around inside our our bodies, delivering drugs and cleaning up toxins. This week, engineers at the University of San Diego unveiled the first prototype: a chemically powered, magnetically controlled swimmer.

Scientists Can Now Make Nanoparticle Sheets That Curl Right Up

This isn’t a dirty, peeling sticker but a scientific first. Researchers have been able to make complex 2D and 3D structures using nanoparticles for years — but they have never before been able to curve or fold a flat sheet of them like this.

New DNA Origami Method Creates Amazingly Complex Molecular Structures

DNA isn’t just a building block of life — it can be a building block for other nano-size structures too. These wonderfully intricate shapes are made by twisting and folding DNA into complex shapes using a newly developed technique, like a kind of advanced molecular DNA.

Scientists Just Invented The Neural Lace

In the Culture novels by Iain M. Banks, futuristic post-humans install devices on their brains called a “neural lace”. A mesh that grows with your brain, it’s essentially a wireless brain-computer interface. But it’s also a way to program your neurons to release certain chemicals with a thought. And now, there’s a neural lace prototype in real life.

Magnetic Particles That Can Control Electrical Signals In Your Brain 

It sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, but now we have a substance that could one day allow doctors to activate different parts of your brain using nanoparticles and magnetic fields. It’s even possible that this area of research could one day make our brains programmable.

What Will The Future Of Molecular Manufacturing Really Be Like?

Molecular machines are nano-scale assemblers that construct themselves and their surroundings into ever more complex structures. Sometimes dubbed “nanotech” in the media, these devices are promising — but also widely misunderstood. Here’s what separates the science fact from science fiction.

Graphene Foam Sure Looks Stunning Up Close

This isn’t some tortured starfish or CGIed brain synapse. You’re looking at an extreme close-up of graphene foam, captured using an electron microscope.

Scallop-Like Nanobots Could Someday Swim Through Your Blood And Eyeballs

File under disgusting/interesting: Scientists have designed a new type of nanobot that could swim through your bodily fluids by mimicking the motion of scallops in the ocean.

Change Your Hair Colour By Etching Nano-Patterns Into Each Strand

In a weirdly serious bit of hair research, engineers have figured out how to change hair colour without an ounce of hair dye. The only catch? You need a focused ion beam. Colour is in the eye of the beholder after all. When microscope spirals and hyperbola are etched into strands of hair with a focused ion beam, those tiny ridges work together to diffract light. Certain wavelengths are cancelled out, others amplified and you get a whole new colour. No hair dye needed.

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