Nanotechnology offers a potential wellspring of
benefits, from palm-sized supercomputers to synthesized antibodies to
molecular-scale robots. These devices would be constructed from the ground
up using building blocks that are billionths of a meter in size.
Now, scientists have taken a major step toward realizing this hope,
concocting a relatively simple recipe for making
nanocrystals that allows for the all-important control of crystal size
A third of the carbon currently emitted by human activity --
roughly two billion metric tons each year -- is absorbed in the oceans,
but the process is not well understood. To better understand the
ocean's carbon cycle, the
nation's first robotic carbon observers -- designed to descend to
kilometer depths and collect information on the role of plankton and other
living things -- have been launched in the northern Pacific Ocean.
The global market for disposable diapers is $20 billion
annually, but manufacturers face a challenge. To keep the baby dry,
the diaper must be able to take up a large quantity of liquid and then,
"hold it under load" as the baby moves around. Recently,
the people who manufacture the superabsorbent polymers used in disposable
baby diapers came to the Lab's Advanced Light Source in search of
knowledge on how to make a better baby diaper.