Taking a lesson from the way human skin can wrinkle, assistant professor Xuanhe Zhao of mechanical engineering and materials science has developed a nanofilm that is spread on a pre-stretched surface and then allowed to relax, creating a microscopic landscape with a precise pattern of high peaks and low valleys. The method produces large-area surface patterns faster, cheaper and with more precision than existing approaches.
Cells of human heart muscle grown by the Duke-NUS Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders Programme in Singapore mark a milestone in the possible use of human embryonic stem cells for regenerative medicine. Pluripotent human embryonic stem cells were grown on a matrix of human proteins called laminin that surround the cells in the embryo.
There's a graveyard behind Duke University's free electron laser lab where physics experiments go to die.
Scraps of metal and cinderblocks litter the ground, which is overgrown by vines and patrolled by the occasional feral cat. Half a dozen stacked shipping containers line the space, filled with accelerator and detector equipment whose time has passed or was never realized.
But it's not all junk. A team of physicists is resurrecting something precious out there: several tons of surplus battleship steel.
Copper nanowires have shown promise for use in touch screens, organic LED lights and solar cells -- and the lab of chemistry professor Benjamin Wiley grows them from scratch. When added to a growth solution, these "seeds," octahedra made of copper oxide nanoparticles (one micrometer wide), sprout nanowires in mere minutes.
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.
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.