Posts Tagged ‘chemistry’

Sting bomb detector

Posted on May 10th 2011 in News with Comments Off on Sting bomb detector

An instrument capable of detecting single molecules of explosives such as TNT has been cobbled together using carbon nanotubes and bee venom proteins. The detector draws upon the discovery that carbon nanotubes emit a specific spectrum of infra-red light dependent on the chemical environment. Carbon nanotubes, by themselves, are not able to detect TNT. When coated with a protein derived from bumble bee venom known as bomboliti, however, the nanotubes became sensitive to the TNT molecules. TNT alters the 3D structure of the bomboliti protein, which in turn cause the nanotubes to emit a characteristic fingerprint of infra-red light that…

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