Boring Industry – New Twist

I’m sorry for saying the Cement Industry is boring…but for me it is. Most industries are, unfortunately.  I’m not a Dallas Cowboy fan but would you rather talk to the CEO of the Cowboys, Jerry Jones, or the CEO of a Cement Company. I’m sure the CEO of the Cement Company would rather talk to Jerry Jones as well.  OK, I made my point. But reading an article this morning was kind of fascinating:

“Introduction of nanotechnology in cement industry has the potential to address some of the challenges such as CO2 emissions, poor crack resistance, long curing time, low tensile strength, high water absorption, low ductility and many other mechanical performances.” That was from an article found here.

The point being that you have an old, boring industry such as cement and new technology into the equation really changes the outcome. Less pollution and better product as well. Steel industry, bridge building, road construction, car manufacturing, etc. are all on the cusp of nanotechnology and already embracing it. The cool type of chassis in cars are the carbon fiber ones. Lighter and stronger than old steel ones. More expensive, yes. But with production improvements that will change as well given enough time and research. Next time you think of an old industry, think how it can be improved with nanotechnology.


Nano-platforms aid Cancer Research???

Nano-platforms are platforms comprised of nano-materials structured in a way to facilitate a desired function. In the case of the joint efforts of NIKEN Institute in Japan and UCLA they have developed a nano-platform that will capture circulating tumor cells and then release them at a lower temperature.  Circulating tumor cells are cells that are floating around in the blood have not colonized with other tumor cells in any vital organs. By releasing these cells they are able to study them further to get a better answer as to cancer development.

The case with the nano-platforms is that the platform is comprised of tiny nano-brushes that stick to the tumor cells at 37 degrees Celsius. But, at 4 degrees Celsius, they release them.

The entire article can be found here and is just another example of nano-technology’s impact on cancer treatments.

DNA Based Manufacturing

We’ve talked about DNA type printers and the progressive advancements of them and the amazing thing is that this type of project or vision is shared by many across the globe. A recent article I read HERE discusses the advancements of DNA based manufacturing in Germany and the UK working with 460,000 atom based structure with subnanometer precision.

The idea is to take a DNA structure and re-build it precisely like the original. Problem was durability, flexibility, and getting the DNA strands to come together consistently. The other aspect was it took weeks to develop the DNA structures.

What’s interesting about this is how to assemble these DNA structures with precision and accuracy on a repeatable process. What took weeks before now takes minutes. Being able to test something minutes later allows vast improvements over a shorter period of time with more tests and less resources needed. Whether it’s this technology or others for the same “end game” really doesn’t matter. What is important is that it is getting it done. There will always be improvements. An example is although Betamax was a better picture quality than VHS, VHS beat it out. Now Blu-ray is the best and even better than DVDs. The point is that improvements are made and what researchers are doing with DNA based manufacturing is simply amazing.

Refinery Solvent

Recently we’ve only talked about products and solutions in the nanotechnology space without talking about some of our own products. This is a blog to inform what’s going on around us but what’s going on inside our walls are equally interesting.

We have two refinery solvent solutions that dissolve asphaltene from pipes in the oil and gas industry. People in that industry know this problem all too well. There are some solutions for this problem already but, like anything, there is a cost to them. One is time, one is effectiveness, and one is a monetary cost. There is one more cost which is environmental. We have both a synthetic based solutions and organic solution for different types of problems on different types of materials. The early tests to eliminate asphaltene has been 4 to 5 times more effective than current solutions. Here is a link to the product page:

By using our solvent the asphaltene is eliminated quicker, less downtime, and is also cost effective for users especially if a shut-down is needed to handle the situation currently. Look for more information on this but I wanted to share this with our followers.

The Science of Printing…Literally

Researchers have uncovered the first molecule by molecule printer. Yes, your old 3D printer you thought was so cool is now “not the new thing”.  The new thing is called the Parabon Essemblix Drug Development Platform, and it combines computer-aided design (CAD) software called inSçquio with nanoscale fabrication technology. The inSçquio software alloss scientists to design molecular pieces with specific, functional components. They can then optimized their designs using a cloud supercomputing platform called the Parabon Computation Grid that searches for sets of DNA sequences that can self-assemble its new components.

Here is the entire article which is truly fascinating.  My personal view on this is that you’ll be able to create medicine specifically for the individual and their DNA structure. I don’t know how the Xs and Os get set up for this but I’m sure this idea is implanted into the researchers behind the printer.

Nanotechnology R & D to Increase to $8.6 Billion

According to Lux Research, Inc. (New York based consulting firm) nanotechnology research and development will have increased about 10 percent to worldwide $8.6 billion this year. Governments account for over 50% of that total, which is not likely to subside anytime soon. In fact, the U.S. Government signed into law that it will provide $3.7 billion over the next four years into nanotechnology research. Although Lux Research believes that private funds will outpace government funding soon these types of scenarios always take longer to play out than anyone ever envisions.

As we see, much like the internet or many other industries you get to a point where the growth explosion occurs and money just flies into that industry at an alarming rate. At that point is where the proverbial “hockey stick” curve truly develops. Once that critical mass is achieved and wide-spread adoption does take place is when the hockey stick matures and the industry is reaching entirely new levels of sophistication and development.

We look forward to the maturation of the nanotechnology market and what new levels of advancement may be achieved and once the private money flows towards nanotechnology is when the industry has a wonderful chance to flourish.

The Christmas Bulb from Santa

To every man who puts up the Christmas Tree know…the hardest part is getting the lights working! Researchers at Wake Forest University have developed in their WF Nanotechnology Center Labs light bulbs that don’t shatter and are almost indestructible, last longer than fruitcake, and if one light bulb in the middle goes bad…wait for this…the rest of the bulbs work! I’m waiting for this to hit the market because I’m going to be the first one getting them!

The bulbs are not hollow and don’t even have filament. They can be any color of the spectrum and are made of three layers of molded plastic that glow when turned on. They are also over twice as efficient than new compact fluorescent bulbs so they even save on the old pocket book! Merry Christmas!

It’s not a cure…it’s better

Researchers at the University of Delaware have been working on a pretty interesting project. Leukemia in children is 1/3 of all childhood cancers. There is a 90% survival rate of 5 years or longer today with those inflicted and receiving chemotherapy treatment. Those are pretty good odds but side-effects to the drugs cause long-term problems as well. Part of that reason is that the cancer drugs typically kill a lot of healthy cells in the way of killing the cancerous cells. Not a perfect scenario, but the best we have right now. What the University of Delaware folks have come up with is the use of nanotechnology in helping the cancer drugs get delivered to the cancerous cells and bypass the healthy ones. It’s not a cure for the cancer but it’s a way of minimizing the collateral damage that often associates itself with cancer treatments, especially with growing children. Let’s face it…cancer is bad enough but a child with cancer is as bad as it gets. Here is the entire article from the University of Delaware’s website : Leukemia Cancer Drug Carrier

Nanotechnology is developing and creating wonderful advances in all areas of science and commerce, but when it can help children as we hope this advancement can, it makes it just a little bit special. Keep up the great work University of Delaware!