Monday, March 20, 2006

A new addition to the toolkit for nano researchers: plants

Researchers at the John Innes Plant Science Research Centre used a virus that usually infects black-eyed peas to create new electronically active nanoparticles. The research was published in the journal Small.

Nanobiotechnology will be an interesting area to watch in term of public reactions. Using plants to create nano particles is probably perceived as good science. Anything that even remotely resembles the opposite, i.e., nano being used in connection with food-products or crops, will be a very different issue.

Click here for the full article from

"UK scientists from Norwich have used a plant virus to create nanotechnology building blocks. The virus, which infects black-eyed peas, was employed as a "scaffold" on to which other chemicals were attached. By linking iron-containing compounds to the virus's surface, the John Innes Centre team was able to create electronically active nanoparticles. The researchers tell the journal Small that their work could be used in the future to make tiny electrical devices. The work is yet another example of how scientists are now trying to engineer objects on the scale of atoms and molecules."