Twistoptics—A New Way to Control Optical Nonlinearity

Columbia Engineering researchers report that they developed a new, efficient way to modulate and enhance an important type of nonlinear optical process: optical second harmonic generation—where two input photons are combined in the material to produce one photon with twice the energy—from hexagonal boron nitride through micromechanical rotation and multilayer stacking. Their work is the first to exploit the dynamically tunable symmetry of 2D materials for nonlinear optical applications.

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Scientists Use Lipid Nanoparticles to Precisely Target Gene Editing to the Liver

Scientists developed a highly efficient, targeted method for delivering gene editing machinery to specific tissues and organs, demonstrating the treatment of high cholesterol by targeting genes in the liver of mice, reducing cholesterol for over 3 months (and potentially more) with one treatment

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Researchers watch anti-cancer drug release from DNA nanostructures in real time

A team of researchers from Finland and Germany have found a way to study the endonuclease-driven digestion of drug-loaded DNA nanostructures in real time. As the team investigated the binding of anti-cancer drug doxorubicin (Dox) to the DNA structures in great detail, they discovered that the majority of previous studies have vastly overestimated the Dox loading capacity of DNA origami.

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Biomaterials Could Mean Better Vaccines, Virus-Fighting Surfaces

Advances in the fields of biomaterials and nanotechnology could lead to big breakthroughs in the fight against dangerous viruses like the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. In APL Bioengineering, researchers from the Indian Institute of Science describe possibilities being explored by scientists, combining biomaterials and nanotechnology, to make vaccines more effective and build surfaces that could fight and kill viruses on their own.

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Tiny Tunable Terahertz Lasers Ready to Fly in Space

Researchers have achieved a tiny laser that operates in the terahertz frequencies for potential applications in imaging and scanning applications. Previous terahertz lasers required bulky laboratory equipment to stay cool enough to function. The new devices are the first to simultaneously reach three key performance goals—high power, tight beam, and broad frequency tuning—in a design that can work outside a laboratory and even in space.

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This Anti-COVID Mask Breaks the Mold

To address PPE shortages during the pandemic, scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley are developing a rechargeable, reusable, anti-COVID N95 mask and a 3D-printable silicon-cast mask mold.

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Decorating Semiconductors at the Atomic Scale

Combining two different semiconductors can create new properties. The way these combinations work depends on how the semiconductors are arranged and contact one another. Researchers have developed a new way to grow semiconductor crystals about 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. This new synthesis method independently controls the arrangements and sizes of the crystals.

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