Detecting Nanoscale Vibrations As Signature Of Life

Condensed Matter journal club

Detecting Nanoscale Vibrations As Signature Of Life

  • Event time: 11:30am
  • Event date: 6th November 2015
  • Speaker: Hanna Landenmark (Formerly School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details


The existence of life in extreme conditions, in particular in extraterrestrial environments, is certainly one of the most intriguing scientific questions of our time. In this report, we demonstrate the use of an innovative nanoscale motion sensor in life-searching experiments in Earth-bound and interplanetary missions. This technique exploits the sensitivity of nanomechanical oscillators to transduce the small fluctuations that characterize living systems. The intensity of such movements is an indication of the viability of living specimens and conveys information related to their metabolic activity. Here, we show that the nanomotion detector can assess the viability of a vast range of biological specimens and that it could be the perfect complement to conventional chemical life-detection assays. Indeed, by combining chemical and dynamical measurements, we could achieve an unprecedented depth in the characterization of life in extreme and extraterrestrial environments.
PNAS 112 pages 378-381 (2015)
pdf version


Sandor Kasas, Francesco Simone Ruggeri, Carine Benadiba, Caroline Maillard, Petar Stupar, Hélène Tournu, Giovanni Dietler, Giovanni Longo

About Condensed Matter journal club

Given the diversity of research in the CM group, chosen topics vary widely. We tend to stick to high-impact journals - Nature, Science, PNAS and PRL have been popular - but this is not prescriptive..

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