Tag Archives: Nanotechnology

No big deal: there is little to fear from nanoparticles in food

The Conversation Ian Rae June 8, 2016

Nanomaterials, and especially nanoparticles, have been on some people’s worry list for at least a decade.
The definition of a nanomaterial is rather loose, just specifying that it must have at least one dimension of 100 nanometres or less. This means that the material could be a sheet, fibre, wire or a particle.
For nanoparticles in particular, all three dimensions are likely to be tiny. This means they will often be about 100 times smaller than the particles in air pollution, which range in size from 10 micrometres (PM10) down to 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5).
The substances that make up the nanoparticles – most often the oxides of zinc, silicon and titanium – and are generally not regarded as toxic. But the particles are so small that their behaviour can be quite different from what we see on a large scale.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/no-big-deal-there-is-little-to-fear-from-nanoparticles-in-food-60541

FSANZ Report on Food Additives: http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/publications/Documents/Safety%20of%20nanotechnology%20in%20food.pdf

FSANZ Report on Food Packaging: http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/publications/Documents/Nanotech%20in%20food%20packaging.pdf

Scientists have put a high precision blood assay into a simple test strip

(Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology 2 February 2016) Researchers have developed a new biosensor test system based on magnetic nanoparticles. It is designed to provide highly accurate measurements of the concentration of protein molecules (e.g. markers, which indicate the onset or development of a disease) in various samples, including opaque solutions or strongly colored liquids.  The DRIM detection can be used for simple, rapid and sensitive quantification of protein biomarkers for in vitro diagnostics both in laboratory and near-patient conditions, for food analysis, environmental monitoring, security, and safety applications.

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Seeing viruses in a new light – New method for observing viruses may shed light on how to stop them

(Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences 7 December 2015) If researchers can understand how viruses assemble, they may be able to design drugs that prevent viruses from forming in the first place. Unfortunately, how exactly viruses self-assemble has long remained a mystery because it happens very quickly and at such small length-scales. Now, there is a system to track nanometer-sized viruses at sub-millisecond time scales. The method is the first step towards tracking individual proteins and genomic molecules at high speeds as they assemble to create a virus.

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A simple, rapid test to help ensure safer meat

(American Chemical Society 18 November 2015) Deciding whether to cook or toss a steak that’s been in the fridge for a few days calls for a sniff test. This generally works well for home cooks. But food manufacturers that supply tons of meats to consumers require more reliable measures. In a new journal called ACS Sensors, scientists report a simple method that uses nanotubes to quickly detect spoilage. It could help make sure meats are safe when they hit store shelves.

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New sensing tech could help detect diseases, fraudulent art, chemical weapons

(University at Buffalo 12 June 2015) Discovered in the 1970s, SERS is a sensing technique prized for its ability to identify chemical and biological molecules in a wide range of fields. It has been commercialized, but not widely. That may soon change. An international research team led by University at Buffalo engineers has developed nanotechnology that promises to make SERS simpler and more affordable.

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Gold nanoparticles show promise for early detection of heart attacks

(New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering 15 January 2015) A novel colloidal gold test strip is demonstrating great potential for early detection of certain heart attacks. Researchers are developing the strip to test for cardiac troponin I (cTn-I); its level is several thousand times higher in patients experiencing myochardial infarctions. The new strip uses microplasma-generated gold nanoparticles. Compared to AuNPs produced by traditional chemical methods, the surfaces of thesenanoparticles attract more antibodies, which results in significantly higher detection sensitivity.

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Australian authorities admit knowledge gaps on nanopesticides, but insist they can be properly regulated.

ABC Rural News James Bennett 29 October 2014

Australia’s current system for approving agricultural chemicals can effectively assess the safety of ‘nano’ products, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) says.
Nano materials are said to offer farmers major benefits like more effective, targeted use of pesticides that mean lower doses and the ability to develop better controlled-release chemicals and livestock medicines.
The APVMA’s CEO Kareena Arthy said the organisation’s existing criteria for assessing the safety of agricultural chemicals is adequate,

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