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?

The FDA has published draft guidance describing its current position on the use of nanomaterial in food for animals.  See “Guidance for Industry, Use of Nanomaterials in Food for Animals, Draft Guidance,” available at http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AnimalVeterinary/GuidanceComplianceEnforcement/GuidanceforIndustry/UCM401508.pdf.  The draft guidance is aimed at food intended for animal consumption that 1) consists entirely of nanomaterials, 2) contains nanomaterial as a component, or 3) otherwise involves the application of nanotechnology.
Continue Reading FDA Publishes Draft Guidance For the Use of Nanomaterials in Animal Food

The United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has issued three final guidance documents and one draft guidance for the development of nanotechnology products.  The final guidance documents address 1) the FDA’s overall approach for all of the products that it regulates; 2) the effects of significant manufacturing process changes and the safety and regulatory status of food ingredients and food contact substances; and 3) the safety of nanomaterials in cosmetic products. The draft guidance covers the use of nanomaterials in food for animals.
Continue Reading USFDA Issues Guidance Documents For Nanotechnology Products