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'Cooking' Carbon Nanotubes Like Spaghetti 57

Roland Piquepaille writes "Scientists from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a technique to force a variety of enzymes to self-assemble layer-by-layer on carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with the help of noodle-like polymer molecules. In 'A biosensor layered like lasagna,' the researchers say that this technique can be applied to a wide range of applications. In particular, it will be possible to build other biosensors "that react specifically with other biological chemicals, environmental agents or even microbes." Read more for additional details and the most spectacular scientific image of the month."
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'Cooking' Carbon Nanotubes Like Spaghetti

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  • by crazyjeremy ( 857410 ) * on Sunday April 30, 2006 @09:41PM (#15234448) Homepage Journal
    Simply put, this MIGHT be big news. Theoretically you could join two carbon nanotubes with different electrical properties to form a diode. This might help Moores law [] for computers keep on track. From the wikipedia link
    Companies are working on using nanotechnology to solve the complex engineering problems involved in producing chips at the 45 nm, 30 nm, and even smaller levels a process that will postpone the industry meeting the limits of Moore's Law.

    Being able to produce Nanotubes in bulk as the article suggests could ultimately let scientists build processors dozens (if not hundreds) of times faster than what we have today.

    • This particular method has more to do with processing bulk quantities of nanotubes, rather than producing them. The closest connection to advanced electronics applications of NTs, is that selectively coating NTs with polymers and/or biomolecules is considered a promising route for purification and separation [] between conducting and semiconducting ones (the former are good as connectors, but the latter are needed for diodes and transistors). Selective attachment of a few biomolecules can also be useful for ma

    • by erbmjw ( 903229 ) on Sunday April 30, 2006 @11:21PM (#15234749)
      The article does not suggest that they are building carbon nanotubes in bulk.

      Rather it mentions that this specific team of PNNL scientists are utlizing electrostatic attraction and completely manufactured carbon nanotubes to rapidly construct extremely small, very precise sensors.
      The technique, described in the April Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, enables enzymes, with the help of a long, noodle-like polymer molecule, to self-assemble layer-by-layer on a single carbon nanotube.
  • Disease (Score:4, Interesting)

    by buswolley ( 591500 ) on Sunday April 30, 2006 @09:45PM (#15234464) Journal
    The important thing might be its ability to detect biological weapons and wild airbourne diseases.

    As our ability to create deadly diseases increases, it is vitally important that our defenses against them increase also.

  • by Statecraftsman ( 718862 ) * on Sunday April 30, 2006 @09:48PM (#15234472) Homepage
    of a lint collector. It seems like we're always hearing about technologies that will make better biological sensors. You'd think by now we could pee in a cup to know if we had trace amounts of cancer already. I'm hoping and praying that the next article I read like this says "Nanotube Cancer Bio-sensor Debuts on Amazon" but I'm not holding my breath.
    • That non-invasive cancer detector exists now. It's a highly sensitive chemosensor optimized for organic molecules. Successful clinical trials have been happening in the last few years.

      The sensors are commonly called "dogs".

      Matching the sensitivity of a dog's nose is still around the limits of human skill.
  • ...they have a technique to make a single walled carbon nanotube of arbitrary length. I mean, I'm sure this is important, but I just want to hear that headline!
  • by Winlin ( 42941 ) on Sunday April 30, 2006 @09:55PM (#15234494)
    It's like a testament to FSMism. These scientists are probably true believers.
  • How many can you fettuccine into a slashdot post?
  • Hungry? (Score:3, Funny)

    by triso ( 67491 ) on Sunday April 30, 2006 @10:10PM (#15234542) Homepage
    Why all the references to food? 'Cooking' Carbon Nanotubes Like Spaghetti. ...with the help of noodle-like polymer molecules. A biosensor layered like lasagna... I am hungry now.
  • ...and the stage is set for the mafia nerds to make a comeback.
  • by Danny Rathjens ( 8471 ) <<gro.snejhtar> <ta> <2todhsals>> on Monday May 01, 2006 @12:02AM (#15234858)
    Is there anything that can be done to divest ourselves of these parasites? This "blog" is simply extracts of text taken from other places, images taken from other places, a referral link charging $110 ! dollars for the abstract of the paper, and then advertisements at the bottom of the blog telling you "how to make money with a blog"!

    Are we really, as a community, this simple-minded to be taken in by pyramid schemes like this?(pyramid in that; look, I am making money with a blog, give me money to tell you how to make money with a blog)

    Please, please, please, pay attention people. We have to be vigilant and not give these scammers even more views/clicks/dollars.

    And isn't this Roland guy the same one that has blatantly defrauded us in the past with similar linkfarm/scam advertisement stories? What is going on here? We need to stand up and take notice of the leeches on our backs and make use of the salt!

    • Are we really, as a community, this simple-minded to be taken in by pyramid schemes like this?

      It's not the "community" that selects the stories. It's the editorial staff. They don't care that Roland is a parasite. When they deign to notice comments like this on Roland's stories stuffed with his links to his own "blog", they tend to mod them to invisibility.

      • I was more referring to the open source community than the /. community. I have noticed more and more scams like this in various places, such as phony HOWTOs in the linux documentation project, the "explorer destroyer" project a few articles back promoting unsavory behaviour in the pursuit of google's adsense money under the guise of promoting firefox, random websites proclaiming to be a resource for linux or other open source projects, but in reality just link farms pushing products or services or unneces
    • I thought this is what most bloggers do: provide links, some copy-pastes.

      As for $110 per article - this is common practice of publishers of scientific journals (I have never seen the prices THAT high though, probably depends on the distribution - the wider distribution journals like Nature charge you appr. 3 times less).
      • I thought this is what most bloggers do: provide links, some copy-pastes.

        So why bother with a blog that is just a rehash of an original article when you can link to the original article? Slashdot submitters and editors already supposedly make extracts and links.

    • Well, making comments like the above doesn't seem to get through to the editors. But we might make a small impact via the tag feature. Quite a lot of Roland's stories are already tagged "Piquepaille" &/or "Roland". I propose something a little more judgemental: "fuckroland". As I understand it, if enough people tag a story with a particular word it shows up on the home page.
    • I have not been a regular Slashdot reader for very long, but I already have heard about this guy, so I am not going to defend his specific marketing practices. It also seems that the bad publicity his previous posts have generated is taking a toll in a very effective way, which is bound to be noticed by the editors, namely the lowest number of comments I have seen so far for a science story.

      The 110$ charge for an abstract is not surprising given that JNN is a second-tier journal (impact factor 2) published

  • Sorry, but linking a blog with a label like "most spectacular image of the month" actually had me get my hopes up for a moment. Two notes about this image:

    a.) The 'image' is actually a blog. And not just any blog... we've heard from this guy before, but we don't seem to learn.

    b.) What? I think we need to look up spectacular again. "Sensational or thrilling" this is not...

    I'll help you cut to the chase - the full image is available at [], as is mentioned on said blog. E
  • All of a sudden I feel like ordering Italian, not sure why.
  • Now I'm hungry...
  • *sigh*

    I had hope for a short time that they managed to produce nanotubes out of polymer via enzymes. This would have been a significant step towards...



    Imagine you could spin nanotubes that are thousands of kilometers long...
    Imagine weaving those teratubes into cables...
    Imagine lowering these cables from orbit and running escalators up and down...
    Imagine using the cables to send down electric power from orbit...
    Imagine the impact on our future society...

    But of course this is off-topic

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes