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Showing posts from July, 2011

Freely-Speaking: A Bio-based Technique for Removing Bacteria

This week, DW Radio covered an interesting topic in their science news radio show.

In light of the recent EHEC outbreak in Germany, experts have been trying to trace the source of this deadly outbreak. For those who do not know what EHEC is, it stands for Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli. In other words, these special strains of E. coli are very tough bugs that can cause intestinal bleeding - obviously not desirable and potentially dangerous.

The search for possible sources has lead back to water treatment plants because the majority of water treatment plants treat water according to ecological aspects only, that is to say, they ensure that nutrients and waste in the water do not exceed certain levels. Many German water-treatment plants do not specifically try to reduce the number of bacteria in the water. That part is left to water companies that produce drinking water. The result is that high concentrations of bacteria from water treatment plants could theoretically make it back…

Freely-Speaking: Quick note on bio-based antennaes

With my thesis defense coming up this Monday, I really did not have as much time to share all the interesting things I came across lately. But I did not want to miss the chance to make a quick note to myself and the readers of this site of an interesting paper, titled "DNA-based programming of quantum dot valency, self-assembly and luminescence" just published in Nature Nanotechnology.

Grigory Tikhomirov et al. report

"the self-assembly of quantum dot complexes using cadmium telluride nanocrystals capped with specific sequences of DNA. Quantum dots with between one and five DNA-based binding sites are synthesized and then used as building blocks to create a variety of rationally designed assemblies, including cross-shaped complexes containing three different types of dots...Through changes in pH, the conformation of the complexes can also be reversibly switched, turning on and off the transfer of energy between the constituent quantum dots." In other words, …