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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: Nanothermometer Takes the Temperature of Cells
31 July 2013 1:45 pm
If your expensive ear thermometer isn't accurate enough to tell whether your baby has fever, try your engagement ring. Researchers have used diamonds just 100 nm in diameter to detect temperature changes as small as 0.044°C inside living cells and similar-sized gold particles to produce those changes. When atomic defects in the diamond lattice, called nitrogen-vacancy color centers, are illuminated by green light, they emit red light with an intensity that depends on temperature. Monitoring this light produces a superaccurate, atomic-scale thermometer. The scientists used silicon nanowires to inject the gold nanoparticle and diamond crystals (shown in this artist’s impression as gray), into a living cell. While the gold nanoparticle was heated with a laser beam, the diamond thermometers monitored the exact temperature changes in different parts of the cell. The researchers, who report their findings in Nature, also determined how much heat was needed to kill the cell. They hope that the findings may allow basic insights into cell biology or even cancer detection, as malignant tissue's faster metabolism raises its temperature.