Our Southern California biotech correspondent writes about turncoat nanograss (NYT, free registration required), and its implications:
I think this technology will have enormous applications for flow-through devices, and therefore on the entire future of biotech and drug discovery.
These are implications that are not covered in the NYT article. NYT says that possible future applications of this
nails, each about one three-hundredth the width of a human hair and about one four-thousandth of an inch tall, were coated with a polymer that repels water.
are in the fields of energy conservation and generation and computer technology. Or in their own words
Potential applications include tiny batteries that use the nails to hold apart the chemicals until precisely when electricity is needed. The surface could also help to cool future computer chips, where droplets sink in just in the spots that are hot. Installing a surface of the tiny nails on the exterior of boats or a torpedoes could allow them to slice through water more easily. It could also be used for filters and switches for optical networks by moving droplets in and out, turning a surface from clear to opaque.
I am hoping to get some more elaboration on how this effects biotech and drug discovery later. Of course, it is also nice to know my alma-mater participated in this research.