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Friday, 10 April 2020
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Chemistry: Giant hyperthermal effect in Mg-doped Fe3O4 - Friday, 09 February 2018 11:36
Biology: Nanodiamonds for antibacterial implants - Monday, 02 November 2015 21:41
Ecology: Nano-products risks overexaggerated - Tuesday, 24 June 2014 11:02

europe flag-1350059751945The European Parliament Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) has voted to adopt a draft report that 'proposed a moratorium on the use of nanomaterials in food, based on the precautionary principle'. The report is an amended version of theEuropean Commission's (EC) January 2014 proposal for a Regulation on Novel Foods 2013/0435 (COD).

A draft report containing 93 amendments to the original EC proposal was presented to members of the ENVI Committee at a recent plenary session of the European Parliament; MEPs present at the session 'nevertheless amended the text and proposed a moratorium', and an extraordinary session was held in order to vote on an adoption of the newly-amended report. One of the other significant amendments proposed by MEPs at the Plenary was for a nanoparticle number threshold of 10% to be used, instead of the originally-described 50%, in order to 'bring it in line with EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) recommendations).

The European Parliament will next discuss this draft report at a plenary session on 2 February 2015. Furthermore the rapporteur for the draft report was given a mandate to start negotiations with the European Council of Ministers.

Follow this link to read more about the draft report by the ENVI Committee on the Novel Foods regulation, this to read the draft report by ENVI that MEPs amended at the Plenary session, and this to see the current status of the proposed novel foods legislation.


Source: adopted from NIA's original article

Artificial nanobioelectronic tongue

blacklight-tonic-quinineArtificial tongue has always been a great challenge, one of the necessary steps to mimic a living organism. Significant efforts have been made to develop artificial taste sensors, referred to as “electronic tongues”, using arrays of synthetic materials, such as polymers, artificial membranes, and semiconductors. Yet, these efforts were not able to cope with the real food containing mutiple different tastes, and recognize a specific taste among the "bouquet" of the others.

Scientists from the Seoul National University thought why not to mimic the function of the real tongue using the real receptor? Or better to say a part of receptor - a specific protein responsible for the recognition of taste. Among five basic tastes they have chosen the most critical one - bitter. Exactly this taste sensation warns us about potential danger of the non-edible or bad food. 

Two fresh news from PlasmaChem, the Berlin-based company:

1. The new material was included into the catalogue - TiO2 nanowires with an incredible 250 micron length and 50 nm diameter. There are only few suppliers of such material in the world, but PlasmaChem's prices are at the lowest level.

2. This material as any other catalogue product of PlasmaChem can be purchased with the 12% (!) discount until 12th of October in frame of the company's "Indian Summer Deal". For quantities of 500 mg of TiO2 nanowires, one even gets a free 8Gb USB stick as a present.

Graphene quantum dots by a bottom-up synthesis.

graphene quantum dots bottom-up synthesisFew years ago was it shown that colloidal graphene doped with nitrogen can behave as a quantum dot – i.e. absorb light at one wavelength and emit it at another, longer wavelength. Such graphene particles were synthesized exclusively be top-down approach from massive graphite using oxidation, exfoliation and reduction procedures. The major drawback of such approach is that an undefined mixture of all possible molecules and structures is produced at the end, each of them having its own properties.

Now, for the first time graphene particles could be synthesized by a bottom-up approach. Scientists from Indiana University in cooperation with Case Western University (USA) have started three 7-step syntheses from benzene derivative ending up with three different graphene molecules, two of which were on purpose doped with nitrogen. To the amusement of the authors, only undoped graphene exhibited fluorescence. The other two had a potent electrocatalytic activity.

Nano-NaBH4 as a versatile solution for hydrogen storage

nano nabh4 acsnano2012A team of Australian researchers from The University of New South Wales have reported the successful synthesis of NaBH4 nanoparticles with 30 nm average diameter. The particles were produced by solvent precipitation, which can be repeated at any chemical lab without any sophisticate equipment. Scientists used the particles as templates for the further growth of a nickel shell, receiving a NaBH4 (core) - Ni (shell) nanostructures. This new material shows excellent potential for the use in hydrogen storage having 5% storage capacity and desorption temperature of as low as 350 °C.

nanoparticles bbb brain 200 nmNanoparticles go through BBB

Blood-brain barrier was shown to be permeable for particles as big as >200 nm, a group of scientists from Johns Hopkins University show. The article of Nance et al. in Sci Transl Med (DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3003594) describes how a highly dense PEG coating can make nanoparticles diffuse in a brain. The previously thought to be impermeable for any particles with diameters bigger than ca. 60 nm, the BBB seemed not to be able to block the particles of almost a triple size, if these were coated with a sufficient amount of PEG. Study of diffusion kinetics suggests that over 50% of the pores in BBB can be passed by 100-nm particles, and 25% - by particles as large as 200 nm in case the particles do not adhere to the endothelial cells of the BBB.


COLUMBUS, Ohio, USA, 2012-07-11

a new way to convert heat to lectricityResearchers who are studying a new magnetic effect that converts heat to electricity have discovered how to amplify it a thousand times over - a first step in making the technology more practical.

In the so-called spin Seebeck effect, the spin of electrons creates a current in magnetic materials, which is detected as a voltage in an adjacent metal. Ohio State University researchers have figured out how to create a similar effect in a non-magnetic semiconductor while producing more electrical power.

They've named the amplified effect the "giant spin-Seebeck" effect, and the university will license patent-pending variations of the technology.