Bear Cub grants awarded

Washington University in St. Louis has awarded five Bear Cub fund grants totaling $190,000 to support innovative research that has shown commercial potential. Jerry Morrissey (right), PhD, received one of the grants to develop rapid tests for the early development of kidney cancer.

Tiny ring laser accurately detects and counts nanoparticles

A ring-shaped laser no bigger than a pinprick can accurately detect and count individual viruses, the particles that jumpstart cloud formation or those that contaminate the air we breathe. A particle disturbs the light circulating in the ring, splitting the lasing frequency. This split is a measure of the particle’s size.

New technology promises better catalytic converter

A novel design for a catalytic converter disperses nanoparticles of the catalytic noble metal platinum on nanowires and then sheaths the wires is a layer of silica pierced with holes. The silica prevents the platinum catalyst from aggregating, while the pores allow gases to reach the platinum catalyst. The design might one day reduce the amount of platinum needed to  detoxify exhaust gases.