The new nanobeam at the IBC will be able to provide data about the radiation sensitivity of tumours. Some tumours are known to be normally radiation resistant, but display hyper-sensitivity to very low doses. This means that a very small dose of radiation can have a much larger than expected effect in terms of destroying the tumour. To help clinicians test these theories, data from the IBC will be used to the construct virtual tumours. These virtual tumours can then be used to test the efficacy of different treatment strategies.
The Ion Beam Centre already houses one of the World’s largest and most advanced facilities. In the new nanobeam, the ions will be shot into the target at about one tenth the speed of light (70,000,000 mph). In addition to helping understand the way in which radiation affects living cells, these ions can also be used to map the elemental structure of the sample in three dimensions. This is done by analysing the radiation they give off as they pass through the sample and the way in which some of them bounce back while others pass through. By carrying out all these types of analyses simultaneously a three dimensional elemental picture of the sample is constructed. Until now the IBC has been unable to analyse liquids. This is because of gravity which means that liquid samples have to be held perfectly horizontal while the analysis takes place. With a vertical beam it is therefore possible to directly analyse liquids. As human cells and indeed the entire human body is ~70% water, this means that the IBC will be able to analyse cells and see, for instance, the interaction between chemotherapeutic drugs and radiation.
Research on non liquid samples using the IBC’s horizontal beam lines has already answered questions such as: what is the composition of paints in 16th century paintings? What is in the particulate matter that comes out of volcanoes? What are the metal atoms in proteins and how many are there? How do parasitic wasps lay their eggs? And what makes 1920’s German bank notes toxic?
The new vertical nanobeam will also have many other applications including chemistry at the atomic scale, the creation of novel materials and nanostructures and other, as yet unknown procedures.
Stuart Miller | alfa
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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