Monday December 17, 2018

Russian Chemists Develop Unique Nano-grenades To Fight Diseases

To create the nanoparticles, the team experimented with photosensitive nanomaterial technology and a chemical 'switch' method to create the nanoparticles

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Chemists develop unique disease-fighting 'nano-grenades'. VOA
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Russian chemists have developed a unique “transforming nanoparticle” that can help fight cancer and other diseases.

Professor Ekaterina Skorb and her team from ITMO University in St. Petersburg created hollow nanoparticles with a covering of polymer filaments and granules of titanium oxide and silver, the Sputnik reported on Friday.

When illuminated with an infrared laser, the structure of the nanoparticle collapses from heat and oxygen, which releases the particle’s contents.

In the study, published in the journal Bioconjugate Chemistry, the team tested out their nanoparticles on bacteria whose DNA was modified to glow when molecules came into contact with artificial sugars which were injected into the nanoparticles.

After illuminating these ‘nano-grenades’ with an infrared laser, the sugars escaped the nanoparticles’ membranes, lighting up the bacteria and proving the method’s effectiveness.

The tab was detailed in the journal Nano Energy. Wikimedia Commons
When illuminated with an infrared laser, the structure of the nanoparticle collapses from heat and oxygen, which releases the particle’s contents. Wikimedia Commons

Importantly, neither the nanoparticles nor their structural collapse affected the viability of the bacteria’s cells.

According to Skorb, the ease with which infrared radiation passes through the human body means that the use of such nanoparticles to fight cancerous tumors or various infections will be possible in virtually any part of the body.

“This area of research is interesting not only from the perspective of the localised delivery of medicines, but also for the creation of a computer in which biological molecules can be used instead of silicon chips. This will pave the way for high-precision control of chemical processes, ‘smart’ medicines and the ability to control molecular machines,” Skorb said in a statement from Russian Science Foundation, Sputnik reported.

Also Read- NASA is Concerned Over The Strains of Toilet Microbes on ISS

To create the nanoparticles, the team experimented with photosensitive nanomaterial technology and a chemical ‘switch’ method to create the nanoparticles.

It consists of titanium dioxide nanoparticles which can split water into hydrogen and oxygen atoms when exposed to light. When placed in a solution of organic compounds, the oxygen produced begins to interact with molecules, changing the acid-base balance.  (IANS)

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Maths Could Help Understand The Spread of Infectious Diseases

Fear of public pathogens may end up driving the wrong type of behaviour if the public's information is incorrect.

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Maths can help reveal how human behaviour spreads infectious diseases
Maths can help reveal how human behaviour spreads infectious diseases. Flickr

Researchers have found that maths could help public health workers understand how human behaviour influences the spread of infectious diseases like Ebola and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Current models used to predict the emergence and evolution of pathogens within host populations did not include social behaviour.

But adding dynamic social interactions to the new model could allow scientists to better prevent undesirable outcomes, such as more dangerous mutant strains from evolving and spreading.

“We tend to treat disease systems in isolation from social systems, and we often don’t think about how they connect to each other or influence each other,” said Chris Bauch, Professor at Waterloo University in Canada.

Injection and medicines
he team used computer simulations to analyse how the mathematical model behaved under various possible scenarios. Pixabay

“This gives us a better appreciation of how social reactions to infectious diseases can influence which strains become prominent in the population,” Bauch added.

In the study, published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology, the team used computer simulations to analyse how the mathematical model behaved under various possible scenarios.

They observed that human behaviour often changes dramatically during the outbreak, for instance, they might start using face masks.

Also Read: Cholera Infection May be on Edge in Yemen, Says WHO

Also, fear of public pathogens may end up driving the wrong type of behaviour if the public’s information is incorrect.

The new modelling could help public responses navigate and better channel these kinds of population responses, the researchers said. (IANS)