Ask a Nobel Laureate: Harry Kroto

So Nobelprize.org is running some online media activities through Youtube and Facebook where you get to ask Nobel Laureates questions and they will answer them. Pretty cool, right? The last round of questions went to David Gross, Nobel Prize in Physics, 2004, and you can find more from previous rounds at the Youtube page.

This round features Harry Kroto, one of the chemists who originally discovered the strange but fascinating Buckyball structure of carbon (C60, aka fullerene). Buckyballs have enjoyed much trendiness in the field of chemistry, because they have some weird properties that make them do interesting things with electrons and and interact with other molecules and surfaces in some unique ways. Apparently, they have also been found in space??!! I do not claim to be a C60 Buckyball expert, or even know much about them at all other than that in the early 2000's, if you wrote a grant with the terms "Buckyball" and "HIV" somewhere in the title or abstract, you were pretty much guaranteed to get funded. They were so hot right now. However, these nifty little hollow sphere-like molecules have turned out to be quite interesting and popular, evidenced by the thousands of papers in the literature exploring their physical, chemical and biological properties.

For the "Ask a Nobel Laureate" feature, you submit your questions either by uploading a video to Youtube or in text form--and although a video would be pretty fun to do, given my pseudonymity and lack of time for overly creative pursuits, I'm going to submit mine via blog post cartoon. My question is.... (drumroll..............):

Given the relative molecular scales, if the Nanokids held a World Cup tournament, would they be able to use Buckyballs to play? Or would it end up more like Big Ball Soccer?

Go to the Nobelprize.org Google Moderator or Youtube site and vote for your favorite question!! (mine, of course!)

4 responses so far

  • Dr. O says:

    Absolutely LOVE the carbon stick fingers (and space-filling models in the link)...what a fantastic idea these Nanokids are! :)

  • Rupinder Makkar says:

    Hai , i m doing research in nanoparticles , i wana do pusue it in bio-technology . wat shuld i do ? kindly rply me

  • chemicalbilology says:

    Hi Rupinder,

    It depends on what stage you're at in your career: if you're an undergraduate, try to find a graduate school department where faculty do that kind of research. Same if you're a grad student now, look at moving to a lab that does bionanotechnology for a postdoctoral experience. If you're already a PI or independent researcher, then I recommend finding a good biological collaborator who can work with you to make sure you pursue relevant biological questions with your nanoparticle technologies. Hope that helps some! Without knowing more about what kind of nanoparticles you work on and what biotechnology directions you are interested in, it's hard to be any more specific.

  • [...] Well I HAD to take minute to blog this!! Sir Harry Kroto answered my question! [...]

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