DailyDirt: Observing Really Small Biological Events
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
It’s not easy to study living things. Biological cells are made up of an insanely complex mixture of chemicals that somehow self-organize and react to produce stuff like sugars, proteins… and thoughts. Any help to visualize these biological processes is much appreciated, even if there’s no Nobel prize for biology. Here are just a few more cool ways to measure what’s going on in our bodies at the cellular level.
- The use of silicon nanocrystals that glow (as quantum dots) could be useful for medical imaging. These nanocrystals can absorb and emit light in the near-IR, and these particles have caused no ill effects in monkeys 3 months after being injected with relatively large doses. [url]
- To measure the temperature of a single cell, nanodiamonds could serve as tiny thermometers. These diamond-based thermometers are also pretty sensitive, able to detect fluctuations of 0.05 Celsius inside a cell (and as low as 0.0018 Celsius in less noisy environments). [url]
- Photoluminescent nanoparticles have been shown to glow — even through more than 3 centimeters of skin — and produce high-contrast images of biological tissue. To minimize biological incompatibility, these nanocrystals have an outer shell made of calcium fluoride (a material found in bones and teeth). [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.
Filed Under: biology, biotech, calcium fluoride, gfp, medical imaging, nanocrystal, nanoparticles, nanotech, photoluminescent, quantum dot, sensors, thermometer
Comments on “DailyDirt: Observing Really Small Biological Events”
Three months is not really that long?
I hope they don’t approve nanoparticles to be injected into people based on a few monkeys living for 3 months — are these nanoparticles trapped in the body for that long or longer?