Drug targeting with nanosize bioreactors

Delivering drugs to specific target cells within the body is a hot topic in pharmaceutical research. Anti-cancer treatments, for example, include powerful chemical agents which can easily damage healthy cells when ingested indiscriminately. What if such therapeutic agents could be delivered to specific sites, and only then released to do their work? Researchers in Switzerland […]

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Semiconductors inspired by nature

A connection between sea sponges and electronic materials may not be obvious, but the primitive marine creatures are proving an inspiration to chemists looking for new ways to fabricate semiconductor devices. Traditional semiconductor manufacturing is a costly, energy-intensive and inefficient business. Nature, on the other hand, has evolved simple and elegant ways of making complex […]

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Nanotech workers may be exposed to health risks

Workers in nanotechnology-related industries may be exposed to occupational health risks, says Andrew Maynard, chief scientific advisor to the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. In an article published in the Annals of Occupational Hygiene, entitled “Nanotechnology: the next big thing, or much ado about nothing?”, Maynard writes: “The presence of engineered nanomaterials in the workplace today […]

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Nanofibre gel stops bleeding within seconds

Cut your finger and it will take a few minutes before the body’s defence mechanisms stem the bleeding. Dealing with serious blood loss, on the other hand, requires the use of mechanical or thermal intervention that can cause secondary tissue damage, while chemical agents that induce clotting or constriction of the veins may lead to […]

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Water purifying nanofilters from cell membranes

How does water pass through the normally impermeable cell membranes of living organisms? It was not until recently that we understood the mechanism, the discovery of which won Peter Agre the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The answer to the question lies in a single protein, aquaporin. A Danish bio- and nanotechnology startup is now […]

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