University of California life science researchers at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have recently developed a novel and innovative cancer therapy approach that uses nanotechnology to fight brain cancer. This new technology uses nanotechnology structures called “nanodiamonds” to deliver chemotherapy agents directly to the cancerous areas in brain cancer patients.
Bioengineers at the University of California San Diego have come up with a novel way of removing dangerous toxins from the bloodstream using biomimetic nanosponges. These tiny clean-up particles work by posing as red blood cells, which serves both to evade the body's immune system response to foreign invaders and to attract the toxins to themselves instead of to actual red blood cells. When the toxins have all attached themselves to the nanosponges, they are processed out through the liver without harming the body. The research into this promising therapy comes out of the Zhang Lab in the Jacobs School of Engineering, where in 2011 they pioneered the red blood cell disguise technology for cloaking cancer drug cocktails, allowing the drugs much more time in the body to target diseased cells. Dr. Liangfang Zhang is also on the research faculty of the UCSD Moores Cancer Center.
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Chemical and biomolecular engineering researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have recently achieved something truly impressive: they've managed to dramatically improve the process of methane catalysis, by a factor of 30, and using lower temperatures. What this could mean in terms of environmental protection and energy generation is nothing less than game-changing. Natural gas production is at an all-time high in the U.S. and will replace much of our dependence on oil and coal if we can burn it efficiently and without methane pollution. Methane is also a by-product of industries such as waste management, animal farming, and oil extraction (the iconic flame at the top of an oil well is methane being released from underground), where its containment is an ongoing challenge.
The big, shiny black solar panels you're used to seeing bolted onto south-facing rooftops may soon be obsolete, if researchers at UCLA's California NanoSystems Institute continue to advance solar nanoscience at their current lightspeed pace. In fact, you not only won't recognize the new technology, you won't even be able to see it -- because it will be virtually transparent. And instead of being mounted to the roof, these thin plastic flexible sheets will cover your windows and skylights, as well as smaller surfaces like the face of your smartphone or tablet. What if the sun's not shining brightly? No problem, because these polymer solar cells (PSCs) absorb mostly ultra-violet and near-infrared (NIR) light, rather than the visible light that more traditional solar technology relies upon.
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Physics and nanotechnology research at the University of Minnesota has outgrown its 80-year old facility and prompted the construction of the 144,000 sf state-of-the-art building that is now rising on campus. (See the live webcam footage.) The previous home to the Physics Department, the Tate Laboratory, can no longer support the advanced research carried out by more than 150 faculty and graduate students there, nor is it adequate for a field (nanotechnology) that has only relatively recently come into being. The new $83M lab research facility will allow the physics and nanotechnology departments to move forward in this century as well as join forces in collaborative research projects.
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The National Eye Institute (NEI) has just awarded a major grant to a team of three scientists from the Scripps Institute and the University of California San Diego to develop a novel treatment for diabetic retinopathy and other forms of macular degeneration. The optical research investigators are:
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There's been a lot of news coming out of Chicago this week from the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Two announcements concerning prostate cancer research are especially worth broadcasting. An Ann Arbor pathologist, Arul M. Chinnaiyan, of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, will be leading a "dream team" of specialists from 5 of the top cancer research institutes in the world in a $10M, 3-year research project titled “Precision Therapy for Advanced Prostate Cancer.” The funding comes from AACR partner, Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), and the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF). Heading up the team with Dr. Chinnaiyan is Dr. Charles L. Sawyers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
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In a speech given at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh on June 24, President Obama announced the launch of the $500M Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) between university research science, government agencies, and industry to increase investment in technologies that create 21st Century manufacturing jobs here in the United States. In addition to Carnegie Mellon, the research institutions involved in the initiative are: the University of Michigan, the University of California-Berkeley, MIT, Stanford, and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
New research led by IBM Research-Almaden and the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology has developed a new treatment for drug-resistant superbugs such as Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The new MRSA treatment uses tiny nanotechnology structures to attack the cell membrane of MRSA bacteria.