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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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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.