He’s hacking nature’s nanotechnology

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P. Alex Greaney is a post-doctoral fellow at the Center of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems, University of California at Berkeley. He’s trying to create nano sensors, similar to some found in nature, to detect tiny amounts of chemicals in the environment.

“Over millions of years of evolution, nature has already figured out many ways of using nanotechnology to its advantage.”

Sensitive, inexpensive, and super-small (one billionth of a meter!), these sensors could one day be scattered over large areas to monitor the spread of pollutants in wind currents or warn against biological pathogens such as anthrax.