Technology

Twinkle Twinkle

Silver nanoparticles with a special coating to enable visualization float in a sample of water like so many stars in the night sky. The safety of these particles in a natural system is being tested in experimental chambers operated in the Duke Forest by the Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEINT), which recently won a $15 million renewal grant from the National Science Foundation. Slight variations in diameter cause the particles to reflect a hyperspectral light source in different colors.

Night Lights

Assistant professor of biochemistry Michael Boyce and his colleagues have developed a new method for detecting one relatively short-lived but crucial cell signaling event: the attachment of a particular sugar, called GlcNAc, onto proteins inside the cell. Two protein samples are labeled through their GlcNAc sugars with green and red fluorescent dyes, and then separated on a gel.

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