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TMCNet:  'NanoDays' coming to museum

[March 14, 2009]

'NanoDays' coming to museum

(Herald-Sun, The (Durham, NC) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Mar. 14--DURHAM -- The Museum of Life and Science presents NanoDaysTM 2009 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. March 28 as part of an annual nationwide festival of educational programs about nanoscale science and engineering and its potential impact on the future.

NanoDays events take place March 28-April 5 at more than 200 science museums, research centers and universities across the U.S.

The Museum of Life and Science is at 433 Murray Ave.

NanoDays activities will bring together university researchers and science museum educators to create new learning experiences for children and adults to explore the miniscule world of atoms, molecules and nanoscale forces. Most NanoDays sites will combine simple hands-on activities for young people with presentations on current research for adults. In one popular activity, visitors together build a giant balloon model of a carbon nanotube. Real carbon nanotubes, which are 1/50,000th of the width of a human hair, have a unique cylindrical structure, extraordinary strength, and unusual electrical properties making them useful in electronics and materials science.

NanoDays activities demonstrate other unexpected properties of materials at the nanoscale -- and that won't get wet even under water, water that won't spill from a teacup, and colors that depend upon particle size. Many sites will host public programs discussing benefits and risks of nanotechnology applications, while several universities will host public tours of their laboratories.

Duke University professor David Hinton will display an aquarium of Medaka fish and visuals from his work with fish and nanoparticles.

Duke professor Emily Bernhardt will add nanosilver from 15 commercial products purchased from to plated bacteria and look at their colony clearing rates.

Museum staff and volunteers will display the museum's nanoManipulator and an interactive computer-based simulation to explore "and feel" the unique nanoscale properties exhibited only at the nanoscale.

Also scheduled: --The Lab -- 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. -- Museum lab facilitator will demonstrate hands-on activities that allow visitors the opportunity to explore the tools, forces, properties, materials and structures of the nanoworld.

--Nano Ice Cream -- noon-12:30 p.m. -- Join us for a tasting of nano ice cream and find out how liquid nitrogen cools the ice cream at such a rapid rate that it precipitates super fine grained (nano) ice cream.

--Lunch and Learn -- 12:30-1:15 p.m. -- Mark Wiesner from the Center for the Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology at Duke University to learn about his research on the behavior of nanoscale materials in ecosystems and current and future environmental implications of nanomaterials.

--The Lab -- 1:30-3:30 p.m. -- Museum lab facilitator will demonstrate activities that explore the tools, forces, properties, materials and structures of the nanoworld.

For updated Museum NanoDays events go to Also on March 28, UNC Chapel Hill's Institute for Advanced Materials and the Department of Physics and Astronomy will host an open house at Chapman Hall on its campus from 2-4 p.m. Activities will include hands-on demonstrations related to nanoscience and tours of the nanoscience labs.

The UNC event is free and open to all ages. For information, visit To see more of The Herald-Sun, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to

Copyright (c) 2009, The Herald-Sun, Durham, N.C.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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