A future of nanobots in 180 seconds

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A future of nanobots in 180 seconds


  Last updated February 7, 2019 at 10:33 am


Check out Jonathan Berengut’s rapid-fire exploration of how we can control matter at the nanoscale, which wowed judges of a global Three Minute Thesis contest.

Jonathan, a PhD student at the University of New South Wales, won the global Universitas 21 3MT® (Three Minute Thesis) 2018 competition with a presentation of his PhD thesis ‘Bio-Nano Robo-Mofos’. His work includes a technique called ‘DNA origami’ to construct billions of nanoscale robots – each one thousands of times smaller than the thickness of a single hair – to accomplish complex molecular tasks.

“Although DNA origami nanobots like the ones I build have been used for many things such as cancer drug delivery, nanoelectronics and biosensing, I see what I do as fundamental research. It adds to our understanding of how we can control matter at the nanoscale,” Mr Berengut explained. “And that’s the kind of thing that will lead to new materials and medicines.”

The Universitas 21 3MT competition brings together the very best doctoral students from around the world to present their thesis in a three-minute video. At the UNSW 3MT event in September, Mr Berengut won the trifecta: first prize, the People’s Choice award and the ASPIRE prize. He said going on to win the global prize was an extra honour.

“I’m stoked to have won the U21 3MT final. I saw the other U21 3MT videos, and to be put in the same category as them is pretty amazing, let alone to win it,” he said.

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