A lot of blood is shed every day. Many lives are being saved when that shed blood is replaced. Donated blood is only good for a few weeks. Also there is the worry about contamination (HIV, Aids, etc.). What the world needs is a way to manufacture and deliver blood as needed.
Our Defense Department's research division (DARPA) wants a a self-contained system that could turn out 100 units of universal blood a week for eight weeks. The system needs to withstand war front conditions and be not much bigger than a refrigerator.
That task and $1.95 million was assigned to Arteriocyte less than two years ago. (see Popular Mechanics, Dec 2008 - Bringing Stem Cells to War: Meet the Blood Pharmers). The technology, called Nanex, uses a nanofiber-based structure that mimics bone marrow in which blood cells multiply, according to the company. (cnet News)
This week an initial shipment of their pharmed blood product was sent to the Food and Drug Administration for an independent evaluation. If approved, their cost of $5000 per unit of manufactured blood will need to be reduced.
Still, given the price tag of transporting and storing donated blood, Darpa’s betting that a unit of pharmed blood will make financial sense once it costs less than $1,000. Wired
Courtesy BBCDorothy Hodgkin had a unique sense of how atoms were structured to form some of the most important molecules of her day. This audio slideshow from the BBC--on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of her birth--highlights how she discovered the structure of Vitamin B12, Penicillin, and Insulin. It's fascinating to see the connection between her childhood drawings of flowers and church mosaics and the complex orientation of the blobs of atoms in these miniscule molecules.
An online seminar, "Understanding Nanotechnology Safety", will be webcast on May 27, 2010, at 1:00 U.S. EDT and is intended for anyone concerned about the potential health hazards of exposure to nanoengineered materials.
The seminar, sponsored by Small Times, will educate workers about the risks they face, and inform employers about what they need to know to ensure worker safety. Participants will learn about: trends in nanotechnology and how it is used in manufacturing; the real risks of nanotechnology; what can happen to the body when exposed to hazardous nanomaterials; how to minimize your risk of exposure; and, government safety regulation.
Presenters include: Mark Bünger Research Director, Lux Research; Walt Trybula, Director of the Nanomaterials Application Center, Texas State University-San Marcos; Dr. Kristen Kulinowski, Department of Chemistry, Rice University; Nina Horne, Invited Expert; and, Dr. Antonietta M. Gatti Ph.D., Experimental Physics University of Bologna, Italy.
Registration information can be viewed online at the link below.
(via Meridian Nanotechnology and Development News)
Even nanoscience can't resist the bling. Scientists are incorporating gold, silver and diamonds into all kinds of nanotechnology.
"The most marketable bling technology might be wrapped into something that you take with you everywhere. It could transform your favourite gadgets, including cellphones and music players - by incorporating them into your clothing. "Rather than carrying your iPod, the whole electronic system could be embedded in your jacket," says Jennifer Lewis, a materials scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign."
Check out this article from New Scientist to learn more.
Look what's happening down at the nanoscale! Affordable hydrogen power just got a step closer.
Courtesy Zina Deretsky, NSF
Most computers and communications rely upon controlling the flow of electrons. Such devices would be faster and more secure if they used particles of light (photons).
A research team led by Marko Loncar just published how a "diamond nanowire device acts as a nanoscale antenna that funnels the emission of single photons from the embedded color center into a microscope lens."
"This exciting result is the first time the tools of nanofabrication have been applied to diamond crystals in order to control the optical properties of a single defect," said Loncar.
Not only is communicating through optical fibers more efficient, there is no easy way for eavesdroppers to "tap the line".
"The resulting device may prove easy to couple into a standard optical fiber. This novel approach is a key technological step towards achieving fast, secure computing and communication." nsf.gov/news
Digging deep into diamonds Harvard Gazette
Courtesy Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University
Lasers, now used in CD and DVD players and to read prices at the checkout counter, were first developed about fifty years ago. They work by resonating light between two reflectors. They cannot be made smaller than half a wavelength of light, though (about 200 nanometers).
Researchers have now figured a way to force a sphere of only 44 nanometers to emit laser light (more than 1 million could fit inside a red blood cell). These nano-lasers are called spasers which stands for "surface plasmon amplification by stimulated emission of radiation".
When light is pumped onto the sphere, the surface coating generates a form of radiation called surface plasmons.
To act like lasers, they require a "feedback system" that causes the surface plasmons to oscillate back and forth so that they gain power and can be emitted as light.Plasmon resonances are capable of squeezing optical frequency oscillations into a nanoscopic cavity to enable a true nanolaser
This new area of technology sometimes called nanophotonics or nanoplasmonics will enable better microscopes, smaller computer memories, faster computer circuits that use light instead of electrons, and many more yet to be imagined applications.
Courtesy HustvedtSoon almost every product you purchase will be coated with liquid glass. It repels bacteria, water and dirt, is highly flexible and breathable, and is easy to clean using only water or a simple wipe with a damp cloth.
Nanopool, who makes "Liquid Glass" says it is available in Germany now, and will be in the UK early in 2010.
Using their secret process, NanoPool extracts silicon dioxide molecules from glass and mixes them with water or ethanol. When sprayed on various materials, a 100 nanometer coating offers protection against bacteria, graffiti, stains and is food safe and environmentally friendly.
Spray-on liquid glass is about to revolutionize almost everything PhysOrg.com