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March 3, 2014

Nanomedicine sensor detects levels of antibiotics in blood

(Nanowerk News) – A new methodology for rapidly measuring the level of antibiotic drug molecules in human blood serum has been developed, paving the way to applications within drug development and personalised medicine.  The study, published today in Nature Nanotechnology (“Surface-stress sensors for rapid and ultrasensitive detection of active free drugs in human serum”), describes the exploitation of a sensor for measuring the concentration of effective antibiotics in blood, giving an indication of their efficiency against disease causing pathogens, for instance multidrug resistant hospital “superbugs”.

New nanotechnology method to fight cancer with tissue-penetrating light

(Nanowerk News) – Researchers from UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed an innovative cancer-fighting technique in which custom-designed nanoparticles carry chemotherapy drugs directly to tumor cells and release their cargo when triggered by a two-photon laser in the infrared red wavelength.

February 26, 2014

Protecting the nanotechnology workforce

(Free ebooks) – Nanotechnology—the manipulation of matter on a near-atomic scale to produce new materials and devices—has the ability to transform many industries, from medicine to manufacturing, and the products they produce. By 2020, the National Science Foundation estimates, nanotechnology will have a $3 trillion impact on the global economy and employ 6 million workers in the manufacture of nanomaterial-based products, of which 2 million may be manufactured in the United States [NSF 2011]. Nanomaterials may present new challenges to understanding, predicting, and managing potential health risks to workers.

Video of virus-sized particle trying to enter cell

( – Tiny and swift, viruses are hard to capture on video. Now researchers at Princeton University have achieved an unprecedented look at a virus-like particle as it tries to break into and infect a cell. The technique they developed could help scientists learn more about how to deliver drugs via nanoparticles—which are about the same size as viruses—as well as how to prevent viral infection from occurring.

Tel Aviv University scientists target drug-resistant ovarian tumors with nanotechnology

(News-Medical) – Ovarian cancer accounts for more deaths of American women than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. According to the American Cancer Society, one in 72 American women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and one in 100 will ultimately die of the condition. Ovarian cancer accounts for more deaths of American women than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. According to the American Cancer Society, one in 72 American women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and one in 100 will ultimately die of the condition.

February 25, 2014

Nanoparticles target anti-inflammatory drugs where needed

( – Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have developed a system for precisely delivering anti-inflammatory drugs to immune cells gone out of control, while sparing their well-behaved counterparts. Their findings were published online Feb. 23 in Nature Nanotechnology. The system uses nanoparticles made of tiny bits of protein designed to bind to unique receptors found only on neutrophils, a type of immune cell engaged in detrimental acute and chronic inflammatory responses.

February 24, 2014

Nanotechnology to help healing hearts

( – Precision is also required in the large strategic research opening by Tekes which Franssila and his research group are participating in with the University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital. The project has an ambitious goal: getting damaged organs to heal themselves. Achieving this goal requires drugs that are targeted at an organ, such as the heart or the brain, using nanotechnology. The drugs then locally enhance the differentiation of stem cells so that the necessary new heart or nerve cells are created.

Scientists just created some of the most powerful muscles in existence

(Io9) – In a surprising breakthrough for the world of materials science, researchers have created some of the most powerful artificial muscles we’ve ever seen. And they did it with simple fishing line. These freakishly strong and cheap muscles could revolutionize robotics, and perhaps one day our own bodies.

February 21, 2014

A New Edition of Science and Public Policy is Available

Science and Public Policy (Volume 41, No. 1, February 2014) is now available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Nanotechnology: Rhetoric, risk and regulation” by Graeme A. Hodge, et al.
  • “The European Research Council and the European research funding landscape” by Terttu Luukkonen
  • “Governing ‘dual-use’ research in Canada: A policy review” by Bryn Williams-Jones, et al.
  • “The fall of research and rise of innovation: Changes in New Zealand science policy discourse” by Shirley Leitch

February 17, 2014

Nanotechnology treated contact lenses may improve glaucoma treatment

(Nanowerk) – By 2020, nearly 80 million people are expected to have glaucoma, a disorder of the eye that, if left untreated, can damage the optic nerve and eventually lead to blindness. The disease often causes pressure in the eye due to a buildup of fluid and a breakdown of the tissue that is responsible for regulating fluid drainage. Doctors commonly treat glaucoma using eye drops that can help the eye drain or decrease fluid production.

February 11, 2014

Nanotechnology researchers control artificial nanomotors inside living cells (w/video)

(Nanowerk News) – For the first time, a team of chemists and engineers at Penn State University have placed tiny synthetic motors inside live human cells, propelled them with ultrasonic waves and steered them magnetically. It’s not exactly “Fantastic Voyage,” but it’s close. The nanomotors, which are rocket-shaped metal particles, move around inside the cells, spinning and battering against the cell membrane.

February 10, 2014

U.S. government accountability office finds flaws in nation’s approach to nanotechnology manufacturing

(Nanowerk News) – In a new report on nanotechnology manufacturing (or nanomanufacturing) released yesterday (“Nanomanufacturing: Emergence and Implications for U.S. Competitiveness, the Environment, and Human Health”; pdf), the U.S. Government Accountability Office finds flaws in America’s approach to many things nano. At a July 2013 forum, participants from industry, government, and academia discussed the future of nanomanufacturing; investments in nanotechnology R&D and challenges to U.S. competitiveness; ways to enhance U.S. competitiveness; and EHS concerns.

Growing stem cells on carbon nanotubes

(Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News) – A research team at the University of Surrey and the University of California-Irvine say they developed a scaffold of carbon nanotubes upon which human embryonic stem cells can be grown into a variety of tissues. These new building blocks reportedly mimic the surface of the body’s natural support cells and act as scaffolding for stem cells to grow on. Cells that have previously relied on external living cells can now be grown safely in the laboratory, paving the way for revolutionary steps in replacing tissue after injury or disease, according to the scientists.

Nanotechnology – Moving beyond the hype

(Nanotechnology Now) – Despite significant scientific progress in the field of nanotechnology in the last few decades, currently the most formidable displays of the power of nanoscale processes are performed by nature not artificially and exist inside every single one of us, such as the autonomous replication of the genome and the construction and self-assembly of protein from base amino acids. As a result, it seems reasonable to assume that the route to ultra-advanced computational, engineering and construction projects can in many cases only realistically be achieved through mastery of matter at the atomic scale.

February 7, 2014

Using nanotechnology to protect grain exports

( – University of Adelaide researchers are using nanotechnology and the fossils of single-celled algae to develop a novel chemical-free and resistance-free way of protecting stored grain from insects.

February 6, 2014

In vitro innovation: Testing nanomedicine with blood cells on a microchip

(Nanotechnology Now) – Designing nanomedicine to combat diseases is a hot area of scientific research, primarily for treating cancer, but very little is known in the context of atherosclerotic disease. Scientists have engineered a microchip coated with blood vessel cells to learn more about the conditions under which nanoparticles accumulate in the plaque-filled arteries of patients with atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of myocardial infarction and stroke.

Nanotechnology is getting closer to 3D printing

(Nanowerk) – Fabrication of three-dimensional (3D) objects through direct deposition of functional materials – also called additive manufacturing – has been a subject of intense study in the area of macroscale manufacturing for several decades. These 3D printing techniques are reaching a stage where desired products and structures can be made independent of the complexity of their shapes – even bioprinting tissue is now in the realm of the possible.

February 5, 2014

Handbook of personalized medicine: Advances in nanotechnology, drug delivery, and therapy

(Nanowerk News) – This book compiles multidisciplinary efforts of recent advancements in pharmacology, nanotechnology, genomics, informatics and therapeutics aiming to conceptualize the environment in research and clinical setting that creates the fertile ground for the practical utility of personalized medicine decisions and also enables clinical pharmacogenomics for establishing pharmacotyping in drug prescription, i.e. the individualized drug and dosage scheme selection based on clinical and genetic data.

February 3, 2014

Nanotechnology in a nutshell: From simple to complex systems

(Nanowerk) – A new high-level book for professionals from Atlantis Press providing an overview of nanotechnologies now and their applications in a broad variety of fields, including information and communication technologies, environmental sciences and engineering, societal life, and medicine, with provision of customized treatments.

January 29, 2014

DNA-built nanostructures safely target, image cancer tumors

A team of researchers at the University of Toronto has discovered a method of assembling “building blocks” of gold nanoparticles as the vehicle to deliver cancer medications or cancer-identifying markers directly into cancerous tumors. The study, led by Warren Chan, Professor at the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) and the Donnelly Centre for Cellular & Biomolecular Research (CCBR), appears in an article in Nature Nanotechnology this week. (

January 21, 2014

Nanotechnology tools: DNA clamp to grab cancer before it develops

As part of an international research project, a team of researchers has developed a DNA clamp that can detect mutations at the DNA level with greater efficiency than methods currently in use. Their work could facilitate rapid screening of those diseases that have a genetic basis, such as cancer, and provide new tools for more advanced nanotechnology. The results of this research is published in the journal ACS Nano. (Nanowerk)


The Bioethics Poll
Should individuals and/or institutions be allowed to patent human genes?
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