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Re: mick post# 47

Monday, 12/05/2005 5:52:31 AM

Monday, December 05, 2005 5:52:31 AM

Post# of 372

Agilent Technologies Inc. today announced that it has acquired privately held Molecular Imaging Corp., a leading developer and manufacturer of nanotechnology measurement tools. Financial details were not disclosed. Based in Tempe, Ariz., Molecular Imaging is known for its atomic force microscopes (AFMs), the principal imaging and measurement instruments used by researchers working in nanotechnology. Called the "eyes of nanotechnology," AFMs are used to measure the shape and properties of materials at the nanometer scale.

Princeton University scientist Salvatore Torquato and colleagues have published a paper in the Nov. 25 issue of Physical Review Letters, the leading physics journal, outlining a mathematical approach that would enable them to produce desired configurations of nanoparticles by manipulating the manner in which the particles interact with one another. This may not mean much to the man on the street, but to the average scientist it is a fairly astounding proposition.

A film of upright carbon nanotubes can be compressed like a concertina, say researchers. They believe that the material could make ideal padding for tiny objects, or form components for microscopic mechanical devices. Unlike standard compressible foams, whose low density makes them less robust, the nanotube film is both strong and squeezable. The material can be squished to just 15% of its normal height and rebound perfectly, thousand and thousands of times, without showing any wear or losing springiness. The film is also resistant to chemical attack and high temperatures.

Carbon nanotubes are renowned for their strength, small diameter, and stunning electronic properties. They may be a key element in memory and processing chips of the future. Now researchers have made carbon nanotube devices with another highly promising quality: the ability to emit light. In the past, light-emitting carbon nanotubes were very inefficient at converting electrons into photons -- so inefficient that finding applications for them seemed a distant possibility. But in recent findings, announced last week in Science, IBM researchers fabricated nanotube devices that were around 1,000 times more efficient than previous ones at emitting light.,318,p1.html

Global bio-nanotech company pSivida Limited announced that it has created a new spinout company, pSiNutria Limited to develop applications of its silicon technology in the food industry. pSivida will seed fund pSiNutria USD$1.1m (AUD$1.5m) as well as grant pSiNutria a royalty bearing exclusive license for the use of BioSilicon(TM) as an ingestible ingredient in food applications. pSiNutria is also developing patentable intellectual property using silicon in the food packaging area. pSiNutria will subsequently seek its own public listing. pSivida shareholders would receive pSiNutria shares in any future public listing.

As nanotechnology research explodes, the much smaller field that investigates the technology's possible risks is also growing. The primary worry about the potential health and safety risks of nanotechnology is simply that far too little is known about the behavior of the tiny nanoscale materials in various environments. But enough risk research is under way, for example on effects on the lungs, that keeping track of it has become a challenge in its own right.


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