Testing TVs and tablets for ‘green’ screens

To improve viewing pleasure, companies have developed television—and tablet screens—that include quantum dots to enhance brightness and color. Some quantum dots are made with potentially harmful metals, which could leach into the environment when the device is discarded. But other TVs made with less hazardous nanomaterials require more energy to make. Today, researchers report preliminary results suggesting that under simulated landfill conditions, quantum dots can leach out of devices. But because this happens in such tiny amounts, the team says that in the grand scheme of things, it might make sense to use the more toxic quantum dots that are made with a more eco-friendly process.

Amplifying fluorescent signals in molecular sensing with DNA walkers

Synthetic nanomotors and DNA walkers, which mimic a cell’s transportation system, are intricately designed systems that draw chemical energy from the environment and convert it into mechanical motion. Using such DNA walkers as signal amplifier for nucleic acids detection has only recently been reported. Researchers now report that they converted a DNA walker into a linear fluorescence signal amplifier on a rectangle DNA origami that can improve the detection of target molecules such as nucleic acids.