[extropy-chat] The Nanogirl News~

Gina Miller nanogirl at halcyon.com
Fri May 27 20:37:24 UTC 2005

The Nanogirl News
May 27, 2005

A V6 Engine for the Nano-Age. The world of the very small is about to receive a very powerful engine. Berkeley Lab scientists have created the world's smallest electric motor that may someday power nanoscale devices that walk, crawl, swim, and fly. Although it is too early too determine what the motor will propel - perhaps probes that deliver disease-fighting drugs inside the body or winging nanobots that sniff out explosives - it packs a big kick in its tiny frame. The motor measures only 200 nanometers long (a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter), but its power density is 100 million times greater than that of a 225-horsepower V6 engine. It draws its enormous power from surface tension, the same cohesive force between liquid molecules that allows bubbles to form and insects to walk on water. (Berkeley Lab 5/13/05)

Tiny Bundles Seek And Destroy Breast Cancer Cells. A Penn State College of Medicine study shows for the first time in an animal model that ceramide, a naturally occurring substance that prevents the growth of cells, can be administered through the blood stream to target and kill cancer cells. "Ceramide is the substance that accumulates in cancer tissues and helps to kill cancer cells when patients undergo chemotherapy and radiation," said Mark Kester, professor of pharmacology, Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. "By boosting the amount of ceramide through an injection in the bloodstream, our study in mice suggests that we can provide a stronger cancer-killing therapy without additional side effects." This study, titled "Systemic Delivery of Liposomal Short-Chain Ceramide Limits Solid Tumor Growth in Murine Models of Breast Adenocarcinoma," was published in the May issue of Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. (Penn State 5/24/05) http://live.psu.edu/story/12180

NASA Goes Nano for Air Purification. "For human space flight missions, NASA must continually monitor air quality and toxicity levels to ensure the health and safety of the crew," said Spacehab Chief Operating Officer Michael Bain. But, he added, "developing, transporting and installing large, complex detection and classification equipment in orbit is extremely problematic."...The NASA/Spacehab project aims to further reduce the size down to that of a stack of playing cards. To create a device that small, Spacehab has enlisted the help of Zyvex, a company that specializes in nanotechnology. (NASA 5/25/05) 

Nanotech Finds Tumors Before Visible on MRI. Biomedical engineers have used nanotechnology to find human melanoma tumors in mice while the growths are still invisible to conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Earlier detection can potentially increase the effectiveness of treatment. This is especially true with melanoma, which begins as a highly curable disorder, then progresses into an aggressive and deadly disease. A second benefit of the approach is that the same nanoparticles used to find the tumors could potentially deliver stronger doses of anti-cancer drugs directly to the tumor site with fewer side effects. (ScienceBlog 5/19/05)

New opportunities from old chemistry in surface science, say Purdue chemists. Gold surfaces are often used as baseplates of sensors and in nanomaterials, and scientists have been searching for stable organic coatings they can attach to gold to form an interface between the organic and inorganic worlds. Findings suggest that amines may be the best candidate group of such materials. (Purdue U 5/26/05) http://news.uns.purdue.edu/UNS/html4ever/2005/050526.Wei.sensor.html

ORNL nanoscience center 'Jump Starts' medical compound device. A device that could create custom-tailored medical compounds faster than ever before is one of the first projects launched under the new Center for Nanophase Materials Science at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Project director Joseph Matteo, founder and CEO of the local research firm NanoTek, is building a small, microfluidic machine to quickly and reliably synthesize drugs, medicines, diagnostic imaging agents and other compounds. (ORNL 5/24/05)

Nanotechnology Makes Packaging Intelligent, Smart and Safe. According to a new market study developed by Helmut Kaiser Consultancy nanotechnology has been significantly increasing its impact on the food and beverage packaging industry during last three years. The sales of the nano-related packaging products have been rising from US$ 150 million in 2002 to $ 860 million in 2004 worldwide. Nonetheless, compared with the over $100 billion food and beverage packaging industry, the growth potential of the nanopackaging is still enormous. It is predicted that nanotechnology will change 25% of the food packaging business in the next decade, that means a yearly over $ 30 billion market. (nanotechwire.com 5/26/05) http://nanotechwire.com/news.asp?nid=1961

Rice unveils 'green' microcapsule production method. Chemical engineers from Rice University have developed a fundamentally new approach - the most environmentally sensitive yet devised - for making tiny hollow spheres called microcapsules. Microcapsule research is one of the most active fields in applied nanotechnology, with dozens of companies either developing or using the tiny containers - usually smaller than living cells - to deliver everything from drugs and imaging agents to perfumes and flavor enhancers. In research appearing on the cover of this month's issue (Vol. 17, Issue. 9) of the journal Advanced Materials, Michael Wong and his research group describe an approach for making microcapsules that involves mixing a solution of polymer and salt with tiny particles of silica that contain just a few hundred atoms apiece. (EurekAlert 5/26/05)

Nanotechnology Can Play Vital Role in Forest Products Industries. The future of the U.S. forest products industries, which employ some 1.1 million Americans and contribute more than $240 billion annually to the nation's economy, could depend on how well those industries embrace the emerging science of nanotechnology, according to a report just released by a panel of leading researchers from industry, government labs, and academic institutions. The hundred-page report, titled "Nanotechnology for the Forest Products Industry: Vision and Technology Roadmap," can be read or downloaded for free from: http://www.nanotechforest.org. It will also be available on other websites including those of the USDA Forest Service's Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) (http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us) and the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) ( http://www.tappi.org/content/pdf/nanotechnology_roadmap.pdf ). TAPPI also plans to publish a hard-copy version. (Nanotechwire 4/5/05) http://nanotechwire.com/news.asp?nid=1795

Little Answers To World's Biggest Problems: Top 10 Nanotech Applications To Aid Poor. In a new study by researchers at the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics (JCB), published in PLoS Medicine, the open access global health journal, an international panel of 63 experts were asked to rank the nanotechnology applications they think are most likely to benefit developing countries in the areas of water, agriculture, nutrition, health, energy and the environment in the next 10 years. The study is the first ever ranking of nanotechnology applications relative to their impact on development. See the list by clicking this news story. (ScienceDaily 5/3/05) 

>From attograms to Daltons: Cornell NEMS device detects the mass of a single DNA molecule. Some people are never satisfied. First, nanotechnology researchers at Cornell University built a device so sensitive it could detect the mass of a single bacterium--about 665 femtograms. Then they built one that could sense the presence of a single virus -- about 1.5 femtograms. Now, with a refined technique, they have detected a single DNA molecule, weighing in at 995,000 Daltons -- a shade more than 1 attogram -- and can even count the number of DNA molecules attached to a single receptor by noting the difference in mass. The devices, which fall in the class of nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS), could be made even more sensitive through increased miniaturization, the researchers say. The technology, they suggest, can be combined with microfluidics to perform genetic analysis of very small samples of DNA, even the amount present in a single cell. 
(Cornell 5/18/05) http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/May05/DNAcount.ws.html

Nanotechnology comes to the lead-free rescue. Like it or not, lead-free requirements and RoHS compliance are impending realities. While many companies have processes and products that meet these requirements right now, there are many reasons to be concerned about the use of lead-free solders. Conductive adhesives with nano-engineered fillers have shown some promise toward addressing those concerns. Much of this work is being done in the US by Professor C.P. Wong's group at the Georgia Institute of Technology. (Ferret 5/19/05) http://www.ferret.com.au/articles/da/0c02feda.asp

US worried about losing nanotechnology dominance. Although the US remains the world leader in nanotechnology research and development (R&D), a new White House report warns that US nanotech dominance is under threat as other countries improve their own programmes. The report, released by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) on 18 May, says that the US, through its National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), must do more to address societal concerns and the potential risks - both environmental and health - of this developing technology. (Cordis 5/20/05) 

Like The Famous Doughboy, Nanotubes Give When You Poke 'Em. In a recent study, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, along with colleagues from the IBM Watson Research Center and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland, found that while nanotubes are extremely stiff when pulled from the ends, they give when poked in the middle. The larger the radius, the softer they become. The finding, which is important for the development of nanoelectronics, is published in the May 6, 2005 edition of the journal Physical Review Letters. (Georgia IT 5/17/05) http://www.gatech.edu/news-room/release.php?id=565

Nanotube water doesn't freeze - even at hundreds of degrees below zero. A new form of water has been discovered by physicists in Argonne's Intense Pulsed Neutron Source (IPNS) Division. Called nanotube water, these molecules contain two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom but do not turn into ice - even at temperatures near absolute zero. Instead, inside a single wall tube of carbon atoms less than 2 nanometers, or 2 billionths of a meter wide, the water forms an icy, inner wall of water molecules with a chain of liquid-like water molecules flowing through the center. This occurs at 8 Kelvins, which is minus 445 Fahrenheit. As the temperature rises closer to room temperature, the nanotube water gradually becomes liquid. (Argonne 5/13/05) http://www.anl.gov/Media_Center/News/2005/IPNS050513.html

Buckyballs batter bacteria. For the first time, researchers have shown that aggregates of C60-better known as fullerenes or buckyballs-can form nanosized, crystalline structures that inhibit the growth and respiration of certain bacteria. In a paper recently posted to ES&T's Research ASAP website (eso48099n), researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Rice University have also found that these nanocrystals may be more mobile in water than expected. Both results strengthen the argument that nanoparticles have different properties than their bulk counterparts, but those differences are not reflected in current procedures for safe handling. (Environmental Science & Tech 5/4/05) http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/journals/esthag-w/2005/may/science/rp_nanocrystals.html

(Book Review) Eco-friendly and Nano Smart, in Theory. Louis Theodore, a chemical engineering professor at Manhattan College, and Robert G. Kunz, an environmental consultant and former environmental engineering manager at Air Products and Chemicals, argue that nanotechnology will reshape industry in the near future. They offer the textbook "Nanotechnology: Environmental Impli-cations and Solutions" as a way to introduce nanotechnology to the next generation of environmental managers as well as to instill some environmental awareness into nanotechnology professionals. "One of the key features of this book is that it could serve both academia (students) and industry," they write in the preface. "Thus, this book offers material not only to individuals with limited technical background but also to those with extensive industrial experience. As such, it can be used as a text . and as a training tool for industry." 
(Smalltimes 5/25/05) http://www.smalltimes.com/document_display.cfm?section_id=76&document_id=9139

Nanotech Meets Medicine. Nanotechnology is a developing field that is showing promise in a number of areas. One such area discussed at the 11th annual Food & Drug Administration Science Forum last month is medicine. The size of nanoparticles is on the same order of magnitude as biological materials; thus, nanotechnology can aid in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of things like drug delivery and bioimplants. 
(C&E 5/16/05) http://pubs.acs.org/cen/nanofocus/top/83/8320medicine.html

Have a nice weekend.

Gina "Nanogirl" Miller
Nanotechnology Industries
Personal: http://www.nanogirl.com/index2.html
Foresight Senior Associate http://www.foresight.org
Nanotechnology Advisor Extropy Institute  http://www.extropy.org
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Email: nanogirl at halcyon.com
"Nanotechnology: Solutions for the future."
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