Stories tagged nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is the ability to create and manipulate atoms and molecules on the smallest of scales. Will this emerging science revolutionize the world we live in?

Deathstalker scorpion venom, combined with nanoscale particles of iron oxide, can slow the spread of BRAIN CANCER.

What is there not to love in that sentence? You've got scorpion venom, nano stuff, brain cancer...heck, I was hooked at the word Deathstalker.

Just so you know - the formal science way of saying the same thing is “Chlorotoxin Labeled Magnetic Nanovectors for Targeted Gene Delivery to Glioma”. You can find the article here.

Deathstalker Scorpion
Deathstalker ScorpionCourtesy Ester Inbar

Aug
06
2010

The air around us is not as clean as it could be. Scientists are looking for ways to remove toxins, like nitrogen oxide, from the air we breathe. One of the main sources of nitrogen oxide is automobile traffic. A solution to this problem might be found under our very wheels.
Pavers: Pavers, like these, coated with nanoscale particles of Ti02 can help clean the air.
Pavers: Pavers, like these, coated with nanoscale particles of Ti02 can help clean the air.Courtesy Pacificpavingstone

How does it work? Concrete pavers are coated with nanoscale particles of titanium dioxide (TiO2). Kicked off with the energy from sunlight, TiO2 converts nasties, like nitrogen oxides, into much less harmful nitrates via a chemical reaction. Nanoscale particles have lots of surface area where a chemical reaction can occur. Also good? It seems that this coating remains stable. Tests conducted almost two years later show no change.

My favorite part of this article...they did not stop there. They asked "What about the nitrates we are introducing into the system? Where's that going?" Rain sweeps the nitrates off the road, into ditches and on to waste water treatment facilities.

Jul
29
2010

Not this kind of Heavy Metal: This kind of Heavy Metal is not Poison. Poison is an American Glam Metal band led by Bret Michaels.
Not this kind of Heavy Metal: This kind of Heavy Metal is not Poison. Poison is an American Glam Metal band led by Bret Michaels.Courtesy timparkinson

I haven't been feeling well lately, so I checked out heavy metal poisoning. Like you wouldn't do the same.

THIS kind of Heavy Metal: This is the kind of Heavy Metal I'm talking about. The kind that people wear hazmat suits to approach. This stuff is TOXIC. (Which is also a good band name...probably would be a heavy metal band...Wait, stop trying to confuse me!)
THIS kind of Heavy Metal: This is the kind of Heavy Metal I'm talking about. The kind that people wear hazmat suits to approach. This stuff is TOXIC. (Which is also a good band name...probably would be a heavy metal band...Wait, stop trying to confuse me!)Courtesy US Army Corps of Engineers

Turns out I've got the symptoms; headache and a bunch of other vague stuff.

But never fear...Science (and Nanotechnology) is here!

Researchers in Switzerland have figured out a way to use tiny nano-size magnets to attract and remove undesirable substances from blood, like heavy metals and overdosed steroids. Best part is that the process takes only minutes.

Nanomagnets remove toxins from blood: This photo should help.
Nanomagnets remove toxins from blood: This photo should help.Courtesy Functional Materials Laboratory, ETH Zurich

Blood goes in. Add the nanomagnets. Nanomagnets attract the "bad stuff" using linker molecules (works like it sounds - molecules that link things - in this case, they link nanomagnets to specific toxins or pathogens). Use a bigger magnet to collect all the nanomagnets with yucky stuff attached.

And VOILA! Clean blood.

What do you know, just reading about nanomagnets made my headache clear up. Go Science!

Learn more here...http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=17353.php

Jul
25
2010

Graphene, the wonder material

Graphene: Unzip it and add oxygen to get graphene oxide
Graphene: Unzip it and add oxygen to get graphene oxideCourtesy Dr Thomas Szkopek
If you look at my posts about graphene you will understand why I think graphene is a super material. One chemically converted graphene product of interest (CCG) is graphene oxide (GO). Graphene oxide, an insulating version of graphene, is expected to be used for all kinds of material and electronic applications. Graphene oxide is also biodegradable. Bacteria from the genus Shewanella easily convert GO to harmless graphene.

Safer, more efficient way to make graphene oxide

A new paper in ACSNano from the lab of Rice chemist James Tour demonstrates an environmentally friendly way to make bulk quantities of graphene oxide (GO). Scientists have been making GO since the 19th century, but the new process eliminates the need for explosive or toxic ingredients.

The researchers suggested the water-soluble product could find use in polymers, ceramics and metals, as thin films for electronics, as drug-delivery devices and for hydrogen storage, as well as for oil and gas recovery. Science Dailey

Learn more about improved synthesis of graphene oxide

Graphene oxide gets green EurekaAlert

Jul
10
2010

Bloodshed happens

Bags of blood
Bags of bloodCourtesy spike55151

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.

Wanted-fresh blood on tap

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.

$2 million awarded

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)

FDA approval sought

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

Old-fashioned.  Now out of date?: Solar cells have been around for decades, but with low-efficiency and high manufacturing costs, they have yet to be adapted into our everyday life.  Could new interdisciplinary research by the University of Minnesota make solar power more efficient and affordable?
Old-fashioned. Now out of date?: Solar cells have been around for decades, but with low-efficiency and high manufacturing costs, they have yet to be adapted into our everyday life. Could new interdisciplinary research by the University of Minnesota make solar power more efficient and affordable?Courtesy Andrej Salov

This month University of Minnesota researchers have developed a technique to better capture solar energy using 'quantum dots,' a type of nanoparticle. Researcher William Tisdale said, while

“This work is a necessary but not sufficient step for building very high-efficiency solar cells. It provides a motivation for researchers to work on quantum dots and solar cells based on quantum dots.”

The technology could improve solar energy efficiency from 30 to 66 percent! That's incredible. Furthermore, the improvements may also cut manufacturing costs (and carbon footprints) by removing the need for high temperature processing. The ramifications for nanotechnology and clean energy abound.

Paper "dipstick" test can tell blood type in seconds

Blood transfusions save millions of lives every year. Getting the wrong type of blood can be deadly, though.
While the expensive equipment required to differentiate blood type is not available in many poor areas, now a strip of paper costing pennies can be used instead. Learn more about the "dipstick blood test" in ScienceDaily.

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.
http://downloads.pennnet.com/digitalmedia/st/stwebcast2.html

(via Meridian Nanotechnology and Development News)

Diamonds and Silver and Gold. OH MY!
Diamonds and Silver and Gold. OH MY!Courtesy Calliopejen

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.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627571.200-blingtronics-diamonds...

There's a lot of work being done at the nanoscale to find a cheap source of green energy. Will Pokeberries be the final material needed for a solution?

http://www.nanowerk.com/news/newsid=15962.php
Pokeberries ripening: Pokeberries may provide a key to cheap solar energy.
Pokeberries ripening: Pokeberries may provide a key to cheap solar energy.Courtesy Huwmanbeing