Researchers have developed a small organic molecule that assembles into a porous structure and absorbs hydrocarbons and their derivatives, many of which are potent greenhouse gases.  The material is lightweight, as well as thermally and hydrolytically stable.  For anyone involved in the emission and capture of greenhouse gases, recent developments in nanotechnology, or just simply interested in the climate change issue, this new research represents a potentially groundbreaking development in the battle to combat greenhouse gases.

A University of Houston-led team conducted the research and published it last month in Nature Communications.   Titled Thermally robust and porous noncovalent organic framework with high affinity for fluorocarbons and CFCs, the study reports that the nanoporous structure can capture as much as 75% of its weight in hydrocarbons and fluorocarbons.
Continue Reading Nanomaterials Fight Ozone-Depleting Greenhouse Gases

New research suggests that nanoparticles may be effectively used to interfere with the expression of specific genes and provide targeted disease treatment.  A study published in Nature Nanotechnology reports on promising developments involving the use of nanoparticles in gene therapy.   Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Harvard Medical School, University of Colorado, and Technion Israel Institute of Technology published the study titled In vivo endothelial siRNA delivery using polymeric nanoparticles with low molecular weight. Nature Nanotechnology 9, 648–655 (2014).
Continue Reading Nanoparticles May Effectively Treat Diseases With Cell-Specific Therapy

Are carbon nanotubes helping to cause cancer, cure cancer, both, or neither?  Several years ago, carbon nanotubes shot to mainstream consciousness in large part due to concerns that they may present health risks similar to asbestos fibers.  A 2010 study published in The Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health found that carbon nanotubes can induce apoptosis, DNA damage, and initiate biological responses.  In 2010, and again in 2013, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) issued a Current Intelligence Bulletin recommending exposure limits for carbon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers based on the concerns over possible adverse health effects.   A 2013 study, however, suggested that concerns about the similarities of bio-reactivity and pathogenicity between asbestos fibers and carbon nanotubes may be alleviated through modification of length and chemical modification of the nanotube surface.
Continue Reading Carbon Nanotubes and Cancer: Potential Cause or Cure?