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nanotechnology - Part 2

Archive for category nanotechnology

Regulating Nanotech with Nanotechnology Ethics

The promises that nanotechnology brings to mankind is so huge that there are some sectors who fear that if its applications are not properly regulated, it can bring harm to mankind instead of the good it is projected to give everyone. As a result, calls for the setting of regulatory procedures in its applications are supported not only by scientists and the industry that benefits from it but also from various groups representing ordinary people. As such, nanotechnology ethics has come to be seen as something as important as nanotechnology itself. In doing so, the scientific community is only reacting to experiences with epoch-setting technologies in the past. Knowing the possible horrors that can affect mankind, nanotechnology ethics are in place for every disciple of the learning to observe.

Defining the Limits of Nanotechnology

Because the full impact of nanotechnology has not been fully realized, various governments and scientists are afraid that the unrestricted applications of nanotechnology will result to health and environmental problems. Characteristic of something that is not fully regulated in a uniform manner, various nations have their own reactions to nanotechnology applications. For example, some aspects of nanotechnology are allowed in the United States with a wide range of freedom—including its use for sunscreen products—but in other countries, the situation is different. In the United Kingdom, nanotechnology ethics also puts into consideration the impact on the environment first, particularly on the release of nano particles to the atmosphere that may trigger pollution. On the other hand, in other countries, the debate on nanotechnology ethics is more on the definition of the size of matter that can be considered as part of nanotechnology.

In large countries such as the United States, nanotechnology ethics are also imposed by individual states, aside from the laws enacted on the national level. In California, for example, nanotechnology ethics are geared towards protecting the environment especially on the disposal of nanotech products to the environment. Such regulation also covers the importation and selling of such products.

One of the hottest debates concerning nanotechnology is on the most promising benefit it holds for mankind: that on the fields of tissue engineering and on the cure for HIV virus. Although both ends are seen to be greatly beneficial for the good of man, both are so touchy and covers a lot of implications that even with the prospected benefits, those who apply nanotechnology in these areas are being very cautious about them. This is because there are some groups and governments who are opposed to any form of medical treatment that has not been proven to be really effective in giving the projected benefit, especially if the procedure involves some risk on the matter of a person’s health. A case in point here is the possibility of nanotechnology being disguised as medically beneficial when it can be used to terminate life or induce abortion and other methods that some groups are essentially opposed to. All said, these opposition to nanotechnology are contributory to the slow pace of the development of nanotech, although on the brighter side of things, it is seen as a way to be certain about the real effects of this unique technology.

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Know the Various Nanotech Companies

Because nanotechnology is one of the hottest scientific products today, consumers and product users need to be familiar with the various nanotechnology companies that can provide them their needs for nanotech and its applications. Companies that specialize in nanotechnology cover almost anything under the sun, although most of these are involved in industries such as in engineering and in automotive applications.

Searching Nanotech Companies

Whatever the reason for looking nanotechnology companies, it is always better to do it by searching for them in the Internet. This is a convenient way to search for them because in the web, nanotech companies are categorized in various ways, making searching for them easy and fast. Some of the popular nanotech companies are the following:

  • ZettaCore is one of the nanotech companies that pioneered the development of low-cost memory chips in use in computers and in industries. Because of their low-cost setting, they are very beneficial to the microelectronics industry by providing cheap but excellent alternatives to high-maintenance memory chips. Their memory chips are also used by aircrafts especially those that rely on autopilot for long-distance flying that can be stressful for human pilots.
  • In the field of nanotechnology applications on health sciences, one of the leading nanotech companies is Z-Medica. Their famed product the QuickClot is a popular product being an effective and fast-acting haemostatic agent that rapidly stops severe arterial and venomous bleeding. This is very beneficial in instances when the patient is very far from hospitals and medical facilities. In the end, it is one of the factors that can set the difference between life and death.
  • Another of the nanotechnology companies that are actively involved in using the technology to medical applications is Advectus. The company is in fact the holder of exclusive worldwide rights on the delivery and production of drugs that are used in fighting brain cancer and tumor. Due to the drug’s development, surgery is no longer required in most cases when before surgery was the only means to properly treat brain cancer. This is indeed one of the most revolutionary inventions involving nanotechnology.
  • Agendia is another of the nanotech companies that are involved in the medical applications of nanotechnology. Specifically, they are active on the field of tumor mapping in identifying tumor cells in order to categorize them for better treatment. Tumor-mapping is made possible with the use of micro-array genetic profiling that the company also developed.
  • NanoMaterials is an Israeli company that specializes in the delivery of inorganic compounds for use in industrial applications. Their products are actively used in microelectronics, semiconductors, and aerospace applications. Likewise, they also produce nano lubricants for the metal working markets that revolutionized the way metal works were done.

Thanks to these various nanotech companies, consumers now have better choices at availing of products and services that work for them. However, consumers must beware of the projected advantages of using these products and must consult with various experts on the possible risks, especially when using products for the body.

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Nanotechnology Research: Extending Man’s Horizon

There is hardly any doubt that nanotechnology is very beneficial to man. With all the applications this new frontier of knowledge has seen from the human body to industries and chemicals, thus far, nanotechnology has lived up to its name in enhancing the wealth of knowledge possessed by man.

Despite this gains however, nanotechnology research continues on high gear to discover more truths that will help man in so many ways. Today, nanotechnology research is not only limited to the laboratories of scientific bodies, personnel under the employ of big companies that benefit from nanotechnology are also doing their own nanotechnology researches.

Frontiers of Nanotechnology Application

The following are the various areas where some of the most prominent nanotechnology research are being undertaken:

  • The field of heavy equipment and industries are some of the busiest areas of nanotechnology research. With the projected benefits nanotechnology promises these industries, there is no wonder why they should busy themselves with furthering the impact of nanotechnology. The main benefit comes in the form of creating machineries that are light yet very durable. When equipments are made lighter, they do not cause much strain on the engine, thus it maximizes the consumption of fuel.
  • The aerospace and aircraft production industries are also bound to benefit from continuing nanotechnology research. This is because with nanotech, aircraft and rocket parts are made lighter, thus minimizing fuel consumption. As a result, companies that are in the air travel business are also benefited from lower fuel consumption from aircrafts that are lighter and speedier.
  • In the field of optical technology, nanotechnology research is used to develop lenses and glasses that are scratch-resistant and tough. It also results to the creation of lenses that do not cause interference with one’s vision, thus giving the wearer clarity of sight sans any inconvenience.

  • In the field of cosmetics, one important research on nanotechnology leads to the development of sunscreen based on nano particles. As a result, sunscreens are better when it comes to providing protection from the sun compared to the traditional UV protection systems that is the standard today in most sunscreen products. With nanotechnology-based sunscreens, the cosmetic is able to penetrate deeper into the skin layers to cause the cells to react against getting burned by the sun. This is considered to be far better than simply superficial sun blockage, which is common in conventional sunscreen cosmetics.
  • In health, nanotechnology research is also key to advancing tissue engineering. This is very important when there is a need to repair damaged tissues, especially those affected by severe diseases. Moreover, nanotechnology is also one of the most promising applications that scientists are employing in the fight against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In this, the process aims at killing affected cells to prevent their replication and thus stop the spread of the disease. Moreover, because it is atomic in nature, nanotechnology is far better than taking medications because unlike the latter, it does not affect otherwise healthy tissues, specifically attacking only the affected ones.

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Advances in Nanotechnology That Might Cure HIV

One of the frequent scourges that affect mankind is the problem related to the human immunodeficiency virus that is more popularly known as HIV. Affecting Sub-Saharan Africa, parts of Asia, and some parts of Europe, the HIV problem is of pressing need to man and governments because of its impact to health. This is why researches for the development of cures for HIV has been in feverish pitch since the disease was first discovered in the early 80s. However, despite all these, cures for HIV are something that is still elusive. That was the case until nanotechnology came along and gave mankind its first real hope of winning against this dreaded disease. Today, various products of nanotechnology that might cure HIV are seriously pursued in the hope that it will put an end to man’s worrying of the disease.

Approaches to the Treatment of HIV

Using nanotechnology that might cure HIV comes in various forms. Most of these are still in the laboratory testing stages and are not yet available for mass treatment. Nonetheless, feedbacks have been very encouraging to the point that experts regularly call their efforts already a success even with the absence of actual testing on HIV patients. The following are some of the most common approaches in using nanotechnology that might cure HIV:

  • Neutralization of the HIV virus. Because HIV virus has been so resilient and tough to crack, one of the keys to a successful treatment of HIV cases is to neutralize the very virus that causes it. In this, scientists have developed nano particles that attack the virus. Because nano particles are very small, they are not easily detected and neutralized by the virus. Instead, they are able to penetrate the mantle of the virus, thus rendering it harmless.
  • Another approach in nanotechnology that might cure HIV is the strengthening of a person’s immune system. This is made possible with the use of nano particles that are injected into a person’s body. Such particles boost the immune system and help the body to repair damaged tissues, which is something very common among HIV patients. On the other hand, because they are very minute particles, they easily mix in with the bloodstream and distributed in the body.
  • Combination therapy is one of the techniques using nanotechnology that might cure HIV. In this, the therapy of attacking the HIV virus is paired with the strategy of enhancing the immune system. Because of this, patients who would have died from an HIV infection now have a better chance to survive the virus instead. Moreover, the immune system is boosted and rejuvenated, which not only improves the chances of a person surviving HIV but also a chance for a better health.

Despite the very promising and rosy picture all these products of nanotechnology that might cure HIV brings, the reality is that these are all still in the planning board. Scientists themselves acknowledge that plenty of researches have to be done before these treatments will be available on a mass basis.

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Nanotechnology Products: Science’s Promising Frontiers

Scientists know that the benefits their craft can give to mankind is practically endless. It is like a cycle wherein a major achievement is followed by something else even more astounding and significant. As a result, the frontiers of man’s abilities are constantly being pushed forward, widening the possibilities that man holds in his hands. One of these ways to push the frontier forward is through nanotechnology products. As a matter of fact, more than just being an addition to the wealth of knowledge of man, nanotechnology is one of the latest and most advanced of technological applications whose impact to man has not been fully fathomed, yet experts predict that it will far overshadow anything that has come before.

Nanotechnology Defined

Nanotechnology is the application of scientific knowledge on matters that are atomic or molecular in size. It also involves production of materials and gadgets that falls within the size range. In a time when scientific knowledge and achievement is usually measured in terms of how grand they are or how big they seem, nanotechnology products are reminders that not everything in life must necessarily be big to create an impact. Not only does this maxim hold true to scientific approaches, it is also very true for life in general.

Nanotechnology Applications

Because of the nature of nanotechnology, it allows men to delve into the tiniest particles both in man and in his environment. Because the approach is molecular or atomic, it allows men to go deep into the nature of the problem and apply solutions at its base. Moreover, nanotechnology has also allowed mankind to come up with objects that address the most basic of his needs. Some of the nanotechnology products that have helped man in a lot of ways are the following:

  • Tissue engineering is one of the nanotechnology products and one that has the biggest benefit for man. Because of this, it is now possible to repair damaged tissues without posing risks to the nearby healthy tissues.
  • Other nanotechnology products are used in nanofiltration or the procedure of purifying water and air. This is made possible with the help of protective screens that are placed on smokestacks or in water carriers so that even the tiniest of impurities will be eliminated.

  • In the field of energy consumption, nanotechnology products are used to maximize fuel consumption. Most such products come in the form of insulating systems that are used in air-conditioning units and refrigerators to make sure that every ounce of electricity is applied to making the room or fridge cool.
  • One of the greatest benefits of nanotechnology is in the field of creating materials that are light yet very tough. In this, the aerospace industry is the first to benefit from. Nanotechnology products here come in the form of lighter panels, cockpit glass, engine, and components, along with propellers for aircraft. Because of the lightness of the materials used, the output of the engine is better geared toward increasing the speed of the plane. As a result, fuel efficiency is also maximized.

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The Basics of Molecular Nanotechnology

MNT or molecular nanotechnology is a manufacturing technology that is currently being researched and is said to be something that will allow the precise control and assembly of building blocks that are molecule sized–and this is done with the help of manipulator arms that come in nano-scale sizes. While nanotechnology in general is considered a term that is used to describe the technological and scientific projects that revolve around the different properties and phenomena that are at the nanometer scale, molecular nanotechnology is considered a distinct science apart from this general term.

Bottom-Up Manufacturing

The idea for molecular nanotechnology first took shape in the hands of Richard Feynman who was a Nobel-Prize-winning physicist. He first talked about this in 1959 and discussed the possibility of regular-sized robot arms building one-tenth-sized replicas of themselves. These smaller replicas will then repeat the process of building smaller copies of themselves until the replicas that were being produced were of a molecular scale. He further expounded on the use of these miniscule manufacturing arms in what was to be called a bottom-up manufacturing method where things are built from the ground up.

Continuing Development and Research

While the idea had its merits, it was not until the 1980s when an MIT engineer named K. Eric Drexler took the concept up again and wrote a book about it, outlining the possibilities of molecular nanotechnology. He stated that since this will enable people to manufacture products from the molecular base upwards and with molecular precision, a whole lot of chemically possible structures could actually be created with this method. The process is called molecular manufacturing, and the idea that each molecule of the substance being created is put in its specific place with utmost precision means that the end-result can be products that are efficiently and very cleanly put together.

From Concept to Realization

This idea called molecular nanotechnology is still in its research stage with scientists trying to find ways to make the creation of products from the ground up a reality. This concept is seen as something that can benefit the human race in many ways and these include the creation of what is called smart materials, materials that are made to react differently to the different molecules they encounter. These can be seen applied to such fields like medicine and is seen to be ideal for such ideas like self-healing products.

Other Possible Applications

Other possibilities that seem to be considered ideal with the use of molecular nanotechnology include the creation of medical nanorobots and replicating nanorobots. The reason why these nanorobots are appealing to a lot of researchers is the fact that these miniscule robots that can be tasked to help with medical problems can help prevent diseases by helping keep certain parts of your body free of the disease-carrying factors that you have in your body. An example of what these medical nanorobots could do is the concept of their being able to repair tissues and cells when they get damaged. These are also viewed as possible “repairmen” that can help repair physical injuries from the inside out.

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Nanotechnology Cancer Research and Development

One of the areas of medicine that will benefit from the research and development of nanotechnology is that of cancer treatment and detection. Nanotechnology cancer research and development is being actively funded and pursued to help people find better ways to diagnose and manage cancer as well as to treat it. The National Cancer Institute is aiming to decrease cancer deaths by the year 2015 and to do so with the help of the technology called nanotech.

How Nanotechnology Can Help with Cancer

Nanotechnology cancer-related research actually involves the use of nanodevices in clinical trials to help with the early detection of the problem, the finding of the cancerous cells within a patient’s body, and for nanotechnology cancer Research and Development to accurately deliver drugs to treat these cancerous cells with.

Nanotechnology is also used to help determine if these cancerous cells have indeed been eradicated by the “smart drugs” that were administered to it. These clinical trials give doctors and researchers the kind of results they need to help create the kind of help people with cancer will require in the future to detect early on the signs of cancer, treat the cancerous cells, and even to prevent the onset or recurrence of the debilitating disorder.

The NCI Nanotechnology Project

The National Cancer Institute or NCI has launched a plan of action for achieving this great goal of harnessing the power of nanotechnology to create a way to diagnose cancer and to locate these cancerous cells in a person’s body with nanotechnology cancer research projects. The ultimate goal is to be able to eradicate cancer altogether with the help of this technological breakthrough, and this is to be done with the help of six areas of research and development into the science. These areas include the prevention and the control of cancer, the early detection and diagnosis of the problem, the development of imaging diagnostics that use nanotechnology for accuracy, and the utilization of nanotechnology in therapy.

Why Nanotechnology Is Considered the Best Solution

When you really think about it, nanotechnology cancer research and the development of solutions that can help people detect cancer better and cure it more accurately is something that can actually benefit all. Not only will this kind of development help with the early detection of the problem and the on-point eradication of the source of the problem, it also does it with minimal or non-invasive methods. This kind of method that is done with the help of nanotechnology will not only revolutionize the way cancer is treated and diagnosed but will also help develop methods for detecting ailments that can also be used for other dangerous diseases.

Encouraging Early Results

With the continued nanotechnology cancer research being conducted on the possibility of better diagnostics and treatment of this ailment with the help of nanoscience, people may soon find that they can get a more accurate diagnosis about their ailment soon and will get the kind of accurate treatment they need as well. The early results of such clinical and laboratory trials is showing a lot of people that it is indeed something worth looking forward to and something that can help a lot of people in the near future.

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Investing in Nanotechnology Stocks

Investing in stocks is one of the things a lot of people do to try and make a lot of money out of. One of the stocks that people seem to be eyeing are nanotechnology stocks since there seems to be an increase in the interest in this technology these days. This interest in stocks for nanotechnology is spurred on by the many breakthroughs that seem to be coming to the forefront with the latest research and discoveries being made in this nanoscience. This is due to the fact that a lot of the scientists and researchers handling these projects often say that there is much promise in the science and commercial uses for this kind of technology in the near future.


Hype or Legitimate Investment?

A lot of people who are actually contemplating investing in nanotechnology stocks have a certain fear that this may all just be brought about by the hype that comes with every new discovery. Much like the dot com bubble that burst after a few years, people are afraid that this interest in nanotechnology will soon fade and prove to be another just like it. While forecasts show that there will indeed be a steady rise in interest in this technology due to the constant trickle of innovations that use this science into the market, you will need to determine which companies that are researching nanotech and are into serious nanoscience development are worth investing in.

Finding Legitimate Nanotech Companies

When looking for nanotechnology stocks that are legitimately ripe for investing in, you will first need to figure out if companies you are looking through are indeed seriously researching and developing nanoscience and nanotechnology. When defined, a company that is considered part of the companies that sell nanotechnology stock are those that are engaged in the science and in the technology that builds electronic circuits and other devices from molecules and single atoms. This means that companies that can be considered part of the world of nanotechnology are those that work on applications that manipulate and develop devices and materials at an atomic scale.

Forecasts for Nanotechnology Stocks

To check the forecasts on nanotechnology stocks, you will first need to be able to distinguish market size from the value of the manufactured technology. This means you will to be able to discern the true value of the market without it being based on impacts. You will need to include in your research only the technologies that belong to nanotechnology and not those products that use these components or have this in their construction.

Risk or Opportunity?

To determine whether nanotechnology stocks are indeed worth investing in, you should prepare to wait a few years or even decades to truly see where your investment is going. Nanotechnology and stocks that are being sold to investors for this science and its development does indeed show some promise, but you will still need to find the right company to invest in. There are small companies that produce purely nanotechnology products, and there are big companies that produce the same products at only a small percentage but they make more money due to their size. Which one do you think is the better investment? Either way, investing in these stocks can both be very risk, on a par with highly speculative assets like alt coins and an opportunity and it is up to you if you want to take it.

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The Importance of Nanotechnology in Medicine

One of the areas where nanotechnology is being touted to create a huge impact on and will benefit society the most is medicine. Nanotechnology in medicine is actually being seen as the future of wellness and is being actively used these days in creating a better drug delivery system that makes the absorption of the components of medication more effective. Some of the medications that already use nanotechnology to effectively deliver their components to the areas that they need to get to include those that are meant for controlling cholesterol levels and for suppressing one’s appetite for effective weight loss.

Smart Drugs with the Use of Nanotechnology

When you talk about nanotechnology in medicine, one of the areas that is getting a lot of attention and where a lot of research is being done is in the creation of what is called smart drugs. Smart drugs will effectively target the areas that they need to target to effectively eradicate the cause of the ailment that the person is suffering. There are a lot of ailments that will need this kind of a drug, and researchers are trying to come up with drug therapies that can help people get over illnesses faster simply because the drugs that they are taking work more effectively.

Nanotechnology and Cancer

One of the ailments that is being seen as a beneficiary of the development of nanotechnology in medicine is cancer, and the National Cancer Institute has seen this. They have even created an alliance called the Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer, and the investments that they make in this direction is done with the hopes of finding breakthroughs that can help in the early detection, diagnostics, and treatment of the different forms of this ailment.

Nanotechnology and Future Medical Uses

There are a lot of areas in medicine that will greatly benefit from the further development of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology in medicine will benefit those that suffer from heart disease, respiratory problems, and diabetes in the future with the breakthroughs that may be found in the research that is being made in these areas. Other areas that may see some help from nanotechnology in the future also include fertility issues, brain issues or malfunctions, and even the reparation of senses. These areas are also being researched by experts in these fields along with experts in nanotechnology. This is done to find solutions to problems that have plagued humans for ages now.

Cell and Bone Regeneration with Nanotechnology

Also included in the list of possible future uses nanotechnology in medicine are those that revolve around cell and bone regeneration. The cell and nerve regeneration possibility is actually in its early stages of research and development, and it won’t be long till these become a reality and can be used to help people who need to have certain cells in their body mended or bones that need fixing repaired. The use of nanotechnology in these areas of medicine is one that people look forward to since the discovery of solutions for broken bones and for cell reparation can lead to better and faster healing of the body.

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Bio-Based Nanotechnology for Environmental Concerns

A lot of the things that are being produced these days now take into consideration the effects that these have on our environment. Products that need fossil fuels to be produced and items that are created with the use of non-biodegradable substances are now being rethought and reconfigured to help keep the environment clean and safe. This includes nanotechnology since a lot of nanotech products are produced from fossil fuels like carbon fibers and such. These make them non-biodegradable, and while ultimately useful, they still pose a threat to the environment in the long run. This is where bio-based nanotechnology comes in.

Using Natural Fibers Instead of Synthetic Ones

When it comes to producing biodegradable alternatives to products that use synthetic fibers, natural fibers are often considered as alternatives despite the fact that some of these natural fibers lack the high-performance attributes that most synthetic fibers possess. Some of the natural fibers that have been used to replace these synthetic fibers include wool and cotton. However, since these prove to be rather poor substitutes for the synthetic fibers gained from fossil fuels, another source is being considered. Bio-based nanotechnology has found that cellulose is one of the most ideal replacements for this need due to the fact that these cellulose nanofibers have unique properties that can be useful for nanotechnology uses.

Difficulties and Solutions to Cellulose Nanofiber

The use of cellulose nanofiber, which is found in natural plant bodies for use in the manufacture of high-performance packaging that is environmentally friendly, actually presented quite a few problems to the scientists that were researching the possibility. One of the problems that they encountered was the microfibril length and the impairment of the structural potential of these nanofibers when these were developed with the use of old methods. This was overcome with the use of newer methods of conversion that helped these researchers develop cellulose nanofibers that measured 4 to 5 nm in width and were around a few microns long. This means that bio-based nanotechnology can now be utilized for the many nanofiber-based products that we need and use.

Sustainable and Ecologically Sound Alternative

The use of wood cellulose and the high-crystalline cellulose fibers that are found in it in the creation of bio-based nanotechnology products is ideal for this day and age due to the ever-increasing problems we have with sustainability and with products harming the environment. This is so because these are made with the use of materials that will help the Earth keep itself green and at the same time give people the products that they want and need without putting the planet in more danger than it already is in. The challenge now for scientists and researchers regarding this sustainable and ecologically sound alternative to fossil-fuel-based nanofibers is to come up with a way to engineer these green nano materials into products that can be used effectively by all in many ways. An example of a product that can be made from these bio-based nanofibers is biodegradable packaging materials and other similar applications.

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