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May 12, 2006

How Nanotechnology Will Work
by Kevin Bonsor

In the early 20th century, Henry Ford built a car manufacturing plant on a 2,000-acre tract of land along the Rouge River in Michigan. Built to mass-produce automobiles more efficiently, the Rouge housed the equipment for developing each phase of a car, including blast furnaces, a steel mill and a glass plant. More than 90 miles of railroad track and conveyor belts kept Ford's car assembly line running. The Rouge model was lauded as the most efficient method of production at a time when bigger meant better. Nanogears like these may replace current manufacturing processes. The size of Ford's assembly plant would look strange to those born and raised in the 21st century.

In the next 50 years, machines will get increasingly smaller -- so small that thousands of these tiny machines would fit into the period at the end of this sentence. Within a few decades, we will use these nanomachines to manufacture consumer goods at the molecular level, piecing together one atom or molecule at a time to make baseballs, telephones and cars. This is the goal of nanotechnology.

As televisions, airplanes and computers revolutionized the world in the last century, scientists claim that nanotechnology will have an even more profound effect on the next century. Nanotechnology is an umbrella term that covers many areas of research dealing with objects that are measured in nanometers. A nanometer (nm) is a billionth of a meter, or a millionth of a millimeter. In this edition of How Stuff Will Work, you will learn how nanomachines will manufacture products, and what impact nanotechnology will have on various industries in the coming decades. more ...

 

April 28, 2006

Nanotechnology Promises Huge Medical Benefits

When scientists began to discus the potential of a new technology called nanotechnology, it only raised opposition, dismissing it to be nothing more than an eccentric concept . The term ‘Nanotechnology’ refers to the construction of extremely small machines from nanometer size units that are about 10-9 meter or one billionth of a meter.

Today, after it has been proved that such a technological feat is indeed possible, numerous government organizations and multinational companies are now willing to invest a huge amount for developing the same.

With our ever increasing knowledge of nanoscience and the ability to engineer new products and services, it would not be far before the entire history can be compressed inside our pockets or the life system extended by specially designed molecules that mimic the living systems.

British Scientists are now involved in the development of next generation nano-scale X-ray machines, that would allow doctors to tract the movement of specific molecules such as bacteria and virus.

The development of a portable device to monitor the movement of specific molecules in the human body is likely to be materialized in the next 10 years or so. It has been known form previous studies that a disease called as Creutzfeld-Jakob disease is caused by faulty proteins, called prions that spread rapidly in the brain. Such malformed proteins are very difficult to destroy. Nanotechnology offers endless hope in the investigation of such disorders and the development of specific products/ therapeutic agents with remarkable properties.

Story in full, click here

 

April 7, 2006

Nanotech database compiles consumer items on the market


20/03/2006 - A canola oil product, a cocoa drink and a chocolate gum are among the fifteen food and drink items listed in a new online nanotechnology database.

The items are listed in a consumer database by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, based at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in the US.

This is the first and only publicly accessible online inventory of nanotechnology consumer products, the project claims and indicates that the food and beverage sector has a long way to go in developing the technology for the industry.

The inventory currently contains information on 212 nano products, either on the market or due to be introduced.

The database far exceeds the existing US federal government-accepted estimate of about 80 consumer products, the project claims.

“We are at the vanguard of discovering the endless benefits of nanotechnology for applications like targeted cancer treatments and more efficient solar cells," the project stated in a press release. "With this inventory, we also are learning that this technology is already being incorporated into our daily lives. It's on store shelves and being sold in every part of the world.”

Currently, the searchable database catalogs consumer products using nanotechnology or containing nano materials – from sunscreens to refrigerators and
cultured diamonds.

Listed under the food and beverage category are 14 items, most of them nutritional supplement products.

Canola Active Oil by Shemen Industries in Israel is one such food product. The product uses technology called NSSL (Nano-sized self assembled structured liquids). NSSL involves a development of minute compressed micelles, which are called nanodrops.

The minute micelles serve as a liquid carrier, which allows penetration of healthy components, such as vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, that are insoluble in water or fats, the company claims on its Internet sie.

"The micelles are added to the food product, and thus pass through the digestive system effectively, without sinking or breaking up, to the absorption site," the company stated. "The minute micelles carry the phytosterols to the large micelles that the body produces from the bile acid, where they compete with cholesterol for entry into the micelle. The phytosterols enter the micelle, thereby inhibiting transportation of cholesterol from the digestive system into the bloodstream."

Nanoceuticals Slim Shake Chocolate by RBC Life Sciences is another product listed in the database.

“The natural health benefits of cocoa have been combined with RBC's NanoCluster delivery system to give you CocoaClusters a technologically advanced form of cocoa that offers enhanced flavour without the need for excess sugar,” the company claims on its Internet site.

RBC's NanoClusters are tiny particles, 100,000th the size of a single grain of sand, and are designed to carry nutrition into your cells, the US company stated.

During the process of creating NanoClusters, pure cocoa is added to the “cluster” formation to enhance the taste and other benefits, the company stated. NanoClusters is a nanosize powder that combines with nutritional supplements. When consumed, it reduces the surface tension of foods and supplements to increase wetness and absorption of nutrients, the company stated.

NanoCeuticals, with nanoscale ingredients, allows RBC to create products with a variety of attributes.
These include products that scavenge more free radicals, stimulate the source of energy, increase hydration, balance the body's pH, reduce lactic acid during exercise, and reduce the surface tension of foods and supplements to increase wetness and absorption of nutrients, the company stated.

Choco'la Chocolate Gum by US-based O'lala Foods is another product listed in the database.

According to an article in Forbes magazine the product incorporates nanoscale crystals, modifying surface morphology and giving the product a creamier texture and chocolate flavour.

However, O'lala's chief executive subsequently denied the magazine's claim that the product is a gum and is already on the market.

“O'lala has prototypes of confections using nanoscale ingredients. But they are not ready for market and they aren't gum," Neil Wyant is quoted as stating in the New York Times.

The company's website states: "After years of secret product development O'lala created the RST flavour system And with RST, O'lala has solved the long-standing problem of gum falling apart when you mix chocolate and other rich ingredients into the gum base and created Choco'la Chocolate Chewing Gum."

Based on the New York Times story the project is considering removing the product from the inventory.

The US government currently relies on data compiled by EmTech Research regarding how nanotechnology is marketed and used commercially. The project's inventory was developed in response to consumer interest in nanotechnology and its commercial uses.

Beginning in 2005, the project began compiling products and materials containing nanotechnology from around the globe for inclusion in the consumer inventory. Entry to the list is based primarily on online, English-language information provided by the product's manufacturer. It does not include nanotechnology consumer products which companies have not identified as such.

Health and fitness products form the largest category in the inventory, with 125 products to-date. This includes everything from face creams to hockey sticks.

Within the health and fitness category, clothing — such as stain-resistant shirts, pants and neckties — makes up the largest sub-category with 34 products, followed closely by sporting goods (33 products) and cosmetics (31 products).

Electronics and computers make up the second largest category with 30 products, followed by the home and garden category.

The US is the overwhelming leader in consumer nanotechnology product development with 126 items on the market, according to the project. East Asia and Europe follow with 42 and 35 nano products respectively.

Nanoengineered carbon is the most common material used in the nano products included within the inventory, followed by silver and silica.

Nanotechnology is the ability to measure, see, manipulate and manufacture things usually between 1 and 100 nanometers. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter; a human hair is roughly 100,000 nanometers wide.

The inventory can be accessed online at www.nanotechproject.org/consumerproducts.

Source: www.confectionerynews.com

 

April 6, 2006

Nanotechnology Driving Big Advances in Cancer Imaging

Throughout the history of modern medicine, and particularly clinical oncology, important advances in treating illness and injury have usually followed the development of new ways to better see within the body. The advent of computed tomography (CT) imaging, for example, provided images of developing tumors in far greater detail than was possible with conventional x-rays, giving oncologists a means of both better localizing tumors before surgically removing them and the first real glimpse of whether a given therapy was causing a tumor to shrink. Similarly, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provided greater anatomical detail still, while the development of positron emission tomography (PET) gave both cancer researchers and oncologists the ability to monitor a tumor’s metabolic activity, and as a result, an even quicker way of assessing the effectiveness of therapy.

Though undoubtedly a boon for cancer researchers and clinical oncologists, each of these revolutionary imaging technologies could benefit patients even more. Each of these imaging methods suffers from a common shortcoming — they just aren’t sensitive enough to accurately find the smallest tumors that are most easily and effectively treated. Also, most imaging methods produce static images, snapshots of a tumor at one particular time that do not reveal much about dynamic events, such as the binding of a drug to a particular tissue. But increasingly, it appears that nanotechnology may be able to provide that leap in sensitivity that would not only impact today’s approach to therapy but could lead to entirely new pathways for both detecting and treating cancer.

Source: http://nano.cancer.gov

 

April 5, 2006

Vitamin D May Reduce Women's Risk Of Diabetes

Women with high intakes of vitamin D and calcium appear to have a lower risk of developing Type II diabetes, according to a study conducted by Boston-based researchers and published in the March issue Diabetes Care (29:650-56, 2006).

Researchers studied 83,779 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study that did not have a history of diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer at the onset of the study.

Vitamin D and calcium intake from foods and supplements were evaluated every two to four years. A total of 4,843 new cases of diabetes were documented over 20 years of follow-up.

According to the study results, and based on the latest guidelines set by the Institute of Medicine, only 3 percent of the participants had adequate vitamin D intake, and only 24 percent had adequate calcium intake. Total vitamin D intake was not significantly associated with Type II diabetes, but there was a difference when it came to vitamin D supplements. The research team saw a 13 percent lower risk of diabetes among women in the highest versus the lowest category of vitamin D intake from supplements.

Women with the highest total calcium intake had a 21 percent lower risk of diabetes than those with the lowest intake. In this case, the source of calcium didn't make much difference: the risk was 18 percent lower among women in the highest versus the lowest category of calcium intake from supplements.

Overall, the lowest risk of diabetes was observed among women with the highest combined intakes of calcium and vitamin D compared with those with the lowest.

Researchers concluded the results of this large prospective study suggest a potential beneficial role for both vitamin D and calcium intake in reducing the risk of Type II diabetes.

Source: www.lookingfit.com

 

March 14, 2006

Nanotechnology Restores Sight In Blind Rodents

March 14, 2006 12:30 p.m. EST

(AHN) - A new study finds that nanotechnology is able to make blind hamsters see again.

Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Hong Kong University severed the optical nerve tract in the rodents to make the animals blind.

At the site of the injury, the hamsters were injected with a fluid containing nanoparticles, or synthetically made peptides.

BBC News reports that the peptides arranged themselves into a criss-cross of nanofibers inside the brain. This created a bridge between the severed nerves.

The brain tissue in the hamsters linked together across the bridge, enabling the brain nerves to re-grow. Sight was then restored to the hamsters.

Dr. Rutledge Ellis-Behnke, a neuroscientist at MIT and lead author on the paper, says: "We made a cut, put the material in, and then we looked at the brain over different time points."

The scientists hope this technique can be used in reconstructive brain surgery.

The study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Source: www.allheadlinenews.com

 

February 26, 2006

Why the Low-Fat Diet is Stupid and Potentially Dangerous

Anthony Colpo, February 23, 2006

On February 8, 2006, the Journal of the American Medical Association delivered a huge blow to advocates of low-fat 'nutrition' by publishing the results of the huge Women's Health Initiative trial. The results of the trial clearly showed that a low-fat diet failed to prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer in women even when followed continuously for eight years. In women with pre-existing CVD, the low-fat diet increased the risk of CVD by 26 percent!

Since the publication of the WHI results, low-fat diet supporters have been working overtime manufacturing excuses for the failure of their beloved regimen. Foremost among these is that the women in the low-fat group did not reduce their fat intake sufficiently. I even had one sadly misguided soul write to me the other day telling me I did not "understand" low-fat diets, that the only reason they frequently fail is because people following them don't lower their fat intake enough.

Such stupidity makes my head spin…

First of all, I understand low-fat diets only too well! Much to my regret, I followed one throughout most of the nineties, and the result was nothing short of disastrous.

My low-fat nightmare began in my early twenties, after a doctor told me that my cholesterol, at 213, was "moderately high" and placed me at increased risk of heart disease (something I now know to be nonsense). Following the prevailing dietary wisdom at the time, I soon adopted a low-fat diet. This wasn't your average low-fat diet--it was a VERY low-fat diet, with the kind of anemic fat intake that would have made lipid-phobes like Ornish and Pritikin proud.

For years, I ate only the leanest meats; in fact, to this day, the thought of eating another skinless chicken breast, kangaroo steak, or low-fat fish makes me want to puke! Fuelling the high energy demands of my daily workouts in the face of a low fat intake meant eating carbohydrates--lots of them! In keeping with the common advice still given to athletes to eat lots of 'healthy' complex carbohydrate foods, I consumed copious amounts of rye bread, brown rice, sweet potato, wholemeal pasta, rolled oats, buckwheat, and millet.

My dedication to the low-fat mantra was nothing short of religious, and my low-fat brainwashing so thorough that when I sat down and calculated the average amount of fat calories I was taking in, I was actually proud when I realized I was consistently consuming less than ten percent of my calories as fat every day!

Halfway through the nineties, reality began to bite--hard. Despite my 'healthy' diet, and my daily strenuous training regimen, my blood pressure had risen from 110/65, a reading characteristic of highly-conditioned athletes, to an elevated 130/90. I noticed it was becoming increasingly harder to maintain the lean, "ripped", vascular look that I had always prided myself on. Instead, my physique was becoming increasingly smooth and bloated. My digestive system became progressively more sluggish, my stomach often feeling heavy and distended after meals. I frequently felt tired after meals. I showed signs of leaky gut syndrome, racking up a rather impressive list of irreversible food sensitivities. I had never been much of a coffee drinker, but I was now frequently trying to fight off increasing fatigue by sipping a strong black or two before training sessions. My fasting blood glucose level was below the normal range, indicative of reactive hypoglycemia.

Basically, I felt like crap!

It wasn't until I abandoned the whole low-fat charade, and adopted a diet that went against everything preached by the reigning diet orthodoxy, that I began to reverse these symptoms. When I ate more saturated fat and meat than ever before and subsequently felt better than ever before, I quickly realized that most diet 'experts' actually had no clue what they were talking about. I quickly realized that they were mere parrots repeating an official party line.

When I look back on my fat-fearing days, where I really believed that dietary fat was some sort of heinous toxin, the first thought that comes to mind is "What a wanker!" I then think of the sad legion of brainwashed folks all around the world who still follow the idiotic low-fat paradigm. "Poor folks," I think to myself, "they really have no idea just how badly they've been had…"

While I feel sorry for many of these folks, I have nothing but utter contempt for those who write me in defense of the low-fat paradigm. To be fooled is one thing, but to vigorously defend those who have mercilessly deceived and shafted you is beyond pitiful--such self-destructive stupidity is an absolutely repugnant thing to observe!

Let's now find out why the participants in the diet group of the WHI trial should be glad that they did not lower their fat intake any more than what they did!

Why the Low-Fat Diet is a Big Fat Fraud

One of the first priorities of healthy eating is to consume the most nutrient-dense foods possible. Cutting your fat intake strongly impedes this goal via at least three mechanisms:
1) Directly slashing your intake of important vitamins and fatty acids;
2) Reducing the absorption of crucial fat-soluble vitamins;
3) Decreasing the absorption of important minerals.

You probably think you're being "enlightened" when you trim the fat from your meats and ditch your egg yolks down the sink. What you are really doing is lucidly demonstrating what a mindless, brainwashed dolt you've become. You are effectively throwing away nutrients that your body needs to survive and thrive!

The fatty portions of meat, dairy and eggs are where one finds the highest concentrations of fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and beta-carotene. Stripping the skin from your chicken breast not only makes it less tasty, but reduces its vitamin A content by seventy-eight percent!(1)

Throwing away your egg yolks is equally dumb. While one large egg yolk contains 245 IU of vitamin A, 18 IU of vitamin D, and 186 mcg of lutein plus zeaxanthin, along with small amounts of other carotenoids and vitamin E, a large egg white contains none of these nutrients. Egg yolks, along with beef liver, are also an especially concentrated dietary source of phosphatidylcholine (lecithin) and choline, which the body requires for healthy liver function and for the formation of the key neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Lower levels of acetylcholine are associated with memory loss and cognitive decline(2).

The last time you chose skim milk yogurt instead of the whole milk variety, you nutritionally short-changed yourself; skim yogurt contains 93 percent less vitamin A than whole yogurt! And if you chose non-fat yogurt, then congratulations--you received no vitamin A whatsoever!(1)


Data from national nutrition surveys consistently show that American children have lower than recommended intakes of vitamin E, and this is reflected in below-average serum levels of the vitamin. Reduction in dietary fat further exacerbates the low vitamin E status of children(3). The consequences of low dietary vitamin E intakes may include impaired immune responses, and an increased susceptibility to cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Willingly reducing your consumption of important vitamins and carotenes is not smart--it's downright stupid!

Absorb This!

Low-fat eating doesn't just decrease your intake of certain crucial nutrients. As researchers have shown time and time again, it will also dramatically reduce the absorption of whatever fat-soluble vitamins and carotenes remain in your diet!

When subjects ingested equal amounts of lutein--a carotenoid that may protect against age-related macular degeneration and cataract--from either whole eggs, spinach or supplements, it was observed that lutein absorption was significantly higher during the period of whole egg consumption(8).

In another study, researchers compared the absorption of carotenoids from salads that contained either 0, 6 or 28 grams of canola oil. There was no increase in blood carotenoid concentrations after the fat-free salad, while the reduced fat salad produced markedly lower blood carotenoid elevations than the high fat version(9).

The addition of 150 grams of fat-rich avocado to salsa enhanced lycopene and beta-carotene absorption by 4.4 and 2.6-fold, respectively, compared to avocado-free salsa. In the same subjects, adding either twenty-four grams of avocado oil or 150 grams avocado to salad greatly enhanced alpha-carotene, beta -carotene and lutein absorption by 7.2, 15.3 and 5.1 times, respectively, compared with avocado-free salad!(10)

Only a true dumbass would think that reducing absorption of healthful fat-soluble nutrients is somehow beneficial. Don't be a dumbass.

Making a Bad Situation Worse

The mineral status of the typical Westerner is atrocious. Take magnesium for example, a substance vital for healthy heart function, blood sugar control, bone formation, and muscular contraction(11-16). A recent survey of U.S. adults found that the average daily intake of magnesium among Caucasian men is only 352 milligrams, and a mere 278 milligrams among African American men. Caucasian women consume an average of 256 milligrams per day, while African American women take in only 202 milligrams daily(17). The lower amounts of magnesium ingested by African Americans have been posited as a possible contributor to their increased susceptibility of hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease(18).

The situation isn't much better for zinc. Overt zinc deficiencies are common to Third World countries where animal protein consumption is low, while milder, 'sub-clinical' zinc deficiencies appear to be common in modernized nations. Nationwide food consumption surveys by the USDA have found that the average intake of zinc for males and females of all ages is below the recommended daily allowance (RDA). This is especially worrying when one considers that RDAs are generally based on the amount of a nutrient required to prevent obvious, well-recognized deficiency diseases (such as stunted growth and hypogonadism in the case of zinc), not sub-clinical deficiencies that may damage one's health over the longer-term.

Those who follow low fat diets are at even greater risk of zinc deficiency(19,20). Not only do low-fat diets discourage the consumption of zinc-rich foods like red meat, but a low dietary fat intake itself acts to impair mineral absorption.

It's ironic that red meat is typically denigrated for its saturated fat content, because saturates are the very fats that improve mineral absorption!(21-24).

A pilot study by researchers at the USDA Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center examined the effect of different fats and carbohydrate on performance and mineral metabolism in three male endurance cyclists. During alternating four-week periods, each subject consumed diets in which either carbohydrate, polyunsaturated, or saturated fat contributed about fifty percent of daily energy intake. Endurance capacity decreased with the polyunsaturated fat diet. The polyunsaturated diet also resulted in increased excretion of zinc and iron, while copper retention tended to be positive only on the saturated fat diet(25).

Optimal health is next to impossible to achieve with sub-optimal mineral status. Low-fat diets, most notably those low in saturated fats, encourage sub-optimal mineral status. Yet another reason why these diets suck the salsiccia, big time!

Low-Fat, Low Omega-3

Unless you've been living on a distant planet for the last few years, then you have no doubt heard about omega-3 fats and their pivotal role in maintaining good health.

Unlike low-fat diets, clinical trials utilizing the sole intervention of increased fatty fish or fish oil intake have produced significant reductions in CHD and overall mortality. The benefits of EPA and DHA-rich items like fish and fish oil are not confined to the cardiovascular system. In epidemiological studies and animal experiments, increased intakes of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with lower rates of cancer, depression and mental illness, adverse pregnancy outcomes, infectious disease, osteoporosis, lung disease, menstrual pain, cognitive decline in the elderly, eye damage, childhood asthma and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder(26-51). In clinical trials with human subjects, researchers have observed benefits from long-chain omega-3 supplementation in the treatment of asthma, alzheimers, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, schizophrenia, infant health, pregnancy outcomes, kidney disease, menstrual problems, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and cystic fibrosis(52-73). Hell, even the fat-hating vegetarian Dean Ornish recommends the use of distinctly non-vegetarian fish oil supplements! (Gee, can anyone see a contradiction there?)

So what has this all got to do with low-fat eating? Everything!

Similar to fat-soluble vitamins, the absorption of EPA and DHA increases when consumed with a high fat meal(74).

Again, not just any old fat will do when it comes to improving one's omega-3 status. Saturated fat improves the body's conversion of plant-source omega-3 fats into the longer-chain varieties EPA and DHA, while omega-6-rich fats impede the conversion process. In young males, elongation of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid (LA) to DHA, EPA and AA was reduced by forty to fifty percent when dietary LA intake increased from fifteen to thirty grams per day(75).

When rats were supplemented with linseed oil, their serum and tissue content of the all-important omega-3 fatty acids increased, and omega-6 levels decreased, to a far greater extent on a saturated fat-rich (beef fat) diet than on a linoleic acid-rich (safflower oil) diet(76).
Cutting fat--as in saturated fat--worsens your omega-3 status. If you think that's a good thing, then low-fat nutrition has already scrambled your brain. My advice: Eat some fat before you become totally brain dead!

Speaking of scrambled brains…

Nature's Anti-Depressant: Fat!

Feeling moody? Irritable? Always snapping at your kids for no good reason? Are you known around the office as "Attila the Grump"? If so, eating a low-fat diet isn't going to help the situation. In fact, a low-fat diet may actually be the cause of your mental funk!

In 1998, U.K. researchers reported the results of an important experiment involving twenty healthy male and female volunteers. One group was placed on a 41% fat diet, while the other group consumed a 25% fat diet. After 4 weeks had passed, the groups were swapped around so that those originally on the low-fat diet were now consuming the high-fat diet, and vice-versa. Throughout the study, all meals were prepared by the university conducting the study and supplied to the participants. Both diets were specially designed to be as palatable and similar in taste as possible.

At the beginning and end of each diet period, every subject underwent a battery of psychological assessments, including various mood state questionnaires and an interview by a psychiatrist who was blinded to the participant's dietary status.

The study was tightly-controlled and adherence to the diets appears to have been high. HDL cholesterol levels declined during the low-fat period, a typical response on low-fat, high-carb diets, indicating that subjects ate the foods as supplied.

The researchers found that, while ratings of anger-hostility slightly declined during the high-fat diet period, they significantly increased during the low-fat, high-carb diet period!

Tension-anxiety ratings declined during the high-fat period, but did not change during the four weeks of low-fat, high-carb eating.

Ratings of depression declined slightly during the high-fat period, but increased during the low-fat, high-carb period, mainly due to two of the low-fat subjects reporting significantly greater depression-dejection ratings.

What is particularly alarming about this study is that the low-fat diet produced these symptoms in mentally healthy subjects. As the researchers emphasized, the participants were "a psychologically robust group who had never previously suffered from depression or anxiety, and who were not going through any 'stressful' events during the study." They further stated that "The alterations in mood observed in the present study may have been greater if subjects were feeling more stressed or were more susceptible to mental illness."(77)

Low-fat diets should be approached with extreme caution by those with a history of depression, anxiety, overly aggressive behavior or mental illness. Such individuals may be especially vulnerable to the nutritional inadequacies of low-fat diets.

The UK researchers' observations raise some interesting questions. Could the low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets that have been so heavily promoted over the last thirty years be at least partially responsible for increases in anti-social behavior witnessed during the same period? If studies with our primate cousins are anything to go by, the answer to this question could well be affirmative.

Low-Fat Diet Makes Monkeys Go Ape

For almost 2 years, adult male monkeys were fed a "luxury" diet - (43% calories from fat, 0.34 mg cholesterol/Calorie of diet) or a "prudent" diet (30% calories from fat, 0.05 mg cholesterol/Calorie of diet).

Researchers observed that the low-fat diet monkeys were more irritable and initiated more aggression than the "luxury" diet animals.

The prudent diet resulted in lower total serum cholesterol levels, something that our absent-minded health authorities automatically assume is a good thing. The researchers, however, noted: "These results are consistent with studies linking relatively low serum cholesterol concentrations to violent or antisocial behavior in psychiatric and criminal populations and could be relevant to understanding the significant increase in violence-related mortality observed among people assigned to cholesterol-lowering treatment in clinical trials."(78)

A research monkey after discovering he was going to be placed on a low-fat diet for almost 2 years.

Fatless Shrugged

It was Ayn Rand who once said that the most noble and productive goal for a person to engage in was the pursuit of their own happiness. If the achievement of your own happiness is important to you, then kick the low-fat diet's sad, sorry, melancholy butt right out of your life--it's a loser.

Low-Fat Diets Lower Testosterone

Testosterone is abhorred by politically correct weenies, who like to blame it for every instance of disagreeable male behavior, in much the same way menstruation was once cited as the catch-all explanation for uncharacteristically aggressive or irritable female behavior.

Of course, scientific reality is of little concern to the politically correct. The fact is, testosterone is an extremely important hormone for both men and women. Sex drive, muscle and bone health, immune function, cognitive function, mood, and cardiovascular health are all negatively affected by declining levels of testosterone. Testosterone levels typically decline with age, and, along with the decline of other key hormones, falling T levels are believed to be a major contributor to many of the deleterious changes seen during the aging process. As such, aging individuals should be looking at ways to preserve and even boost their testosterone status, rather than engaging in self-defeating habits that will speed the decline in T levels. Alcohol abuse, recreational drug use, pharmaceutical drugs, stress, and poor sleep habits can all lower testosterone levels.

So too can low-fat diets.

Research shows that reducing fat intake from around forty percent to 20-25 percent of calories decreases testosterone output. Low fat diets also increase levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), a protein which binds to testosterone, thus reducing the amount of bioavailable, or 'free', testosterone in the body. It is free testosterone that is responsible for this hormone's favorable effects on growth, repair, sexual capacity and immune function(79-81).
Again, not just any old fat will suffice when it comes to optimizing testosterone levels. A study with weight-training men showed higher saturated fat and monounsaturated fat consumption to be positively associated with testosterone levels. In contrast, higher dietary levels of so-called "heart-healthy" polyunsaturated fats relative to saturated fats were associated with lower testosterone levels (82).

It's highly ironic that athletes and bodybuilders will take all manner of expensive, esoteric and often dubious testosterone-boosting concoctions--not to mention anabolic steroids--yet will follow hormone-damping low-fat diets with religious fervor. It's a little like putting on a weighted vest before a big race and expecting to run at full speed.

Hormones like testosterone play a fundamentally important role in stimulating and regulating growth and metabolism. Don't go throwing a low-fat monkey wrench into your metabolic engine!

Low-Fat Diets and Immune Function

Diet 'experts' assure us that a low-fat diet is the key to good health. The published research does not support such claims.

Despite the virulent ranting of anti-fat activists, trials comparing sedentary adult volunteers fed low-fat diets with those receiving higher fat diets has shown no improvement in immune status in the former group(83,84).

In children, whole milk consumption is associated with fewer gastrointestinal infections than consumption of low fat milk (85). Rats consuming diets high in milk fat show a significantly greater resistance to Listeria infection and higher survival rates than those whose diets were low in milk fat(86). Similar results have been observed in mice fed diets high in saturate-rich coconut oil(87)

In athletes, who are constantly pushing their immune systems to the edge with strenuous training, adherence to the commonly-recommended low-fat high-carbohydrate diet (15-19% of total calories) increases pro-inflammatory immune factors, decreases anti-inflammatory factors, and depresses antioxidant status when compared to higher fat diets (30-50% of total calories)(88,89). Such changes may leave athletes on low-fat diets with a lowered resistance to infection and a higher risk of chronic illness. This may be due to difficulty in obtaining sufficient calories from low-fat diets to meet the energy demands of exercise; increasing dietary fat intake and total caloric intake to match energy expenditure appears to reverse the negative effects on immune function reported on calorie-deficient, low-fat diets. Diets comprising 32% to 55% fat also improve endurance capacity compared to diets with 15% fat(90).

It was Scandinavian researchers who, in the 1960s, performed research showing that using extremely high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets for short periods could enhance athletic performance. This was achieved by using these diets as part of a "depletion-repletion" carbohydrate-loading strategy, which helped temporarily elevate muscle glycogen stores to higher than usual levels. One of the pioneers in this area, Dr. Jan Karlsson, points out that such diets were never intended to be applied for more than 3-4 days. Karlsson and his colleagues openly lament that these diets are now employed for extended periods of time, and refer to the prolonged use of very high-carbohydrate/low-fat diets by athletes as "voluntary malnourishment". They note that in Scandinavia, researchers use the term "Carbohydrate Trap" when referring to the widespread belief that these diets are required for optimal performance. These researchers consider a 50-55% carbohydrate, 35% fat diet to be eminently more sensible and nutritious than the >60% carb, <25% fat diets commonly used by athletes(91).

For athletes and non-athletes alike, the low-fat diet is a sick (pun intended) joke.

The Low-Fat Diet Does Not Protect Against Heart Disease, and May Actually Worsen It

The WHI trial confirmed what well-read cholesterol skeptics have known for a long time: The low-fat diet is a big fat fraud when it comes to preventing heart disease. Among the 48,835 women participating in the trial, no significant differences in CHD or stroke incidence, CHD or stroke mortality, or total mortality were observed(92). Nor were there any reductions in the incidence or mortality rates of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, or total cancer(93,94).

There was however, one very ominous finding to emerge from the WHI trial. Among the 3.4 percent of trial participants with pre-existing cardiovascular disease, those randomized to the low-fat diet experienced a 26% increase in the relative risk of non-fatal and fatal CHD!

Low-fat advocates have remained deafeningly silent on this inconvenient finding, and would no doubt like to believe this was just a 'freak' occurrence. However, this is hardly the first time that low-fat eating has been shown to worsen the prognosis of women with existing cardiovascular disease.

In 2004, the world's most prominent nutrition journal, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, published the results of a very, very interesting study. Harvard researchers had taken 235 postmenopausal women with established coronary heart disease, and divided them into four categories according to their level of saturated fat intake. They then performed coronary angiographies at baseline and after a mean follow-up of 3.1 years, analyzing over 2,200 coronary artery segments in the process.

After adjusting for multiple confounders, a higher saturated fat intake was associated with less narrowing of the arteries and less progression of coronary atherosclerosis. Compared with a 0.22 mm narrowing in the lowest quartile of intake, there was a 0.10-mm narrowing in the second quartile, a 0.07 mm narrowing in the third quartile, and no narrowing in the fourth and highest quartile of saturated fat intake!

Following a low-fat diet means adopting a high-carbohydrate diet by default. After all, it is exceedingly difficult and highly unpalatable to achieve the bulk of one's caloric needs by eating lean protein foods. It is of no small concern then, that carbohydrate intake was positively associated with atherosclerotic progression, particularly when the glycemic index was high. The intake of so-called 'heart-healthy' polyunsaturated fats was also positively associated with progression of atherosclerosis, but monounsaturated and total fat intakes were not associated with progression (it must be noted that the major sources of polyunsaturates in Western countries are refined vegetable oils which are rich in the omega-6 fat linoleic acid. The polyunsaturated omega-3 fats, which are underconsumed by most Westerners, have actually been shown to lower CVD).

After examining the baseline data for the study subjects, it is apparent that the results can not be explained away by otherwise healthier lifestyles among those eating the most saturated fat; the high saturated fat group, in fact, had the greatest number of current smokers! Women eating the most saturated fat were also less likely to take blood-thinning medications like aspirin(95).

If this study had found saturated fats to be associated with cardiovascular disease, its results would have been trumpeted in headlines around the world. Instead, they were largely ignored by the mainstream media and our ever-so responsible 'health' authorities. It appears only studies that support the cherished dogma of our health orthodoxy are considered suitable as press release fodder…

A major factor in the progression of cardiovascular disease--and most major diseases--is free radical damage. It is well-established that saturated fatty acids, because of their lack of vulnerable double bonds, are the least susceptible to free radical damage; polyunsaturates are the most vulnerable. We also know that increased carbohydrate consumption, especially of the refined variety, does an outstanding job of raising blood sugar and insulin levels, which accelerates glycation, free radical activity, blood clot formation, and arterial smooth muscle cell proliferation.

It should also be noted that increasing heart disease incidence throughout the twentieth century has been accompanied by increasing polyunsaturate consumption, while a marked increase in refined carbohydrate consumption during the last three decades has been accompanied by spiralling obesity and diabetes incidence. Animal fat consumption, in contrast, has remained stable over the last 100 years.

So what we have is two studies that show that women with pre-existing heart disease will experience WORSE outcomes if they shun saturated fat and opt for a low-fat/high-carbohydrate diet! Furthermore, the validity of these results is supported by basic biochemistry and epidemiological data. So will low-fat advocates stop recommending this pattern of eating to women with heart disease? Does their concern for human life override their need to defend their precious low-fat dogma at all costs?

I truly doubt it…

If low-fat advocates won't be straight with you, then I will. Let's be perfectly clear on this: If you are female, and suffer cardiovascular disease, the published, peer-reviewed scientific evidence indicates that adopting a low-fat diet could be DEADLY.

The WHI is not the only dietary intervention trial to demonstrate the worthlessness of the low-fat diet in preventing CVD. In 1965, the prominent journal Lancet published the results of a trial conducted by the UK Medical Research Committee. In this study, 264 men under 65 were assigned to either a low-fat diet or their usual diet. Dietary records show that those in the low-fat group averaged 45 g/day of fat throughout the trial, while those in the control group actually increased their average fat intake from 106 to 125g. The average serum cholesterol measurement of the low-fat group was 25 points lower than that of the control group at 4 years. Despite nonsensical claims that "every 1mg/dl drop in cholesterol equals a 2% drop in CHD risk", there were no differences between the two groups in CHD incidence or mortality after 4 years.

In Search of the Elusive 'Negative Fat Intake'!

The hysterical anti-fat vitriole that spews forth from some anti-fat faddists leads me to believe that if these clowns could eat a 'negative-fat' diet, they would! As for their argument that the above trials didn't lower fat enough, one has to wonder how creating even greater deficiencies in valuable nutrients, and predisposing one to greater risk of depression and anger--all of which low-fat diets have indeed been clinically documented to do--will in any way help prevent heart disease! Maybe these folks have been eating low-fat so long that it's started to drain their brains; healthy human brains, after all, are 60% fat by weight!

The authors of the MRC trial concluded that: "A low-fat diet has no place in the treatment of myocardial infarction." Despite being written over forty years ago, these words have largely been ignored by a medical and health hierarchy which seems to earnestly believe that if only it keeps flogging the dead low-fat horse, it will one-day magically spring to life. In Australia, this is known as engaging in a 'wank', which means that people who push low-fat diets despite no proof whatsoever of their efficacy are wankers. This might be stating the obvious, but…you really shouldn't listen to wankers!

But the Japanese Eat a Low-Fat Diet…Don't They?

Supporters of low-fat nutrition cite the Japanese ad nauseum, claiming that their low-fat/high-carbohydrate diet is the reason for their low rate of heart disease. It is ironic that many of these same commentators exhort the benefits of whole-grains and tell us that the only 'bad' carbohydrates are those that come from refined sugars and grains. These folks need to get their story straight---a major source of carbohydrates in the Japanese diet is white rice--a refined grain! That means that if the high-carbohydrate Japanese diet is cardio-protective, then refined grains must be good for one's heart! Well, which is it? You can't have it both ways; either refined grains are heart-friendly, or they're not!

The truth is, the longevity and low CHD incidence of the Japanese owes nothing to carbohydrate intake, refined or otherwise. During the 1960s and 1970s, industrialization underwent rapid growth in Japan. This period of marked economic change bought with it greater consumption of animal protein and fat. This increased animal food consumption in Japan has been accompanied by a marked decline in both the overall incidence of and the mortality from one of that nation's biggest killers--stroke. This increase in animal protein and animal fat consumption has also occurred alongside Japan's rise to the top of the longevity ladder.(96,97)

If you're tempted to write this off as merely a consequence of improved living standards and medical technology, keep in mind that long-term follow-up studies with both native and migrant Japanese populations show that those who eat the most animal protein and animal fat enjoy greater longevity and a lower incidence of stroke than those who eat lesser amounts(98-101).

OK, So What About the Mediterranean Diet?

A diet low in saturated fat is purportedly a major factor in the low rates of CHD observed in Southern European countries. Just one wee problem: France, the Mediterranean country with the lowest CHD rates of all, is also the Mediterranean country with the highest saturated fat intake! Oops!

Health 'experts' have tried to brush off this embarrassing observation as a 'paradox' (orthodoxy loves applying the 'paradox' label to uncomfortable contradictions) by claiming that red wine explains this difference. If that were true, then the Italians, who drink a similar amount of red wine, should have CHD rates even lower than France. But they don't; their CHD rates are similar to those of other Southern European countries where far less red wine is consumed(102).

Conclusion

I could go on, and on, and on…but I'll just close by saying that the low-fat diet has NEVER been demonstrated to do all the wonderful health-fortifying things claimed for it. The only trials showing favorable effects in people following low-fat diets are those that simultaneously employed other truly useful interventions, like exercise, stress management, increased fruit and vegetable intake and decreased processed food intake, and weight loss. However, there is absolutely no law whatsoever stating that low-fat eating is required for the implementation of any of these strategies. In fact, given the available evidence, one can only conclude that the inclusion of higher fat intakes in these trials may even have improved the results!

The bottom line: Not only is low-fat eating a boring way to go through life, it is a useless and often counterproductive hoax.

Source, click here

 

February 7, 2006

WHY take Spirulina?  

World's highest beta-carotene food reduces long term health risks. Spirulina beta-carotene is ten times more concentrated than carrots. So even if you don't eat the recommended 4 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day (most people eat only 1-2, including french fries), get your natural beta carotene insurance from spirulina to help support your body's defenses.

  • 60% easy-to-digest vegetable protein without the fat and cholesterol of meat. People are eating less meat and dairy protein because they want to lower fat, cholesterol, and chemicals in their diet. Spirulina is the highest protein food with all the essential amino acids and has only a few calories to keep your waistline where you want it.
  • A rare essential fatty acid is a key to health. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in mother's milk helps develop healthy babies. Studies show nutritional deficiencies can block GLA production in your body, so a good dietary source of GLA can be important. Spirulina is the only other whole food with GLA.
  • Iron for women and children's health. Iron is essential to build a strong system, yet is the most common mineral deficiency. Spirulina is rich in iron, magnesium and trace minerals, and is easier to absorb than iron supplements.
  • High in Vitamin B-12 and B Complex. Spirulina is the highest source of B-12, essential for healthy nerves and tissue, especially for vegetarians.
  • Unusual phytonutrients for health and cleansing.

Scientists are discovering the benefits of polysaccharides, sulfolipids & glycolipids, and the rainbow of natural pigments that give spirulina a deep green color. Green (chlorophyll), blue (phycocyanin) and orange (carotenoids) colors collect the sun's energy and power growth. Chlorophyll is a natural cleanser and is often referred to as nature's green magic.

Spirulina is available in Spirulina tablets (500) and Spirulina Nanoclusters

Information provided by RBC LifeSciences Leader, Barb Ashcroft

 

January 22, 2006

CANADIAN SCIENTIST SHOWS MICROHYDRIN EFFECTIVE

As you know, free radicals cause oxidative damage to vital cells that can lead to many conditions, including early aging, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes, inflammatory diseases, and cancer.

Foods high in antioxidants help to protect vital cells, but a Canadian scientist looked for a supplement to enhance that protection. He conducted an eight-week study on 40 healthy subjects. He divided them into two groups. Each group ate a diet of foods high in antioxidants with a good CAOR index (Capacity to Absorb Oxidized Radicals). One group also took Microhydrin. The other group took a placebo, and no Microhydrin. Neither group took any other supplements.

Tests Used in Study: Blood, urine and saliva were analyzed using the Vincent Bioelectric Test, which measures pH, ORP, rH2, and conductivity-resistance potential.

Results: The group that took Microhydrin showed higher levels of protection against oxidative stress, than the subjects who did not take Microhydrin. The investigator concluded: "the preliminary study suggests that Microhydrin plays a major role as a co-factor, which augments the antioxidant action of dietary origin."

* This study showed again that Microhydrin helps to protect the body against oxidative damage by free radicals.
* It is even more potent when combined with eight other types of antioxidants in the ultimate formula, MICROHYDRIN PLUS.

STUDY SHOWS PROTECTION AGAINST VISION LOSS

A clinical study conducted for the National Eye Institute has shown that high doses of antioxidants and the mineral zinc helped to slow the loss of vision that is associated with aging and affects seven million people in the US.*

DUTCH STUDY SHOWS FOLIC ACID BOOSTS MENTAL ACUITY

A three-year study of 818 middle-aged people was conducted in the Netherlands to determine if the daily intake of 800 mcq of folic acid intake could lower homocysteine levels which tend to be high in people who develop heart disease and stroke. Homocysteine levels dropped 25% in the group that took folic acid for three years.

In addition, researchers also looked at the effect of folic acid on mental acuity. They found that those who took 800 mcg of folic acid per day performed significantly better with memory that was equivalent to 5.4 years younger and information processing that was two years younger than the placebo group. This data adds to previous studies that showed folic acid helped to reduce birth defects.

Check the label of your own daily vitamin to be sure that the recommended dose of folic acid is at least 800 mcg/day.

 

January 12, 2006

Small Step Toward Cure for ALS

Scientists in field of nanotechnology have joined forces with ALS researchers in hopes of treating fatal disease

Scientists normally think big, but researchers specializing in a fatal disease that killed baseball legend
Lou Gehrig are accepting the possibility that maybe they should think small. Small in the scientific sense, that is.

Yesterday, scientists in the field of nanotechnology joined ALS researchers at a meeting to attempt a unified search for treatments. "Nanotechnology is like classical physics, and medicine is very biological," said Chris Pendergast, a 56-year-old former science teacher in Northport who developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, about 13 years ago.

The disease wipes out the body's motor neurons, which makes it impossible for the brain and spinal cord to talk to the muscles. The muscles deteriorate and paralysis ensues. The average time between diagnosis and death is five years. It was the love of a mother, Jeannette Deutsch Oglesby, that led to the budding relationship between nanoscience and ALS.

Oglesby's son, David Deutsch, also a former teacher in the Northport school system, was diagnosed with ALS in 2004. Deutsch is 38 and now spends most of his waking time in a wheelchair. So does Pendergast. "I think ALS needs new life breathed into it," Deutsch said. "We need to push aggressively to introduce new tools."

Oglesby read a paper on nanoscience published last summer by Ratnesh Lal of the Neuroscience Research Institute at the University of California in Santa Barbara. Lal was the main speaker at yesterday's scientific symposium at the Oheka Castle in Huntington. A large fundraiser followed. The event was organized by students at Northport High School, with the help of Don Strasser, a chemistry teacher and co-adviser of the school's National Honor Society.

Nanoscience is the ability to manipulate matter at the nano-scale - the size of an atom or two. "Almost all areas of science are benefiting from this technology," said Andrew Maynard, chief scientific adviser for the project on nanotechnology at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. Lal told a small crowd of doctors, patients and fellow scientists that nanoscience has promise in ALS on many levels.

The technology can help unravel damage to an individual motor neuron and allow scientists to track the progression of the disease - from the motor neuron on the spinal cord to the muscle cells in the foot, for instance.

Dr. Hiroshi Mitsumoto, a leading ALS researcher at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in Manhattan, said that he envisions a technology that could "pull stem cells to where they need to be, giving the signal to pull axons to the muscle cells" and enable people to move again.

For the story in full, click here

 

December 20, 2005

HOW ARE NANOCLUSTERS AND MICROHYDRIN MADE?

We are frequently asked about the Company's proprietary process by which  we manufacture NanoClusters and Microhydrin.

We start with a nanoscale form of silica that we bond with other minerals to form geometric nanoscale structures. They range in shape from pyramidal, cubical, or hexagonal to spherical, and form in approximate sizes from 3 nanometers to 100 nanometers.

They can enclose or adsorb nutrients. Note: "adsorb" is a different process than "absorb". Under specific conditions they combine like bunches of grapes to form NanoClusters.

To manufacture Microhydrin, we treat NanoClusters electronically with negative charges in a process by which they continue to hold electrons as long as they remain in a dry state as Microhydrin powder.

When ingested, Microhydrin mixes with digestive juices and water and begins to release its antioxidants (electrons). It continues this antioxidant activity for several hours in the gastrointestinal tract and while it is absorbed into the blood stream.  

Oxidized compounds, known as free radicals, constantly form in our bodies, as a result of internal metabolism
and external pollutants, damaging our DNA, cells and vital organs, and causing signs and symptoms of early aging.

In vitro studies have shown that Microhydrin scavenges (makes safe) even the most dangerous oxidized free radicals, such as the hydroxyl and super oxide radicals. Human clinical studies have shown that Microhydrin also reduces the accumulation of lactic acid caused by strenuous labor or exercise.

* However, there are different types of oil-and-water-based free radicals that must be neutralized by different types of antioxidants. To meet your need to scavenge an even broader range of free radicals, we combined Microhydrin with eight other oil-and-water based antioxidants, alpha lipoic acid, quercitin, milk thistle, niacinamide, selenium, n-acetyl l-cysteine, ascorbic acid, and green tea creating the very potent broad-spectrum antioxidant, Microhydrin Plus.

* An in vitro study conducted at a medical school showed that human brain cells were protected against oxidative damage with Microhydrin Plus. Reducing oxidative damage is an important daily requirement if we are to maintain better health as we continue to grow older.

Learn more about Microhydrin, click here

* * These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products described are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

 

October 18, 2005

Nanotechnology will change the very foundations of cancer diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

Download a PDF of the brochure from the National Cancer Institute to learn more.

Cancer Nanotechnology Brochure
January 2004
(file size: 713 kb)

 

October 1, 2005

Vitamin Supplements for Women with Deficiencies

by Gregg Ruais

Women and men have very similar nutritional needs. On average, women require fewer calories per day than men. As a result, they also need slightly fewer vitamins and minerals, although this is untrue for some nutrients. For example, women require the same amount of calcium as men, which means they need to eat foods that have higher concentrations of calcium than their male counterparts.

Click Here for a Leading Women's Vitamins Resource! In general, men have larger appetites than women, and so they eat more. As a result, women, on average, have more vitamin deficiencies than men. Women must either make concerted efforts to get these extra nutrients from food or take vitamin supplements, which is often the simpler option.

The best nutritional companies read dietary surveys. They want their products to make people feel good, which turns first-time customers into repeat clients. In order to accomplish this, they produce vitamin supplements that fill the voids in people's diets. When they sell women's vitamins, for example, they make sure to include the minerals and vitamins many women do not get from the foods they eat.

Women, it has been suggested, do not crave red meat in the same way that men do. This causes iron deficiencies. The best women's supplements will contain plenty of iron, which is strongly recommended for women under 50. Women who plan on having children in the near future should also try to include folic acid in their diets.

Vitamin Supplements for Women with Deficiencies

 

Click Here for a Leading Women's Vitamin Supplement Store!

 

August 18, 2005

Nanotechnology drives golf to new lengths

By Jim Halley, USA TODAY


The same technology that has been used to repair nuclear steam generator rods and armor U.S. military vehicles may soon help your golf game.

Nanotechnology, which deals with matter on a molecular size scale of nanometers (a billionth of a meter), has been around for more than a decade. Companies are just beginning to put nanometals to use for sports equipment, with golf leading the way.

The crystalline structure of nanometal coatings provides a grain that is as much as 1,000 times smaller than traditional metals yet four times stronger.

A golf club shaft coated with a nanometal could be stronger yet lighter, allowing for greater clubhead speed. A clubhead using a nanometal coating could be light enough to allow a larger sweet spot.  Click Here

 

July 24, 2005

Wiring the Brain at the Nanoscale

By BJS,
(National Science Foundation)

Working with platinum nanowires 100 times thinner than a human hair--and using blood vessels as conduits to guide the wires--a team of U.S. and Japanese researchers has demonstrated a technique that may one day allow doctors to monitor individual brain cells and perhaps provide new treatments for neurological diseases such as Parkinson's.

Writing in the July 5, 2005, online issue of The Journal of Nanoparticle Research, the researchers explain it is becoming feasible to create nanowires far thinner than even the tiniest capillary vessels. That means nanowires could, in principle, be threaded through the circulatory system to any point in the body without blocking the normal flow of blood or interfering with the exchange of gasses and nutrients through the blood-vessel walls.

The team describes a proof-of-principle experiment in which they first guided platinum nanowires into the vascular system of tissue samples, and then successfully used the wires to detect the activity of individual neurons lying adjacent to the blood vessels.

Rodolfo R. Llinás of the New York University School of Medicine led the team, which included Kerry D. Walton, also of the NYU medical school; Masayuki Nakao of the University of Tokyo; and Ian Hunter and Patrick A. Anquetil of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"Nanotechnology is becoming one of the brightest stars in the medical and cognitive sciences," said Mike Roco, Senior Advisor for Nanotechnology at the National Science Foundation (NSF), which funded the research.

Already, the researchers note, physicians routinely use arterial pathways to guide much larger catheter tubes to specific points in the body. This technique is frequently used to study blood flow around the heart, for example.

Following the same logic, the researchers envision connecting an entire array of nanowires to a catheter tube that could then be guided through the circulatory system to the brain. Once there, the wires would spread into a "bouquet," branching out into tinier and tinier blood vessels until they reached specific locations. Each nanowire would then be used to record the electrical activity of a single nerve cell or small groups of them.

If the technique works, the researchers say, it would be a boon to scientists who study brain function. Current technologies, such as positron emission tomography (PET) scans and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), have revealed a great deal about how neural circuits process, say, visual information or language. But the view is still comparatively fuzzy and crude. By providing information on the scale of individual nerve cells, or "neurons," the nanowire technique could bring the picture into much sharper focus.

"In this case, we see the first-ever application of nanotechnology to understanding the brain at the neuron-to-neuron interaction level with a non-intrusive, biocompatible and biodegradable nano-probe," said Roco. "With careful attention to ethical issues, it promises entirely new areas of study, and ultimately could lead to new therapies and new ways of treating diseases. This illustrates the new generations of nanoscale active devices and complex nanosystems."

Likewise, the nanowire technique could greatly improve doctors' ability to pinpoint damage from injury and stroke, localize the cause of seizures, and detect the presence of tumors and other brain abnormalities. Better still, Llinás and his coauthors point out, the nanowires could deliver electrical impulses as well as receive them. So the technique has potential as a treatment for Parkinson's and similar diseases.

According to researchers, it's long been known that people with Parkinson's disease can experience significant improvement from direct stimulation of the affected area of the brain. Indeed, that is now a common treatment for patients who do not respond to medication. But the stimulation is currently carried out by inserting wires through the skull and into the brain, a process that can cause scarring of the brain tissue. The hope is, by stimulating the brain with nanowires threaded through pre-existing blood vessels, doctors could give patients the benefits of the treatment without the damaging side effects.

One challenge is to precisely guide the nanowire probes to a predetermined spot through the thousands of branches in the brain's vascular system. One promising solution, the authors say, is to replace the platinum nanowires with new conducting polymer nanowires. Not only do the polymers conduct electrical impulses, conductive, they change shape in response to electric fields, which would allow the researchers to steer the nanowires through the brain's circulatory system. Polymer nanowires have the added benefit of being 20 to 30 times smaller than the platinum ones used in the reported laboratory experiments. They also will be biodegradable, and therefore suitable for short-term brain implants.

"This new class of materials is an attractive tool for nanotechnology," said MIT's Anquetil. "The large degrees of freedom that they offer synthetically allow the rational design of their properties."

Source URL: http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/node/8478

 

July 18, 2005

In an interview recorded in a health publication,
Dr. William Kelley, famous cancer specialist says:

“I find parasites in 92% of people. Everybody - rich and poor - the whole population have parasites. It is not restricted to lower classes at all. Pets are great carriers of parasites. Also, vegetables may carry parasitic organisms.

"What is a parasite?"

It is an organism that invades and survives off its host. They are tiny organisms and are opportunistic, hence their effects on the body often go unrecognized.

Human parasites include the protozoa group (organisms with only one cell) and helminths (worms).

"What goes on in the gut?"

Within the human digestive tract dwells a complex of microbial organisms. Normally, the micro-flora, as they are commonly known, are made up of beneficial bacteria which perform useful functions.

However, this normal flora may be disrupted allowing the overgrowth of "unfriendly" organisms including yeasts which may lead to health disorders. One's diet, health status and even the use of drugs such as anti-biotics, corticosteroids or birth control pills may affect flora content.

In addition to bacteria and yeast, our gut may be colonised by intestinal parasites.

There is mounting evidence that parasitic infestations are more common than previously thought (Leo Galland. Power Healing. Random House New York, 1997; Duke, J.A., handbook of Medicinal Herbs. CRC Press Boca Raton, Florida, 1985).

In the host, parasites can co-exist with yeast and bacteria. Together they interfere with the host's vital processes through secretions, excretions and other toxic products.

Unfortunately, few people realize the damage such organisms may have on their long-term health.

Health professionals are now beginning to understand how these unfriendly organisms may interfere with our digestive processes as well as cause wide spread ill health (Leo Galland.

Power Healing. Random House New York, 1997; Crook, W. The Yeast Connection, Professional Books, Jackson, Tenn., 1994; Bland, J. The 20-Day Rejuvenation Diet Program. Keats Publ. Inc., 1997)

"How do I recognize the symptoms of parasites?"

Associated symptoms and potential indicators include:
• abdominal bloating
• flatulence (gas)
• abdominal pain
• diarrhoea
• constipation
• foul smelling stools
• bowel irritation
• joint and muscle pain
• heartburn
• headaches
• bad breath
• fluid retention
• food sensitivities
• allergy
• sugar cravings
• mental confusion
• fatigue
• malaise

An effective herbal treatment is the best way to eradicate parasitic and unhealthy micro-organisms from the gastrointestinal tract.

ColoVada  is a unique formulation of a blend of active herbs used historically to stimulate the body's various protective mechanisms and to provide broad spectrum anti-parasitic activity. it contains a perfect combination of herbs which have traditionally been used for their anti-microbial properties to deal with parasites (including yeasts, protozoa, amoeba and helminth). These herbs have long been used to assist the body in maintaining internal health. Code #1193

It makes good sense to support the body's efforts in maintaining a healthy microbial balance and to eliminate parasites, yeasts and toxic by-products.

Some of the Main active ingredients

Black Walnut Hulls contains naphthoquinones and is well documented as an anti-parasitic herb. It has traditionally been used as a vermifuge (kills worms) for many centuries by Europeans and American Indian tribes. It aids digestion and helps to maintain a healthy digestive system.

Rich in organic iodine, manganese and vitamin B15, Black Walnut also contains strong antiseptic properties. Commonly used to relieve constipation, bowel irregularities, and poor digestion, Black Walnut also oxygenates the blood to cleanse the body of parasites.

Garlic (Allium Sativum)
Research shows that Garlic possesses anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Allicin, one of garlic's important active ingredients is believed to provide many of its anti-microbial and vermifuge benefits. It may also help eliminate bacteria while supporting the growth of natural bacterial flora (Mirelman, D. et al., J. Infec. Dis. 1987: 156 (1): 243-4).

Add TruAloe to optimize Colovada cleansing because Aloe Vera is :
• anthelmintic [an agent that destroys or expels intestinal worms and/or parasites; vermicide; vermifuge]
• antibacterial [an agent that destroys bacteria; bactericide]
• antifungal/yeast [an agent that destroys fungal conditions]
• anti-inflammatory [an agent to ease inflammation]
• antimicrobial [an agent that destroys microbes]
• anti-parasite effects [an agent that destroys parasites]
• antiviral [an agent that destroys viruses]
• emollient [an agent used externally to soften and soothe]
• purgative [an agent that produces a vigorous emptying of the bowels, more drastic than a laxative or aperient]

"Is there a way to prevent parasitic infection?"

It is impossible to avoid all situations that could lead to parasitic infection. You may wish to take the following precautions that can help:
Drink clean, pure water. Chlorination does not kill all parasites. It is advisable to filter all drinking water. Take Silver 22 on a regular basis, especially while traveling.
Always wash fresh produce carefully, especially vegetables. Dip your fresh fruits and vegetables in a bath of 1 capsule Microhydrin in basin of water.  It not only discourages all the molds, bacteria, it will lengthen the shelf life of those foods.
Wash your hands thoroughly before preparing or eating food and after using the toilet.
If you eat animal meat, ensure that it is cooked thoroughly.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle to guard against parasites. A consistently poor diet can promote poor intestinal health, creating the perfect environment for parasites to thrive.  

Black Walnut Historic Usage:

Rich in organic iodine, manganese and vitamin B15, Black Walnut also contains strong antiseptic properties. Commonly used to relieve constipation, bowel irregularities, and poor digestion, Black Walnut also oxygenates the blood to cleanse the body of parasites.

Barb Ashcroft, Health Coach

 

July 13, 2005

More fruits, veggies can save your vision

By FRAN BERKOFF

ANOTHER good study on fruits and vegetables. Well, before you yawn and say, "What else is new?" -- read on. This study looks at a role for these foods that could be a sight-saver for many of us as we get older. The study, published in last month's American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests eating more fruits and vegetables may have protective effects against cataracts.

Cataracts are a natural part of aging and are common in people over 65, although they can occur at any time. A cataract is a clouding of the eye's lens that can cause fuzzy or blurred vision. It can lead to blindness if untreated.

Previous studies have looked at dietary factors that are thought to reduce risk or slow their progression. A large study showed that the incidence of cataracts in people who took vitamin C supplements for 10 years or longer was significantly lower than the others. Other studies have looked at vitamin E and the plant chemical lutein.

LOWER THE RISK

This recent study looked at about 35,000 healthy women over 45 who were involved in the Women's Health Study, an ongoing study of female health professionals in the U.S.. Part of the study is looking at different aspects of their dietary habits, including their intake of fruits and vegetables.

Over a 10-year period, about 2,000 of these women developed cataracts. The women who reported eating the most fruits and vegetables had a lower risk of developing cataracts.

Most studies have looked at specific things in fruits and vegetables that may account for this effect. This is one of the few that looked specifically at total fruit and vegetable intake.

There are many possible reasons for this effect, including the likelihood that those who ate more fruits and vegetables consumed more vitamin C (found in many fruits and vegetables) and lutein (found in green leafy vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, watercress, Swiss chard and peas).

The study authors conclude that "the possible beneficial effects of fruits and vegetables on the risk of many chronic diseases, including cataracts, have a strong biological basis and warrant the continued recommendation to increase total intake of fruits and vegetables."

Research has also looked at the role of fruits and vegetables and reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration. This condition causes the loss of central vision by affecting the macula, the small part of the eye that sits in the centre of the retina. Central vision enables people to read, drive and perform other activities that require fine, sharp, straight-ahead vision.

Antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, found in greens, red peppers and corn, have been shown to help reduce risk.

http://ottsun.canoe.ca/News/Health/2005/07/12/pf-1127361.html

 

July 4, 2005

The Eyes Have It

By FRAN BERKOFF, TORONTO SUN

ANOTHER GOOD study on fruits and vegetables ... Well, before you yawn and say, "What else is new?" ... read on. This study is looking at a role for these foods that could be a sight saver for many of us as we get older.

The study published in this month's American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that eating more fruits and vegetables may have protective effects against cataracts.

Cataracts are a natural part of aging and are common in people over 65. A cataract is a clouding of the eye's lens that can cause fuzzy or blurred vision. It can lead to blindness if untreated. Although aging is the most common cause of cataracts, they can occur at any time of life. In the past, studies have looked at several dietary factors that are thought to reduce risk or slow their progression. A large study showed that the incidence of cataracts in people who took vitamin C supplements for 10 years or longer was significantly lower than for those who did not. Other studies have looked at vitamin E and the plant chemical lutein.

A STUDY IN DIETS This recent study looked at about 35,000 healthy women over 45 who were involved in the Women's Health Study. This is an ongoing study of female health professionals in the United States. Part of the study is looking at different aspects of their dietary habits, including their intake of fruits and vegetables. Over a ten year period, about 2000 of these women developed cataracts. The women who reported eating the most fruits and vegetables had a lower risk of developing cataracts than those who ate less.

Most studies have looked at specific things in fruits and vegetables that may account for this effect. This is one of the few that have looked specifically at total fruit and vegetable intake. There are many possible reasons for this effect including the likelihood that those who ate more fruits and vegetables consumed more vitamin C (found in many fruits and vegetables) and lutein (found in green leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli, watercress, Swiss chard and peas). The study authors conclude that "The possible beneficial effects of fruits and vegetables on the risk of many chronic diseases, including cataracts, have a strong biological basis and warrant the continued recommendation to increase total intake of fruits and vegetables."

ANTIOXIDANTS Research has also looked at the role of fruits and vegetables and reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration. This condition, one of the leading causes of blindness in older people, causes the loss of central vision by affecting the macula, the small part of the eye that sits in the centre of the retina. Central vision enables people to read, drive and perform other activities that require fine, sharp, straight-ahead vision.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are two antioxidants that are shown to help reduce risk. These two carotenoids occur naturally in the macula of the eye and they are thought to help filter out some of the harmful light that can damage the retina. Inadequate intake can contribute to the disease. Lutein is found predominantly in green leafy vegetables and zeaxanthin is also found in greens as well as red peppers and corn.

Source:  TorontoSun.com

 

June 13, 2005

Dietary Calcium and Vitamin D May Help Prevent PMS


By Katrina Woznicki , MedPage Today Writer

 
MedPage Today Action Points

• Health care providers may want to consider recommending increased intakes of calcium and vitamin D to younger female patients. This study found an association between high dietary calcium and vitamin D intake and a reduced risk for premenstrual syndrome.

• Dairy products and spinach are all high sources of dietary calcium. Encourage patients to include more calcium- and vitamin D-rich foods in their daily diets.
 
Review
AMHERST, Mass., June 13-High dietary intake of calcium and vitamin D-rich foods may help prevent premenstrual syndrome, a study finds.

The investigators, using food questionnaires from women in the Nurses Health Study II, found that milk, in particular, proved significantly beneficial.

Women with the highest intake of total vitamin D (median, 706 IU/d) had a relative risk of 0.59 (95% confidence interval, 0.40-0.86) for PMS compared with those in the lowest intake (median, 112 IU/d), p = .01 for trend, according to a research team led by Elizabeth R. Bertone-Johnson, Sc.D., an epidemiologist at the University of Massachusetts here.

Calcium from food sources also proved to be protective. When the low intake group (median, 529 mg/d) was compared with the highest intake group (median, 1,283 mg/d), the investigators found among the high intake subjects a relative risk for PMS of 0.70 (95% CI, 0.50-0.97), p = .02 for trend, the investigators reported in the June 13 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

The findings emerged from a prospective cohort study comparing the diets of 1,057 women, ages 27 to 44, who reported developing PMS over a 10-year period with 1,968 women who had no PMS diagnosis during that time.

The participants were part of the Nurses Health Study II, and none had PMS at baseline in 1991. Food frequency questionnaires measuring both supplement and food intake were answered in 1991, 1995, and 1999. Women who had menstrual irregularities, infertility, endometriosis, or cancer were excluded from the study.

Given that calcium and vitamin D help reduce women's risks of osteoporosis and colorectal cancer, the findings here suggest clinicians might want to consider recommending calcium and vitamin D to even younger patients, said Dr. Bertone-Johnson.

Other studies have shown an inverse relationship between calcium supplement intake and minimizing existing PMS symptoms, providing PMS patients with a promising non-pharmacological treatment option.

But there has been little data to suggest calcium and vitamin D could block the clinically significant mood swings, breast tenderness and cramping that affect up to 20% of women.

Some investigators had hypothesized that calcium and vitamin D may work so well for these women because PMS could be associated with fluctuating calcium and vitamin D levels during the ovulation and luteal phases.

In addition to milk, the food questionnaires looked at a variety of calcium food sources, including spinach and everyday dairy products, such as yogurt, hard cheese, cottage cheese and different types of milk.

The relative risk for women who drank four servings or more per day of either low-fat or skimmed milk compared with those who only consumed one serving daily was 0.54. Whole milk consumption was associated with a modest increased risk for PMS. This may be, the researchers said, because whole milk is higher in saturated fat and "and saturated fat intake may be positively associated with the incidence of PMS."

Four servings of milk would provide women with 1,200 mg of calcium daily and 400 IU of vitamin D, amounts that would meet daily recommended allowances.

The authors found no protective effect from calcium or vitamin D supplements. However, calcium supplement intake was low among this population, so it is unclear whether dietary pills could help prevent PMS.

The investigators concluded the relationships between calcium, vitamin D, and PMS symptoms warrant additional clinical research.

 

June 2, 2005

Nanotechnology's everywhere USA Today - USA NEW YORK --

If you're worried that nanotechnology is going to contaminate the Earth and needs to be stopped before it destroys the human species, well ...

Click here for the story in full

 

May 31, 2005

Revolutionary nanotechnology illuminates brain cells at work

Until now it has been impossible to accurately measure the levels of important chemicals in living brain cells in real time and at the level of a single cell.

Scientists at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Plant Biology and Stanford University are the first to overcome this obstacle by successfully applying genetic nanotechnology using molecular sensors to view changes in brain chemical levels.

The sensors alter their 3-dimensional form upon binding with the chemical, which is then visible via a process known as fluorescence resonance energy transfer, or FRET.

In a new study, the nanosensors were introduced into nerve cells to measure the release of the neurotransmitter glutamate -- the major brain chemical that increases nerve-cell activity in mammalian brains.

For the full story, click here:
http://www.physorg.com/news4321.html

 

May 30th, 2005

Tiny Molecule Could Shrink Computers, Phones, iPod

TechNewsWorld - Sherman Oaks, CA, USA

The molecule cluster is 10,000 times thinner than a human hair, and marks another step forward in nanotechnology, the science of atoms and molecules that is ... full story

 

May 29th, 2005

WHY THE PILL MIGHT PERMANENTLY EFFECT YOUR LIBIDO
By Sally Janes

IT'S one of life's cruel ironies. A woman finds a boyfriend, goes on the Pill - and goes off sex.

Now researchers have discovered that the problem of lost libido is worse than they thought.

The 3.5 million women on the contraceptive pill in Britain could see their sex drive dive for ever.

Loss of libido is a recognised side effect of the Pill and is caused by a lowering of the sex hormone testosterone, responsible for the sex drive in both men and women.

A number of other sexual side-effects are associated with the Pill, including muted or non-existent orgasms and painful intercourse.

However, experts have always thought sex drive returned to normal once women stopped taking the Pill.

Click here for the article in full

 

May 16th, 2005

The Lighter Side of Nanotechnology

(PRZOOM - Newswire) —  Chicago - Grey Goos, the first comic strip for the nanotechnology community, has been released by NanoApex - one of the Internet’s leading resources for information about nanotechnolog

Grey Goos (www.nanoinvestornews.com/goo.php), the first comic strip developed for the nanotechnology community, has been released by leading Nanotechnology portal NanoApex. The weekly cartoon, currently in its fourth episode, examines the lighter side of nanotechnology and brings a diverse global audience together through its wry, but relevant humor.

"Nanotechnology can sometimes feel intimidating,” said Grey Goos creator Joel Fisher. “We wanted to put a friendly face on the technology—humanize it, give people a chuckle.” Grey Goos has already generated some positive attention in technology circles. "The first time I saw the cartoon I immediately sent it to everyone in my office," said Jon Nowick, a programmer with HSI Technology in Chicago. "The humor is insightful enough for techno-savvy readers like me and light enough to hang on an office refrigerator," he continued.
The Grey Goos cartoon is produced by APOKOLIPSTIK, Inc., an entrepreneurial company dedicated to developing nano-age comic strips and graphic literature. This Nano-Comic is building a global fan base and attracting readers from the US, UK, China and India and is generating interest in Nanotechnology through humor.

About the Grey Goos Comic
In the Grey Goos comic, a group of "nanobots" dubbed “Grey Goos” have escaped from the National Transistor Assembly Labs. Each with a different technical specialty and a distinct personality, they end up in a New York City loft with Dorothea (Dot) Kalm and Globo Bill, a couple of “constructs” who also have escaped from the same lab. Meanwhile, scientists at the lab have created a nanocop they’ve named Blue Goo, whose job is to round up the wayward Grey Goos and return them to the lab. What happens next is "a lot of fun" said Joel Fisher. The strip is currently being offered exclusively by NanoApex, one of the Internet’s leading resources for information about nanotechnology.

Source:  PRZOOM.com


 
 

May 14th, 2005

What kind of an impact will Nanotechnology have on the world?

Nanotechnology in Construction - one of the top ten answers to world's biggest problems

Nanotechnology's miniature answers to developing world's biggest problems

Construction: including nano-molecular structures to make asphalt and concrete more resistant to water; materials to block ultraviolet and infrared radiation; materials for cheaper and durable housing, surfaces, coatings, glues, concrete, and heat and light exclusion; and self-cleaning for windows, mirrors and toilets...

(Canada) In a study by the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics, a panel of international experts ranks the 10 nanotechnology applications in development worldwide with the greatest potential to aid the poor. With a high degree of unanimity, the 63 panelists selected energy production, conversion and storage, along with creation of alternative fuels, as the area where nanotechnology applications are most likely to benefit developing countries.

Some day soon, in a remote village in the developing world, a health worker will put a drop of a patient's blood on a piece of plastic about the size of a coin. Within minutes, a full diagnostic examination will be complete including the usual battery of blood work tests, plus analysis for infectious diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS, hormonal imbalances, even cancer.

That remarkable piece of plastic is called a lab-on-a-chip and it is one of the revolutionary products and processes currently emerging from nanotechnology research with the potential to transform the lives of billions of the world's most vulnerable inhabitants.

Read Article in Full

 

May 11, 2005

What exactly is Nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology Basics Defined

By Dan E. Linstedt
(Article URL: http://www.b-eye-network.com/view/836)

Nanotechnology is the Next Big Thing.

The focus of this article is to present and discuss the basics of Nanotechnology, in which we cover some of the different fields of Nanotechnology and just what can be explored in this tiny but vast world. We also speculate a bit on where each of the areas is heading, and what impact that area might have on computing technology. Like it or not, Nanotechnology is the next BIG THING.

Different Types of Nanotechnology

There are many different types of Nanotechnology available. In general they can be classified into the following categories: carbon nanotube, optical (or particle-wave based), crystalline, DNA, and quantum (see “The Age of the Spiritual Machine”, by Ray Kurzweil).  Each of these categories has a significant impact in the study of Nanotechnology.  You see, Nanotechnology is not just technology.  It is the study of atoms, and the world as we know it.  It is the ability to look deep into what and how basic elements are created and how they can be manipulated to benefit mankind.

Of course, like any other “technology” or societal advancement, it can be turned into destructive forces. This advancement is no different. Like it or not, Nanotechnology is the next BIG THING. So what’s the big deal about these areas? How do they differ, why should I care? To explain the answers to these questions will take a life-time, and I hope that through this article many useful thoughts and understandable ideas will emerge. For now, let’s take a look at some of the basics from each of these categories.

Carbon Nanotubes.

What is a carbon nanotube? An oversimplified analogy might be that of a vacuum tube; however the “tube” is made of carbon molecules instead of glass. The carbon nanotube can contain other substances, any substance that is desired which doesn’t interact with carbon molecules. Since carbon is the most non-interactive molecule, it becomes the logical choice to be a container. Once the nanotube is filled with its payload, it can be sealed in a number of different ways—but in general, a breakable bond is setup between one part of the tube, and another (between multiple carbon elements). Of course the tubes, can be strung together to create “wire-like” properties. The surprising thing is they are not limited to moving just electricity! They can also contain any number of other substances and move those along the tube as well. See this excellent white paper: on carbon nanotubes and its uses.

Suppose you had a radio active chemical, like a cancer fighting drug—to deliver to a tumor deep inside the body. Does it really make sense to treat the entire body with ever increasing doses of this drug? Or is it better to disperse the chemical directly to the tumor, and release the chemical into the “bad cells.” This is one example and proposed use of carbon nanotubes. The tubes can be filled with the chemotherapy drugs, and sealed. The drugs can be tainted to “attract” but not bond to, specific cell structures, i.e., those that are cancerous—throughout the body.

These nanotubes can then be dispersed in very small doses through an injection into the bloodstream. They travel the body and attach to the cancerous cells. Then, with either ultraviolet light, or light from another wave-length, sometimes a sound wave, the carbon nanotubes bond is broken (it responds to a certain frequency), and the medicine is delivered on the spot. This is the typical medical scenario found in the bio and drug company Nanotechnology writings. Today they are working on perfecting the delivery and release mechanisms. It will be a few years before the FDA can approve this type of technology.

 There are other uses for carbon nanotubes, which include housing liquid structures that change color when activated by electron beams. Thus, acting like super-small vacuum tubes, they can represent on/off, and various levels between. When attached to a computing circuit, they can change their chemical representation by shifting electrons to higher or lower orbital. In other words, here is where we start to see items like the “auto-frosting glass” that are available for public purchase today. The carbon nanotubes form the containment structure and don’t conduct electricity. But because the nanotubes are hexagonal shape, and have “holes”, the contained chemicals within can be shifted into different materials through the application of electricity.

Optical or Particle Wave Based Nanotechnology

This is a much different method of computation. It involves the notions that particles can act as both waves and atoms at the same time. The best or simplest explanation here, is the notion of light, or light waves if you will. Think back to high school physics and chemistry (OUCH!). Remember the photon? It’s both a particle and a wave at the same time. Ever hear of Schrödinger’s Cat? That’s right, the theory that the cat is both alive and dead at the same time due to particle waves and quantum mechanics. Nanotechnology is exploring the use of particle wave exchanges for multiple computation abilities; in other words, exchanging electrons (without wires) between computational devices by creating standing waves from one device, passing the waves through walls, through space, and around the world. This amounts to instant communication, no wires. They’re also investigating wireless power for the same reasons.

This particular technology is developing at a slower rate and is more difficult to produce because it relies on super-conductivity, the ability to manipulate individual electrons on atoms, and pass waves without interference or alteration. This is just in terms of computational ability. When we look at the use of Nanotechnology applied to optical devices, the range is much broader and more successful. There are coatings for glass that make it virtually indestructible, Nanotechnology coatings for fiber cables making them more bendable, as well as more resistant to loss of signal, and revolutionary new optical filtering capacities and light emitting capacities.

The use of optical Nanotechnology in bioinformatics to stain cells and watch DNA computation is incredible compared to the old “dying the cell” methods. There are tremendous advances for light-emitting nano compounds that help us dive deeper and allow us to better understand our tiny world.

Crystals and Nanotechnology

Nanocrystals are structures which basically are attached in a lattice or crystalline shape (like ice for instance, that’s a crystalline form of water when it freezes). These structures (because of their lattice shape) are extremely strong. For example, a 3-inch-thick slab of ice can be much stronger than a 3-inch-thick piece of red-wood. Nanocrystals are not yet used as computational devices, but in the future, this may change. We may actually come to have something like a crystalline computing device that reacts to sound waves and changes colors without any visible power-source.

"Metal nanocrystals might be incorporated into car bumpers, making the parts stronger, or into aluminum, making it more wear resistant. Metal nanocrystals might be used to produce bearings that last longer than their conventional counterparts, new types of sensors and components for computers and electronic hardware.

Nanocrystals of various metals have been shown to be 100 percent, 200 percent and even as much as 300 percent harder than the same materials in bulk form. Because wear resistance often is dictated by the hardness of a metal, parts made from nanocrystals might last significantly longer than conventional parts."

Another use for nanocrystals is to house anti-bacterial material without drug interaction and without chemical bonding at the site. For instance, Smith & Nephew produces Nanotechnology crystalline structures with silver that helps to eliminate bacterial infection. Smith & Nephew also markets an antimicrobial dressing covered with nanocrystalline silver (A patented Technology of NUCRYST Pharmaceuticals). The nanocrystalline coating of silver rapidly kills a broad spectrum of bacteria in as little as 30 minutes.

Ok, so here’s the deal: we’re currently inundated with incredible Nanotechnology—why aren’t we seeing all the benefits today? We are, we just don’t know it. To paraphrase an advertising line from 3M: Nanotechnology doesn’t make the products, it makes the products better.

DNA Computing

This is of particular interest to me. It holds incredible promise, yet at the same time—incredible risks. DNA Nanotechnology or computing is the ability of man to understand, map, manipulate, replicate and alter strands of DNA within molecules. Of course, each cell is comprised of many DNA strands. The cell with RNA, and enzymes can perform on its own like a mini-computer. As I wrote in one of my recent Nanotechnology articles (DNA Computing), it has been done already, by DARPA in 1999. They managed to search terabytes of information in under 10 seconds in a DNA solution within a beaker. I would suggest reading DNA computing devices.

Again, What Does this Mean to Me?

Well that depends. If you’re in the world of fabrication of electronic devices then it means a lot to you today (or it should). If you’re the CEO or an executive in one of these organizations, then I would strongly urge your company to invest in such technology, or you’ll be left behind the 8-ball—and by the way, once you’re behind the 8-ball on this one, there’s NO catching up!  The only way to catch-up would be to re-invent your company from the ground up.

If you’re the average technology user, it simply means begin to be concerned about your personal privacy. First you’ll experience using different and better monitors, smaller computers, and faster devices. Pretty soon you won’t be able to recognize just what is man-made, and what is made of natural chemicals. The lines are blurred; it’s too late to worry about this.   Eventually we’ll need Nanotechnology labels on not just food, but clothing and products we purchase. Within 10 years, we’ll need Nanotechnology warnings on services or intangibles we buy, especially if the goods are delivered electronically (like software or upgrades to software). Without warnings, we won’t know exactly what will be affected by Nanotechnology delivery.

Quantum Nanotechnology

Quantum Nanotechnology is the sum of all things based on quantum mechanics, in other words—all of the above types of Nanotechnology rolled together. It is mankind’s ability to control the atom and the atomic elements, even creating our own atomic elements that are not found in nature.

Summary

I would like to thank-you for taking the time to read through this exploration of Nanotechnology. I hope you enjoyed this brief journey through different areas of Nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is an important part of life today and therefore must be discussed in public forums. If you aren’t yet aware of Nanotechnology or haven’t researched its far-reaching impacts, it is suggested that this discovery process begin. In future articles I will explore additional uses and applications of each of these Nanotechnology areas. In addition I will continue to speculate on just what this all means to the computing society and devices with which we currently depend on. 

Authour: Dan E. Linstedt

Dan is CTO of Myers-Holum, Inc.  He dabbles in VLDW and teaches at TDWI. His hobbies are nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and wet-technology advancements. He also sits on the Academic Advisory Board for Advanced Degrees at Daniels College of Business, Denver University. He can be reached at: DanL@DanLinstedt.com.

http://www.b-eye-network.com/view/836

 

 

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