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24 April 2014 11:45 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
The National Institutes of Health is revising its "two strikes" rule, which allowed researchers only one chance to...
By stabilizing the components of retromers, molecular complexes that act like recycling bins in cells, a recently...
Fossil fuels power modern society by generating heat, but much of that heat is wasted. Semiconductor devices called...
Researchers are gaining insights into what made Supertyphoon Haiyan so powerful and devastating through post-storm...
Millions around the world got a first-hand look at what it was like to be in Tacloban while it was pummeled by...
Major climate data sets have underestimated the rate of global warming in the last 15 years owing largely to poor data...
The tsetse fly is best known as the vector for the trypanosome parasites that cause sleeping sickness and a disease in...
- 24 April 2014 11:45 am , Vol. 344 , #6182
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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.