Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Nanodrugs/Biotechnology: the case for sustainability [un-read]/nano economy? /structural water:

Expand Messages
  • r X
    Nano World: 150 Nanodrugs On Horizon By Charles Q. Choi New York (UPI) Nov 02, 2005 While only two kinds of nanoparticle therapies against cancer are now
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      Nano World: 150 Nanodrugs On Horizon

      By Charles Q. Choi
      New York (UPI) Nov 02, 2005
      While only two kinds of nanoparticle therapies against
      cancer are now clinically available in the United
      States, roughly 150 more lie in various stages of
      development, experts told UPI's Nano World.
      "The National Cancer Institute's goal to the nation is
      to eliminate the suffering and death from cancer by
      2015. Now getting rid of cancer is a ridiculous
      notion, but the hope is to turn cancer into something
      we can live with and treat, much like how diabetes was
      a death sentence 50 years ago and now is not. And
      these nanodrugs may help lead the way," said Mauro
      Ferrari, who led the development of the National
      Cancer Institute's nanotechnology plan and is
      associate vice president of health sciences technology
      and commercialization at Ohio State University in
      He and others discussed their views at the
      NanoCommerce & SEMI NanoForum conference in Chicago on
      The first kind of nanoparticle therapy, approved more
      than 10 years ago, wraps anti-cancer drugs in
      liposomes, which are essentially microscopic bubbles
      of fat that help reduce a drug's side effects. While
      originally designed to treat Kaposi's sarcoma, it now
      is getting approved for other cancers, including
      breast and ovarian.
      The other, which the Food and Drug Administration
      approved in January, is Abraxane from American
      Pharmaceutical Partners in Schaumburg, Ill., which is
      made of nanoparticles containing the tumor-fighting
      drug paclitaxel bound to albumin protein. Abraxane can
      be taken without the toxic solvents normally used with
      paclitaxel, which means more of the drug can be taken
      with fewer side effects.
      Ferrari noted that roughly 150 more nanoparticle
      cancer therapies were in development. Still, he and
      others noted they face many challenges simply reaching
      their intended target. If they are made too small,
      they simply get flushed out the body, while ones that
      are too big get stuck in blood vessels for immune
      cells to gobble. In addition, layers upon layers of
      biological tissue often stand in their way.
      "To move beyond the nanoparticle drugs we have now,
      we'll need multiple approaches against all the traps
      the body puts up against them," Ferrari said. For
      instance, creating multilayered nanoparticles could
      lead to an outer layer that prevents immune cells from
      engulfing it, with the layers underneath that enabling
      it to penetrate through multiple kinds of tissue or
      help doctors see if the nanoparticles have reached the
      right cells, in addition to delivering a drug payload,
      he explained.
      "Great examples" of multifunctional nanoparticle
      therapies in development include 6-nanometer-wide
      branched nanoparticles known as dendrimers from the
      University of Michigan at Ann Arbor that carry
      different molecules on their branches that enable a
      dendrimer to latch onto specific cells, deliver
      anti-cancer drugs and let doctors image the
      dendrimer's location via magnetic resonance imaging
      scans, Ferrari said.
      Another included nanoparticles from MIT announced in
      July that carry both anti-angiogenic drugs targeting
      the abnormal blood vessels feeding the tumors as well
      as anti-cancer drugs against the tumor cells
      In addition to nanoparticle therapies that carry drugs
      to attack tumors cells, others exist that kill cancers
      by roasting them. Nanospectra Biosciences in Houston
      has an exclusive worldwide license to nanoparticles
      known as nanoshells, which have a gold crust and a
      glass core.
      When exposed to near-infrared light -- the kind that
      best penetrates the body without harm -- the
      nanoshells heat up. Such therapy would involve
      delivering nanoshells into target cancers and shining
      near-infrared light outside the patient to cook a
      tumor from the inside, explained Nanospectra President
      Donald Payne.
      Since cancers are such complex diseases, employing
      multiple therapies "might be the most useful," Payne
      said. While Ferrari acknowledged that combining
      several clinical approaches that by themselves are
      complicated into multifunctional nanoparticle or
      multiple nanoparticle therapies that would prove even
      more complex to develop, he noted that "Albert
      Einstein once said to make your theory as simple as
      possible but no simpler. While we are in agreement
      that by adding more complexity, you add more worries,
      if you ask me, it's the only way to beat this damn
      thing. You cannot make the therapy any simpler if the
      simpler things don't work."
      All rights reserved. © 2005 United Press
      International. Sections of the information displayed
      on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are
      protected by intellectual property rights owned by
      United Press International.. As a consequence, you may
      not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish,
      display or in any way commercially exploit any of the
      content of this section without the prior written
      consent of United Press International.

      A University of Colorado at Boulder team has developed
      the first computer-generated model of a tiny,
      waterwheel-like molecular rotor that has been
      harnessed to rotate in one direction at different
      speeds in response to changes in the strength of an
      electrical field applied from the outside.

      Biotechnology: the case for sustainability
      John Elkington
      20 - 8 - 2003

      Many environmentalists see biotechnology solely in
      terms of threat and danger. This is short-sighted,
      says John Elkington of SustainAbility. The challenges
      of the 21st century – climate change, poverty,
      disease, demography – make biotechnology a potentially
      valuable tool. The question is: can it be used in ways
      that sustain democracy and public trust?

      Yes, to show my cards from the outset, I believe there
      is a ‘sustainability case’ for many forms of
      biotechnology. But not all, and not in all
      circumstances. Used wisely, genetic modification
      technology could play a part in the development of a
      truly sustainable world, with environmental and social
      benefits as well as economic ones. But before I
      explain why, perhaps I should declare an interest –
      and explain where I’m coming from.
      I first worked on biotechnology for the UK Department
      of the Environment in 1980. The department’s strategic
      planners wanted to know what the environmental impacts
      of these new technologies might be. Later, for fifteen
      years from 1983, I edited Biotechnology Bulletin,
      enabling me to visit over a hundred biotech companies
      worldwide. I wrote a book (The Gene Factory: Inside
      the Biotechnology Business, Century Publishing, 1985)
      and several reports, including Double Dividends: US
      Biotechnology and Third World Development (World
      Resources Institute, 1986).
      Since we founded the business strategy and sustainable
      development consultancy SustainAbility in 1987, we
      have also worked for a number of companies that use
      modern biotechnology and genetic engineering. Our
      longest-standing relationship is with Denmark’s Novo
      Nordisk, but other companies that we work – or have
      worked – with in this area include Aventis, Cargill
      Dow, DuPont, Monsanto, Novartis and Unilever.
      Because of the sensitivity of the issues, we developed
      a policy statement specifically on biotechnology in
      1998 and posted it on our website. Our values had been
      severely tested late in 1997 when working with
      Monsanto, a relationship we unilaterally and publicly
      resigned early in 1998 (as described in our book The
      Chrysalis Economy).
      We don’t like resigning from relationships with our
      clients, but the issue was fundamental: we had
      concluded that the way Monsanto planned to handle
      biotechnology in Europe, particularly genetically
      modified foods, was doomed to failure. Worse, it
      threatened to undermine public confidence in other
      types of biotechnology. And so it proved. But none of
      that has shaken our belief that biotechnology will
      play a central role in the achievement of more
      sustainable forms of development.
      Three scenarios, three conditions
      We do see three possible scenarios for the future of
      genetic modification (GM), however. We label them
      Nuclear, Antibiotic and Microchip. In the first
      scenario, GM technologies are seen as having great
      promise early on, but then being progressively
      restricted as major issues arise. In the second, the
      usefulness of the technologies ensures wide use, but
      resistance and other negative effects drive growing
      controls. The third scenario is the one in most GM
      scientists’ minds, in which modified genes become as
      ubiquitous in the modern world as microprocessors and
      Our interest in the longer-term potential of such
      technologies should be seen in the context of likely
      demographic trends and of the UN Millennium
      Development Goals. The UN’s goals range from reducing
      extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/Aids. No
      one should expect technology to solve all our
      fundamental socio-economic problems, which often have
      strong political roots. But I cannot see how the world
      will feed, service and support a population of 9-10
      billion people in the latter half of this century
      without radically new technologies.
      The concern is not simply the old population numbers
      issue, but the sheer speed of the innovation processes
      that will be needed to cope with the changes that
      growing human numbers and population densities bring.
      These range from Sars-like infections through to the
      agricultural and health knock-on effects of climate
      So does that mean that the protestors were wrong to
      try to stop Monsanto’s promotion of GM crops in
      Europe? Or, as Kisan Mehta and Jyoti Fernandes have
      argued in openDemocracy, that farmers in the Indian
      sub-continent are wrong to resist attempts to impose
      solutions on them? No, absolutely not. Indeed the
      opposite is true. The implications of these
      technologies are so great that they need vigorous,
      open debate over many years, even decades.
      The issue of who controls not only the technology but
      (in the case of GM crops) agriculture itself is
      central to the debate. If these technologies were
      being introduced by government-owned agencies, many
      have argued, there would be less concern. But control
      is only one of the issues that will need to be
      addressed head on.
      Issues of traceability and consumer choice are going
      to be absolutely fundamental to the development and
      introduction of more sustainable technologies. And,
      whatever they may have argued, Monsanto and its US
      government backers were clearly trying to deny
      European consumers choice by resisting GM crop
      segregation and the labelling of foods based on GM
      crop products.
      History suggests that any new technology will have a
      range of positive and negative impacts – economic,
      social and environmental. Modern biotechnology will
      follow the same pattern. If we are to introduce such
      technologies successfully in our increasingly complex
      world, we must ensure at least three basic conditions
      are met: (1) high levels of transparency and
      accountability; (2) small-scale piloting before
      large-scale introduction; and (3) a rapid response
      capacity to pull potentially problematic technologies
      or products off the market if and when significant
      problems begin to appear, even in the teeth of
      resistance from those pushing the technology.
      Red, white, green - or black?
      Ultimately, public confidence will be a make-or-break
      factor in innovating our way towards sustainability.
      And, as history also shows, public confidence is both
      hard to build and easy to erode. One necessary early
      step will be to help citizens understand what is
      involved – and what the implications of different
      technologies might be. The use of citizens’ juries and
      similar processes can be useful in this respect, but
      only if citizens are genuinely allowed to make up
      their own minds on what should happen.
      In thinking about how to introduce novel
      biotechnologies, I find it helpful to consider the
      labels used by EuropaBio (the European Association for
      Bioindustries). It uses different colours to
      distinguish different application areas. So, for
      example, red biotechnology covers indicate such human
      health care applications as diagnostics, vaccines,
      medicines and, over the longer term, gene therapy;
      white biotechnology involves the use of living cells
      like bacteria, moulds and yeasts to produce
      antibiotics, vitamins and enzymes; and green
      biotechnology can boost the production of renewable
      materials and fuels – and cut environmental impacts.
      All these forms of biotechnology, and others, will
      need to be developed in close consultation with a wide
      range of stakeholders if they are to be socially
      sustainable. Green biotechnology, for example sounds
      attractive, until you recall that GM crops raise a
      whole raft of control, intellectual property rights,
      resistance and cross-contamination issues. And this
      can be just as true for applications developed with
      social or environmental goals in mind.
      Such issues will need to be handled with particular
      sensitivity in the developing world, although past
      experience and the likely socio-economic impacts of
      these technologies suggest that we will see a
      continuing succession of major controversies in such
      But so great is the pace of change, and so focused
      will the bioindustry be on getting products with real
      benefits to consumers that my hunch is that by 2020
      many different forms of genetic modification will be
      widely accepted by the public that would currently
      seem almost unimaginable.
      For this to happen Europe will need to build
      democratically accountable political institutions and
      regulatory agencies that help rebuild public trust.
      The scale of the challenge is enormous, particularly
      given the growing ‘spoiling’ power of the media. In
      this context, another necessary condition for
      sustainable innovation in Europe will be better
      education in science, technology and sustainable
      development. Europeans will also need more timely,
      credible and useful information on the characteristics
      of particular products.
      But no one should use the very real innovation gap
      between Europe and the US as an alibi for
      force-feeding Europeans, or anyone else, with the
      products of biotechnology without their prior informed
      consent. Nor, despite the early failures of the
      coalition forces to find weapons of mass destruction
      (including germ warfare weapons) in Iraq, should we
      forget the very real long-term risks of what we might
      call aggressive biotechnology (or perhaps black
      Anyone who wants to get a sense of where that might
      take us should read The White Plague by the late Frank
      Herbert. When he wrote the book, over twenty years
      ago, he did the costings for a lab in which genetic
      weapons could be developed to kill off the world’s
      women. When I talked to him soon afterwards he had
      reassessed the costings, because the first major
      recession to hit the biotech industry had left
      mountains of sophisticated equipment available at
      virtually bargain basement prices.
      Bio-innovation for all?
      In the face of this particular aspect of
      biotechnology’s potential, you might expect me to side
      with those who want to stuff the gene genie back into
      the bottle. Not so: even if we wanted to renounce GM
      technology now, we couldn’t. Indeed, I support further
      bio-innovation in line with the principles of
      sustainability and the three conditions outlined
      But there is also something about the thinking of
      Richard Jefferson which I find deeply
      thought-provoking. He argues that biotechnology
      suffers because it is often pursued by giant
      corporations shifting from industrial chemistry to
      industrial biology, Monsanto among them. By contrast,
      he insists that we should radically democratise
      bio-innovation, to ensure both equity and food
      security. The idea of farmers setting up their own
      bio-labs, might raise hairs on many necks (how would
      we feel about North Korean GM farm labs?), but don’t
      dismiss Jefferson out of hand. By definition, managing
      radical challenges requires radical thinking.
      In many ways, what people like Richard Jefferson have
      in mind is very much akin to what happened with
      computers. To begin with, they were the preserve of
      very large producers and very large users. Then with
      the invention of the personal computer they escaped
      from their air-conditioned habitats out into the real
      world, mutating that world as they went. The early
      internet, in turn, was cross-fertilised with these new
      technologies to put amazing tools in the hands of
      ordinary citizens.
      In the US, similarly, there are those who see the same
      thing happening with technologies like fuel cells, on
      the road to the much-vaunted ‘hydrogen economy’, and
      with space travel, with super-wealthy people like
      Amazon’s Jeff Bezos intent on prizing space travel out
      of the bureaucratic claws of Nasa.
      However much we may feel that the
      GM-in-everyman’s-hands future is a profoundly
      uncomfortable vision of the future, history suggests
      this is the way things will go. So do we wait for the
      future to run us off the road, or do we try to jump
      aboard and grab the steering wheel?

      e: [nanotech] Nano Economic Forecast 2001

      I have been thru the reports prepared by R&M on other
      Frankly, not found the one to b paid so highly.
      Any idea where other nanotech *industry report* can b

      On 11/2/05, Kincha <cindy@...>
      > Nanotech Market to Reach $1Trillion by 2011
      > November 1, 2005
      > A new report from Research and Markets, "World
      Nanotechnology Market -
      > An industry Update", looks at the commercial
      potential and the
      > economic advantages of this nascent technology,
      which is being used to
      > develop nanosensors among other devices. The report
      predicts that
      > nanotechnology will exceed $1 trillion by end 2010.
      To facilitate R&D,
      > governments and venture capitalists have increased
      investments: for
      > instance Intel, IBM, DuPont, 3M, General Electric,
      Samsung and Hitachi
      > spent $3.8 billion in 2004: 46% in North America,
      36% in Asia, and 17%
      > in Europe.

      No repro:

      The Institute of Science in Society Science Society
      Sustainability http://www.i-sis.org.uk

      General Enquiries sam@... Website/Mailing
      press-release@... ISIS Director

      This article can be found on the I-SIS website at

      ISIS Press Release 02/11/05

      ISIS exclusive

      First Sighting of Structured Water


      Structured water is among the hottest topic in science
      no one has seen it until now

      Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

      Structured water at £1.50 a bottle


      Structured water is serious science. It must be real
      generations of big instruments have been deployed to
      it; the latest to capture the headlines being
      electron crystallography [1, 2] after more than a
      decade of
      neutron scattering, X-ray diffraction, nuclear
      resonance, etc., not to mention the considerable
      crunching to extract information out of the data, and
      upon hours of computer simulations that go into

      But no one has actually seen structured water itself,
      makes it much more elusive than unidentified flying
      or poltergeists.

      The best that the string of high-power instruments has

      produced are ghostly diffraction patterns, and bumps
      squiggly-lined spectra that only the specialists
      these scientific séances can decipher. Nevertheless,
      structured water has captured the public imagination;
      enterprising companies have made it a selling point
      water-purification devices, or in one case, for
      water selling at £1.50 a time (though I am told it has
      off the market since).

      But structured water, or at least, one form of it, has

      finally been caught on camera; not an ordinary camera,


      Seeing is believing


      Researchers at the A.J. Drexel Nanotechnology
      Institute in
      Drexel University, Philadelphia and University of
      at Chicago, USA, and the Tokyo Institute of
      Japan, have produced stunning high-resolution
      electron-micrographs of carbon nanotubes of different
      with water trapped inside them [3, 4].

      Carbon nanotubes, a new form of carbon discovered in
      are long thin tubes that are either single-walled or
      walled, and can be closed or open at the ends,
      depending on
      how they are made. Yury Gogotsi, Haihui Ye and
      have previously found that autoclaving multi-walled
      nanotubes with closed ends and inner diameters ranging
      200 nm to 2 nm caused water to enter through defects
      in the
      walls and remain trapped inside the hollow tube. This
      provides a great opportunity for investigating the
      properties of water at different scales of
      There has been a spate of discoveries suggesting that
      and other fluids in confined spaces (nanometre
      have weird properties. They tend to show new phases
      behaviour other than the usual ones they show in bulk.

      In the case of water, theoretical studies have
      predicted new
      phases of ice inside carbon nanotubes, but not all
      scientists agree. So there is nothing like real data
      settle the issue.

      The nanotubes are sealed with water in a gold capsule,
      is then treated in the autoclave at 300 – 650C under
      20 to
      80 MPa pressure (1 MPa, MegaPascal = 1 000 000 Pascals
      ~ 10
      atmospheres). This treatment causes the nanotubes to
      fill up
      with water, and ready to have their pictures taken by
      high-resolution transmission electron microscope
      Accompanying the high-resolution imaging is a parallel

      modelling of the molecular arrangements using a
      software package, HyperChem. As a result,
      HyperChem snapshots are obtained, showing models of
      molecules inside nanotubes of diameters equal to the
      being observed under the electron microscope.

      Pictures of big nanotubes


      The researchers discovered that in large diameter
      nanotubes (10 to 200 nm), water behaves fairly
      conventionally, much as they would in an ordinary
      tube. The liquid water inside the hollow tube shows up
      low contrast, and at the boundary between liquid and
      phases, a typical meniscus (concave surface) is
      (Fig. 1a). Such a curvature indicates strong
      between water molecules and the inner wall of the
      And as typical of liquid water when heated up by
      electron beams from the electron microscope, the
      shrinks and finally disappears as all the water
      into the gas phase. But as the water is trapped, this
      gaseous water eventually condenses again into liquid,
      provides a method for transporting water with the
      During the evaporation process, the water/nanotube
      interaction can be significantly accelerated by
      converging the electron beam at the water, so that a
      can be created in the wall of the nanotube at that
      point as
      the water molecules get burnt off, carrying the bit of
      with them. This, the researchers observe, is a very
      good way
      of drilling a hole in a nanotube for

      Figure 1. High resolution TEM of big nanotube (a) and
      nanotube (b) with water trapped inside

      Pictures in small nanotubes show up the devil


      Pictures of small diameter nanotubes (2 to 5 nm) are
      something else. The liquid water shows up in high
      giving a bright beady appearance, quite unlike the
      trapped in the bigger nanotubes (Fig. 1b). Also
      contrary to
      the pictures seen in large nanotubes, there is no
      separating the liquid from the gas phase. In fact, the
      molecules appear not to interact with the wall of the
      nanotube at all, but are concentrating their
      with one another, leaving a typical gap between the
      water and the wall.

      And now comes the bit of science that convinces
      someone like
      me that the bright and beady appearance of the water
      really structured water. The researchers turned on the

      HyperChem to simulate the molecular arrangements, then
      the molecular arrangements to back simulate what it
      look like under the electron microscope at different
      of focus. And lo and behold, we get the bright, beady
      appearance, in which the ‘beads' themselves can be
      identified with clusters of a few molecules of water

      Figure 2. Hyperchem simulation of water molecules
      inside 4n
      diameter nanotube (top), and corresponding TEM
      simulation in
      longitudinal section (bottom right)

      What this means is that the individual water molecules
      sufficiently ordered (structured) and restricted in
      to be captured on film. This structured water is a
      cylindrical lattice-work some ten layers of molecules
      for a 4 nm diameter nanotube. In some pictures, like
      nanotube filled with heavy water (made with deuterium,
      heavy isotope of hydrogen) (Fig. 3), the liquid water
      inside the small nanotube looks rather like a twisted
      strand pearl necklace, suggesting the formation of
      of hydrogen-bonded water molecules.

      Figure 3. Nanotube with heavy water

      This research raises a host of interesting questions,
      including what kind of proton-conduction properties
      water cylinders would have (“Positive electricity zaps

      through water chains”, this series). Perhaps something
      a super-conducting proton-cable, I imagine, with lots
      energy-efficient applications, no doubt…


      This article can be found on the I-SIS website at

      If you like this original article from the Institute
      Science in Society, and would like to continue
      articles of this calibre, please consider making a
      or purchase on our website


      ISIS is an independent, not-for-profit organisation
      dedicated to providing critical public information on
      cutting edge science, and to promoting social
      and ecological sustainability in science.

      If you would prefer to receive future mailings as HTML

      please let us know. If you would like to be removed
      from our
      mailing list unsubscribe at



      The Institute of Science in Society, PO Box 32097,
      NW1 OXR

      telephone: [44 1994 231623] [44 20 8452 2729] [44
      7272 5636]

      General Enquiries sam@... Website/Mailing
      press-release@... ISIS Director



      How much free photo storage do you get? Store your holiday
      snaps for FREE with Yahoo! Photos http://uk.photos.yahoo.com
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.