Archive for August, 2006

Research and Technology

August 22nd, 2006

Ovarian Cancer Detection and Therapy

Here is an interesting article about nanoparticles (more specifically, a compound produced by St. John’s wort with polymeric nanoparticles) being used for treating ovarian tumors using light. (This work has been published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics)

Following their demonstration that nanoparticle formulations of hypericin have the potential to kill ovarian cancer cells, the researchers then showed that they could detect hypericin inside cells using fluorescence microscopy. This finding suggests that surgeons may be able to use nanoparticle-delivered hypericin to find micrometastatic lesions while performing surgery to remove the primary ovarian tumor.

Read it here.

Screening Nanoparticles

U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a screening method to examine how newly made nanoparticles interact with human cells following exposure for various times and doses:

“By combining techniques of molecular biology with sophisticated imaging methods, we can rapidly gather information about the response of specific cell types to specific nanoparticles, making in vitro testing an inexpensive and immediate tool for screening and fine-tuning nanoparticle design to maximize safety and target specificity,” Panessa-Warren said.

In the Brookhaven team’s studies, the scientists used lung and colon epithelial cells – chosen to represent two likely routes of nanoparticle exposure (inhalation and ingestion) – grown as cell monolayers, where the individual cells join together to form a tight layer with many of the characteristics of lung and colon cells growing in the body as an epithelial layer. These monolayers of living cells are then exposed to varying doses of carbon nanoparticles over differing amounts of time, and the cells are studied at each time period and dose.

Read it here.

Nano Simulation Software

Now this is awesome. Over at the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology blog, they have a really cool worm drive made from NanoEngineer-1. This is a must see. 11 components totalling 25,374 atoms took just over 370 hours to complete.



August 22nd, 2006

Here is my early prediction on a race I’ve been watching for over a year. That’s right; I’m talking about the Michigan Governors race. This is a super hot contest between a sitting Democrat Governor (Jennifer Granholm) and republican businessman Dick Devos.

State of the Union: Michigan is experiencing a single state recession. People are leaving Michigan in unprecedented numbers. Michigan has lost over 100,000 jobs since Granholm as taken office. Detroit is the motor capital of the world, yet they’re tearing down auto plants and building them in other states. Economically, Michigan is in desperate need of a turn-around.

Michigan may be a presidential blue state, but don’t forget that Granholm’s predecessor was a very popular three-term republican named John Engler, the longest-serving governor in the United States.

I predict that Dick Devos will win this. I doubt there is anyone in Michigan that doesn’t know someone who has lost their job in the last four years. I personally know of many that have lost their job, and some that have left the state. On Election Day, Michigan voters will decide if they want more jobs and people to leave, or if they want to turn their state around with Dick Devos. There are many reasons I could list; his fundraising is incredible in the amount his has raised and how many different contributors he has; his organization; his endorsements; the list goes on and on.


Research and Technology

August 9th, 2006


Arrowhead Research has announced a deal (the tune of $647,000 over a two year period) to sponsor carbon nanotube transistor research by a professor at the physics department at the University of Florida. The funding will be for developing optimized thin-film transistors (TFTs) and prototype TFT arrays to further develop flexible electronic devices made at the University of Florida. What’s really interesting is the use of ink-jet printing technologies to create these (check out this PopSci article to see what else inkjet technologies can be used for).

Article: Nanotech company sponsors research on flexible electronics