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Foresight Nanotech Institute Weekly News Digest: August 30, 2006

In this issue:

Nanotechnology that's Good For People

Foresight Challenge: Supplying clean water globally

Foresight note: This patented research uses nanoparticles to filter water.

Headline: Using gold to trap pesticides in water
News source: The Hindu by Karthik Subramanian

The most precious role yet for gold and silver could be in the field of water purification.

Two scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, T. Pradeep and A. Sreekumaran Nair, have patented technology to use gold and silver nanoparticles to filter endosulfan, malathion and chlorpyrifos pesticides from water. The technology exploits the ability of the nanoparticles to bind residual pesticides from flowing water through adsorption.

Foresight Challenge: Supplying clean water globally

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Foresight Challenge: Increasing health and longevity

Foresight note: More research that may reduce the toxicity of current tumor treatments.

Headline: Preclinical Tests Show Acid-Sensitive Nanoparticles Treat Ovarian Cancers with Little Toxicity Detectors
News source: Physorg.com

Last year, members of the Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer based at Northeastern University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology demonstrated that acid-sensitive polymer nanoparticles could boost the delivery of anticancer drugs into the acidic interior of tumors.

Now, that same group of investigators has shown that these nanoparticles are effective at suppressing tumor growth when tested in an animal model of human ovarian cancer. In addition, animals treated with this nanoparticle formulation do not appear to experience adverse side effects that often limit the ability of patients to tolerate chemotherapy. The researchers reported the results of their preclinical work in the journal Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology.

Mansoor Amiji, Ph.D., of Northeastern University, and Robert Langer, Ph.D., at MIT, led the team of investigators that tested the ability of biodegradable, pH-sensitive nanoparticles to safely and effectively deliver paclitaxel to rapidly growing tumors.

Foresight Challenge: Increasing health and longevity

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Foresight Challenge: Increasing health and longevity

Foresight note: This nanoscale research may lead to improving early-detection sensors.

Headline: 'Nanocantilevers' yield surprises critical for designing new detectors
News source: ScienceDaily

Researchers at Purdue University have made a discovery about the behavior of tiny structures called nanocantilevers that could be crucial in designing a new class of ultra-small sensors for detecting viruses, bacteria and other pathogens.

This rendition depicts an array of tiny, diving-boardlike devices called nanocantilevers. The devices are coated with antibodies to capture viruses, which are represented as red spheres. New findings about the behavior of the cantilevers could be crucial in designing a new class of ultra-small sensors for detecting viruses, bacteria and other pathogens. (Image generated by Seyet, LLC) The nanocantilevers, which resemble tiny diving boards made of silicon, could be used in future detectors because they vibrate at different frequencies when contaminants stick to them, revealing the presence of dangerous substances.

Because of the nanocantilever's minute size, it is more sensitive than larger devices, promising the development of advanced sensors that detect minute quantities of a contaminant to provide an early warning that a dangerous pathogen is present.

Foresight Challenge: Increasing health and longevity

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Nanotechnology that's Good For the Planet

Foresight Challenge: Providing renewable clean energy

Foresight note: Computer simulations of polymers that would improve hydrogen-storage capacity and hence fuel cell efficiency.

Headline: Top hydrogen-storing polymer revealed
News source: nanotechweb.org by Belle Dume is science writer at PhysicsWeb

A series of computer simulations has identified a polymer material with a very large capacity for storing hydrogen that could be exploited in fuel cells. Jisoon Ihm and colleagues at Seoul National University in South Korea have discovered that polyacetylene with titanium atoms attached to the polymer chain can hold 63 kilograms of hydrogen per cubic meter — more than any other similar material in their survey.

A low-cost, high-capacity hydrogen-storage medium is essential for the commercialization of hydrogen fuel-cell technologies. Researchers had previously looked at carbon nanotubes, hydrogen-clathrate-hydrates and other nanostructured materials as ways of storing hydrogen, but they only work in fuel cells at low temperatures or high pressures. Now, Ihm and co-workers have shown that polymers covered with metal atoms can store a significant amount of hydrogen under more practical working conditions.

Foresight Challenge: Providing renewable clean energy

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Foresight Challenge: Making information technology available to all

Foresight note: This research is leading towards having individual molecules as transistors in electronics.

Headline: Physicists invent 'QuIET' — single molecule transistors
News source: Physorg.com

University of Arizona physicists have discovered how to turn single molecules into working transistors. It's a breakthrough needed to make the next-generation of remarkably tiny, powerful computers that nanotechnologists dream of.

They have applied for a patent on their device, called Quantum Interference Effect Transistor, nicknamed "QuIET." The American Chemical Society publication, Nano Letters, has published the researchers' article about it online. The research is planned as the cover feature in the print edition in November.

A transistor is a device that switches electrical current on and off, just like a valve turns water on and off in a garden hose. Industry now uses transistors as small as 65 nanometers. The UA physicists propose making transistors as small as a single nanometer, or one billionth of a meter.

"All transistors in current technology, and almost all proposed transistors, regulate current flow by raising and lowering an energy barrier," University of Arizona physicist Charles A. Stafford said. "Using electricity to raise and lower energy barriers has worked for a century of switches, but that approach is about to hit the wall."

Foresight Challenge: Making information technology available to all

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Become a member of Foresight

If you are interested in advancing beneficial nanotechnology, please consider becoming a member of Foresight. With your support, Foresight will continue to be the leading public interest voice for nanotechnology that will focus on using this powerful technology to improve the health and well being of people and the planet.

We have membership levels designed for inclusion of all who are interested in our nanotechnology future whether you are a student, individual or corporation.

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Foresight Partners

SEMI NanoForum

October 31-Novemer 2, 200
6 San Jose Marriott
San Jose, California

Another nanotechnology conference? You bet! Bringing new products to market requires working together like never before. That's why at SEMI NanoForum 2006 unites executives from the semiconductor manufacturing and nanotech communities to share expertise and speed commercialization of nano-enabled products across industries.

Attendees of SEMI NanoForum 2006 will:

Identify new market opportunities resulting from nanotech
Find new customers and partners
Learn about proven nano manufacturing capabilities that are available now

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Nanotech Research

Headline: Study shows new body armor can benefit from nanotechnology

News source: Physorg.com

Research at CCLRC Daresbury Laboratory has shown that incorporating nanoparticles into body armor can make it lighter, more flexible and more effective.

Current body armor relies on a stiff and relatively heavy layer of ceramic material to absorb ballistic impact. This makes body armor heavy and unwieldy. The Daresbury team, together with researchers from Tuskegee and Florida Atlantic universities in the USA, are evaluating new nanocomposite materials which can be woven into fabrics to provide greater flexibility as well as better ballistic protection.

They have found that incorporating spherical nanoparticles of silicon or titanium dioxide or carbon nanotubes in a plastic or epoxy matrix offers improved ballistic resistance together with greatly improved flexibility.

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Nanotech News

Headline: Grant looms big for Lehigh's nanotechnology research

News source: The Morning Call By Genevieve Marshall

Lehigh University and four other Pennsylvania institutions will split more than $11 million to advance their nanotechnology research and try to find ways to make the burgeoning science more commercially viable.

The grants from the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, announced Wednesday at Lehigh's Whitaker Lab in south Bethlehem, will benefit several university research partnerships, fund education efforts and seed new startup companies. Officials from the University of Pennsylvania, Penn State University, Carnegie Mellon University and other schools attended the check presentation.

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Headline: UT Health Science Center lands grant to support nanotechnology

News source: San Antonio Business Journal

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will receive a $200,000 grant from the AT&T Foundation this week to support the development of a new blood-pressure sensor inside the heart.

Local scientists are working on a nano-sized, implantable pressure sensor that will allow doctors to monitor blood pressure and flow inside a patient's arteries. The device will be able to transmit readings in real time data to an external receiver.

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Nanotech Events

nanoTX' 06: The Promises of Tomorrow, The Business of Nanotechnology - Updated Speaker Line-up

September 27-28, 2006
Dallas Convention Center, Texas

nanoTX'06 will draw the top minds in four vital and interrelated nanotech areas of commerce:

Semiconductors NEMS/MEMS
BioMedical - Health Sciences
Defense - Aerospace - Homeland Security
Energy - Chemical - Environment

There will also be an intense study of Trends/Finance/Investing by leading experts of industry.

The 2006 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes will be presented at nanoTX' 06 on September 27, 2006 at the Exhibitors Reception.

Also at nanoTX'06, Foresight president Jillian Elliott will present on the International Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems.

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Editor's Pick

Dear readers – When reviewing news for this digest, I often read about something that I think is cool, but it doesn't fit within the usual editorial categories of the News Digest. This section highlights a nanotech advance, event or idea that I think is especially cool.

What I find cool about this research is using current technology, an inkjet printer, to convey an advanced technology, carbon nanotubes, on flexible surfaces.

Thanks for reading.

— Judy

Headline: Carbon nanotubes are printed on paper

News source: United Press International

U.S. scientists using an off-the-shelf inkjet printer have developed a technique for printing patterns of carbon nanotubes on paper and plastic surfaces. The research team says the method could lead to a new process for manufacturing a wide range of nanotube-based devices, from flexible electronics and conducting fabrics to sensors for detecting chemical agents.

Carbon nanotubes, discovered in 1991, offer the combination of high strength, low weight and excellent conductivity. But most current techniques to make nanotube-based devices require complex and expensive equipment. "Our results suggest new alternatives for fabricating nanotube patterns by simply printing the dissolved particles on paper or plastic surfaces," said Robert Vajtai, a researcher with the Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and corresponding author of the paper.

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Contact Foresight

The Foresight Nanotech Institute Weekly News Digest is emailed every week to 15,000 individuals in more than 125 countries. Foresight Nanotech Institute is a member-supported organization. We offer membership levels appropriate to meet the needs and interests of individuals and companies.

Judy Conner, Director of Communications at Foresight Nanotech Institute, is the editor of the Foresight Nanotech Institute Weekly News Digest. If you would like to submit a news item or contact her with comments about the News Digest, please send an email to: editor@foresight.org.

If you would like to browse past issues of the News Digest.

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