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Posts Tagged ‘nanotechnology’

You Think GMO Is Scary? Nano Tech is Here, In Your Store


Tuesday, 31 July 2012

‘Nanotechnology is measured in billionths of a meter, encompassing all aspects of life from food to medicine, clothing, to space. Imagine hundreds of microcomputers on the width of a strand of hair programmed for specific tasks….in your body. Sound good?

Engineering at a molecular level may be a future corporations’ dream come true, however, nano-particles inside your body have few long-term studies especially when linked to health issues. Despite this new huge income-generating field there is a growing body of toxicological information suggesting that nanotechnology when consumed can cause brain damage (as shown in largemouth bass), and therefore should undergo a full safety assessment.’

Read more: You Think GMO Is Scary? Nano Tech is Here, In Your Store

A Step Toward Minute Factories That Produce Medicine Inside the Body


ScienceDaily (June 27, 2012) — Scientists are reporting an advance toward treating disease with minute capsules containing not drugs — but the DNA and other biological machinery for making the drug. In an article in ACS’ journal Nano Letters, they describe engineering micro- and nano-sized capsules that contain the genetically coded instructions, plus the read-out gear and assembly line for protein synthesis that can be switched on with an external signal.

Scientists are reporting an advance toward treating disease with minute capsules containing not drugs — but the DNA and other biological machinery for making the drug. (Credit: © Benicce / Fotolia)
 
Daniel Anderson and colleagues explain that development of nanoscale production units for protein-based drugs in the human body may provide a new approach for treating disease. These production units could be turned on when needed, producing medicines that cannot be taken orally or are toxic and would harm other parts of the body. Until now, researchers have only done this with live bacteria that were designed to make proteins at disease sites. But unlike bacterial systems, artificial ones are modular, and it is easier to modify them. That’s why Anderson’s group developed an artificial, remotely activated nanoparticle system containing DNA and the other “parts” necessary to make proteins, which are the workhorses of the human cell and are often used as drugs.
 
 

Nanotechnology Used to Harness Power of Fireflies


ScienceDaily (June 15, 2012) — What do fireflies, nanorods, and Christmas lights have in common? Someday, consumers may be able to purchase multicolor strings of light that don’t need electricity or batteries to glow. Scientists at Syracuse University found a new way to harness the natural light produced by fireflies (called bioluminescence) using nanoscience. Their breakthrough produces a system that is 20 to 30 times more efficient than those produced during previous experiments.

Nanorods created with firefly enzymes glow orange. The custom, quantum nanorods are created in the laboratory of Mathew Maye, assistant professor of chemistry. (Credit: Image courtesy of Syracuse University)
 

It’s all about the size and structure of the custom, quantum nanorods, which are produced in the laboratory by Mathew Maye, assistant professor of chemistry in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences; and Rebeka Alam, a chemistry Ph.D. candidate. Maye is also a member of the Syracuse Biomaterials Institute. “Firefly light is one of nature’s best examples of bioluminescence,” Maye says. “The light is extremely bright and efficient. We’ve found a new way to harness biology for non-biological applications by manipulating the interface between the biological and non-biological components.”

Their work, “Designing Quantum Rods for Optimized Energy Transfer with Firefly Luciferase Enzymes,” was published online May 23 in Nano Letters and is forthcoming in print. Collaborating on the research were Professor Bruce Branchini and Danielle Fontaine, both from Connecticut College.

Read more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120615114104.htm

In Metallic Glasses, Researchers Find a Few New Atomic Structures


“The fundamental nature of a glass structure is that the organization of the atoms is disordered-jumbled up like differently sized marbles in a jar, rather than eggs in an egg carton,” says Paul Voyles, the principal investigator on the research. (Credit: © marionbirdy / Fotolia)

ScienceDaily (May 11, 2012) — Drawing on powerful computational tools and a state-of-the-art scanning transmission electron microscope, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison and Iowa State University materials science and engineering researchers has discovered a new nanometer-scale atomic structure in solid metallic materials known as metallic glasses.

Published May 11 in the journal Physical Review Letters, the findings fill a gap in researchers’ understanding of this atomic structure. This understanding ultimately could help manufacturers fine-tune such properties of metallic glasses as ductility, the ability to change shape under force without breaking, and formability, the ability to form a glass without crystalizing.

Glasses include all solid materials that have a non-crystalline atomic structure: They lack a regular geometric arrangement of atoms over long distances. “The fundamental nature of a glass structure is that the organization of the atoms is disordered-jumbled up like differently sized marbles in a jar, rather than eggs in an egg carton,” says Paul Voyles, a UW-Madison associate professor of materials science and engineering and principal investigator on the research.

Researchers widely believe that atoms in metallic glasses are arranged only as pentagons in an order known as five-fold rotational symmetry. However, in studies of a zirconium-copper-aluminum metallic glass, Voyles’ team found there are clusters of squares and hexagons-in addition to clusters of pentagons, some of which form chains-all located within the space of just a few nanometers. “One or two nanometers is a group of about 50 atoms-and it’s how those 50 atoms are arranged with respect to one another that’s the new and interesting part,” he says.

Source:
The above story is reprinted from materials provided byUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison. The original article was written by Renee Meiller.


Nanocomposite Cavity Filler Reverses Decay, Killing Bacteria and Regenerating Tooth Structure


By Clay Dillow Posted 05.07.2012 at

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-05/nanocomposite-cavity-filler-reverses-decay-killing-bacteria-and-regenerating-tooth-structure

Dentists may soon be getting a potent new weapons with which to wage the global fight against cavities. The University of Maryland has developed a novel new nanocomposite material that can be used not only as filling for cavities, but that will also kill any remaining bacteria in the tooth and regenerate the actual structure lost to decay.