Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Nanoparticles

Antifreeze can be deadly, but perhaps not for much longer (Photo: Shutterstock)

Because of its sweet flavor and aroma, thousands of wild animals, pets and children are poisoned by drinking automotive antifreeze/coolant every year. Its particularly nasty ingredient is ethylene glycol, which affects the central nervous system, heart and kidneys to the point that it can ultimately prove lethal. Now, however, scientists from Colorado-based ACTA Technology, Inc. have replaced the ethylene glycol with another compound that's not only safe, but that also improves the performance of the antifreeze.  Read More

A new technique involving magnetic nanoparticles allows therapeutic molecules to cross the...

The blood-brain barrier is a highly selective semipermeable barrier running inside almost all vessels in the brain that lets through water, some gases and a few other select molecules, while preventing potentially toxic elements in the blood from entering the brain. Researchers from the University of Montreal, Polytechnique Montréal, and CHU Sainte-Justine say that currently 98 percent of therapeutic molecules are also blocked by the barrier, but they have developed a technique using magnetic nanoparticles that opens the door for such molecules, thereby also opening the door to new treatments for brain diseases.  Read More

There's gold – and lead, apparently – in them thar biosolids (Photo: Heather Lowers, USGS ...

Mining operations tend not be very good for the environment, nor does the disposal of treated solid waste that still contains potentially-toxic metals. Now, however, scientists are looking into taking that waste and harvesting its trace amounts of metals such as gold, silver and platinum. Doing so could ultimately reduce the need for mining and decrease the amount of metals entering the environment, while also turning sewage into a source of revenue.  Read More

Packing peanuts may be good for more than just ... packing  (Photo: Shutterstock)

When a new lab was recently being set up at Purdue University in Indiana, a lot of the equipment arrived in boxes full of protective packing "peanuts." Unfortunately, few facilities exist for recycling the little pieces of foam, so they typically end up sitting in (or getting blown around) landfills for several decades. A team of Purdue researchers, however, discovered that they could find use in better-performing lithium-ion batteries.  Read More

A new nanoparticle is capable of carrying cancer-fighting drugs to a tumor site in the lun...

Scientists have developed drug-carrying nanoparticles capable of targeting cancer tissue in the lungs. By engineering the devices to release their payloads only once they reach the site of the tumor, the researchers hope to reduce the size of dosages required and also limit the side effects of conventional treatments.  Read More

Nanometer-sized “drones” that deliver drugs to heal and stabilize fat deposits in arteries...

Scientists have developed targeted, biodegradable nano "drones" to deliver anti-inflammatory drugs that heal and stabilize arterial plaque in mice. Their work could pave the way for more effective prevention of heart attack and stroke in humans caused by atherosclerosis, in which artery walls thicken and suffer reduced plasticity due to an accumulation of white blood cells.  Read More

The MIT testing device could supply a result in around 10 minutes via a color coding syste...

Researchers from MIT claim to have developed an easy-to-use blood test that can be applied in the field, allowing for the screening of multiple diseases at once. The test is said to provide results in around 10 minutes, and could be instrumental in stopping the epidemic spread of fatal diseases such as Ebola.  Read More

The new nanoparticles that help break up blood clots feature an iron oxide core (red), a c...

Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is a drug commonly used by surgeons to bust open blood clots in a patient's bloodstream, but it does have its limitations. Once injected, there's no guarantee it will reach the site of the blood clot, and even then, having it arrive in the correct dosage can be tricky, with the risk of hemorrhage a very real possibility. Researchers have now found that using a new type of magnetic nanoparticle to deliver the drug offers a much more efficient journey to the site, promising to destroy blood clots 100 to 1,000 times faster and aid significantly in the prevention of heart attacks and strokes.  Read More

Research team member Dr. Katarzyna Wybranska, with a wound dressing treated with the gold ...

We've been hearing a lot about the antibacterial qualities of silver, with silver nanoparticles finding use in everything from water filters to food packaging. Unfortunately, there are also concerns about the toxicity of those particles, particularly when they enter our bodies. Now, however, Polish scientists have developed what they claim is a safer alternative – an antibacterial coating that kills microbes using gold.  Read More

The new hydrogel type can be seen in these electron microscopy images, which show the nano...

A team of MIT researchers has developed a new, self-healing hydrogel that doesn’t require surgical implantation, but can be injected using a syringe. The new gel, which can carry two drugs at once, allows for more convenient treatment of numerous conditions.  Read More

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