Tuesday, March 17, 2009

SEPARATING THE HYPE AND THE BUZZ 031909

There were over seven notable events and many honorable mentions.

1. NANO BIOFUELS – QuantumSphere, Inc. today announced that it was awarded a research grant from the California Energy Commission to develop a process using nanocatalysts to convert biomass into biofuels (see http://www.nanowerk.com/news/newsid=9404.php).

2. EFSA NANOFOOD REPORT – The European Food Safety Authority has concluded its assessment of the potential risks of nanotechnologies for food and feed, stating that a cautious, case-by-case approach is needed as many uncertainties remain over its safe use (see http://www.foodnavigator.com/Legislation/EFSA-publishes-final-nano-risk-opinion).

3. JAPANESE GUIDELINES – The Japanese Ministry of the Environment released guidelines on March 10, 2009, with the intent of reducing the risk of environmental harm from nanomaterials (see http://www.merid.org/NDN/more.php?id=1770).

4. RUSSIA TAKES ACTION ON NANOSAFETY – The Russian agency for Health and Consumer Rights and the Russian Corporation for Nanotechnologies signed an agreement to provide mutual systematic, scientific and technical support in validation and confirmation of nanoproducts safety, implementation of nanotechnologies and creation of nanotechnological production (see http://www.azonano.com/news.asp?newsID=10072).

5. NANO – ENERGY (FOUR reports).

a. EMISSIONS BASED ENERGY – Very interesting piece on turning emissions of Co2 into using carbon nanotubes. U. Messina team describes the process in length (see http://ec.europa.eu/research/research-eu/57/article_5727_en.html).

b. NANO METHANE - A Penn State team wants to use captures CO2 to produce methane. The process involves used arrays of nitrogen-doped titania nanotubes (see http://www.azonano.com/news.asp?newsID=10144).

c. NANO SOLAR – Researchers at Canada's National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) and the University of Alberta have engineered an approach that is leading to improved performance of plastic solar cells (hybrid organic solar cells) (see http://www.azonano.com/news.asp?newsID=10100).

d. NANO-ETHANOL – A Iowa State University researchers are working to produce clean, renewable energy by developing a new, low-emissions burner and a new catalyst for ethanol production using carbon based nanoparticles (see http://www.nanowerk.com/news/newsid=9568.php).

6. IMPACT OF TOXICITY TESTING – Interesting article on the costs of toxicity testing for regulation. “for the United States that costs for testing existing nanoparticles ranges from $249 million for optimistic assumptions about nanoparticle hazards (i.e., they are primarily safe and mainly require simpler screening assays) to $1.18 billion for a more comprehensive precautionary approach” (see http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/es802388s).

7. FDA INITIATIVE IN NANOMEDICINE – The FDA announced the creation of a nanotechnology initiative in collaboration with the eight Texas academic institutions that make up the Houston-based Alliance for NanoHealth. The FDA's announcement describes the initiative's goal as "to help speed development of safe and effective medical products.” This is something worth watching (see http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/editors/23103/).

HONORABLE MENTIONS

• AFRICA-JAPAN EFFORT – South Africa and Japan discussing cooperation on biosciences, energy, climate change, space science, astronomy and nanotechnology (see http://allafrica.com/stories/printable/200902231286.html).

• OECD VISION PAPER – The Business and Industry Advisory Committee's Expert Group on Nanotechnology recently issued a "vision paper" with the above title, with the goal of identifying "strategic priorities from the perspective of the OECD Business Community (see http://www.biac.org/statements/nanotech/FIN09-01_Nanotechnology_Vision_Paper.pdf).

• LIFE CYCLE STUDY – Ohio State researchers completed a study on the life cycle energetic implications of carbon nanofiber reinforced polymer nanocomposite materials (see http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es802101x).

• NANO RAINMAKING – Researchers at the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN) at UCL have discovered a novel one dimensional ice chain structure built from pentagons that may prove to be a step toward the development of new materials which can be used to seed clouds and cause rain (see http://www.nanowerk.com/news/newsid=9536.php).

• NANO AIDS TREATMENT? – Hungary’s Power of the Dream Ventures, Inc. announced its DermaVir Patch, a nanomedicine grounded treatment for HIV/AIDS. "Proof of concept" for the immunological and antiviral activities of Genetic Immunity's product was demonstrated in infected macaques, some of them with advanced stages of AIDS (see http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/marketwire/0477678.htm).

• INDIA SEES A WAY OUT OF THE RECESSION WITH NANO – An interesting spin on the new technology (see http://www.sakaaltimes.com/2009/03/11115048/NANOTECH-A-BIG-WAY-TO-BEAT-RE.html

• PLANT UPTAKE – Clemson team reporting on research studying the uptake of nanoparticles by rice plants (see http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=9516.php).

• NANO-PLUMBING – Duke U. engineers demonstrate carbon buckyballs may be able to keep the nation's water pipes clear in the same way clot-busting drugs prevent arteries from clogging up (see http://www.physorg.com/news155457592.html).

• AIRPLANE SAFETY – MIT team argues nanocarbon tubes stitched together to produce aerospace materials could make airplane skins and other products some 10 times stronger at a nominal increase in cost (see http://www.nanotech-now.com/news.cgi?story_id=32334).

• GREEN NANO – Interesting ES&T article on the promises of green nanotechnology (see http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es900021v).

• REGULATION DISSERTATION – Hansen’s (from DTU) dissertation is available for download. I have been watching Steffan’s work for some time now. He is a bright young mind in the nano SEIN field. (see http://www.nanolawreport.com/Steffen%20Foss%20Hansen%20PhD%20Thesis%20web-version.pdf).

• BIOMASS TO PRODUCE CARBONTUBE – Japanese team developed a new method for producing ultra-lightweight hollow carbon fine particles from lignin (see http://www.nanowerk.com/news/newsid=9480.php).

Thursday, March 5, 2009

SEPARATING THE HYPE AND THE BUZZ 030109

Week of March 1, 2009

There were 7 major events and many honorable mentions.

1. FOOD STORAGE MATERIAL SILVER NANOPARTICLES INTERFERES WITH DNA – teams from Taijin and Jiaotong Universities found that silver nanomaterials can directly interact with genomes. Reported in online edition of Nanotechnology (02/02/09) (http://www.iop.org/EJ/abstract/0957-4484/20/8/085102).

2. NATIONAL NANOTECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE AMENDMENTS (H.R. 554) PASSES THE HOUSE (http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-02/poen-sdh021109.php).

3. NANO REGULATION BROUHAHA IN EUROPE - The European Parliament currently is drafting a report on regulatory aspects of nanomaterials (http://www.bioworld.com/servlet/com.accumedia.web.Dispatcher?next=bioWorldHeadlines_article&forceid=50024) AND the European Commission's independent Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) publishes its opinion on the most recent developments in the risk assessment of nanomaterials (http://www.flex-news-food.com/pages/22145/Additive/European-Commission/ecs-scientific-committee-adopts-opinion-assessing-risks-nanotechnology.html).

4. EPA TO ENFORCE PREMANUFACTURE REVIEWS FOR CARBON NANOTUBES (http://www.merid.org/NDN/more.php?id=1728).

5. TA-SWISS NANOFOOD STUDY released with recommendation on regulation and transparency (http://www.ta-swiss.ch/a/nano_nafo/MedienmitteilungNanoLebensmittel_e.pdf).

6. FP7 FramingNano REPORT released. The report gives an insight on the international debate on risks and concerns related to nanotechnologies (EHS issues and ELSI), and provides an ample overview of the different regulatory approaches proposed or already developed to deal with these issues (http://www.nanotechwire.com/news.asp?nid=7432).

7. TOP TEN REASONS FOR USING NANOTECH IN FOOD (http://dsc.discovery.com/technology/tech-10/top-10-nanotechnology-food.html).


HONORABLE MENTIONS

• Drug delivery – team designed polymeric nanoparticles for cancer drug delivery. –J. Am. Chem Soc. DOI;10.1021/ja807416t AND Applied Pharma Research s.a. ("APR") announces the acquisition of a new platform technology consisting of a patented nanocoating process for the preparation of new patent protected biotechnology products for the treatment of several critical diseases in multiple therapeutic areas (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/139668.php) AND Researchers at North Carolina State University have successfully modified a common plant virus to deliver drugs only to specific cells inside the human body, without affecting surrounding tissue (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090212125139.htm).

• Important Nano and Developing Countries report – Schumacher Centre for Technology and Development Report – with Nano-Dialogues in Zimbabwe in new book NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS FOR CLEAN WATER (ISBN-13: 978-0-8155-1578-4).

• Current-carrying capacity of the nanotubes enhanced by U. Illinois team (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090209110644.htm).

• Ohio State University team traces typical life cycle of polymer nanocomposite (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es802101x).

• Researchers at Stanford University have made several new PEGylated surfactants capable of suspending nanomaterials in aqueous solution (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja809086q?prevSearch=[author%3A+hongjie+dai]&searchHistoryKey=).

• New Zealand team used nanoparticles to coat paper to produce magnetic, electrically conductive or optically active specialist paper products (http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC0902/S00038.htm).

• Texas A&M team researching PADLOC is what they have already named the futuristic kit – Pathogen Detection Lab-On-a-Chip (http://www.physorg.com/news154628642.html).

• Tel Aviv University team developed a nano-sized laboratory, complete with a microscopic workbench, to measure water quality in real time. Their “lab on a chip” is a breakthrough in the effort to keep water safe from pollution and bioterrorist threats (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090217125732.htm).

Monday, March 2, 2009

Nano Song with Puppets

I am working on my next blog of current events in nano when I came across this: The NanoSong with puppets.