I wasn’t expecting to find that researchers in Manitoba were working with researchers from Johns Hopkins University, two biopharmaceutical companies, Dartmouth College, and researchers from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to study sugar-coated nanoparticles. In fact since I don’t cover nanomedicine very often, I almost missed the item which is about how these particles might be used in cancer therapy .
From the news item on Science Daily,
In cooperation with colleagues at The Johns Hopkins University, Dartmouth College, the University of Manitoba and two biopharmaceutical companies, the NIST team has demonstrated that the particles—essentially sugar-coated bits of iron oxide, about 100 nanometers wide—are potent cancer killers because they interact with one another in ways that smaller nanoparticles do not. The interactions, thought by many bioengineers to be undesirable, actually help the larger particles heat up better when subjected to an alternating magnetic field. Because this heat destroys cancer cells, the team’s findings may help engineers design better particles and treatment methods.
Sometimes it seems to me that there is a drive to work with smaller and smaller bits of matter so this realization that the larger particle could be prove to be more effective is interesting and mildly amusing to me since I get caught up in this ‘drive to smaller and smaller’.
I recently received notice of a petition for a National Day for Canadian Research being organized by graduate students (presumably across the country). From the notice,
Myself and others are trying to establish a National Day for Canadian Research to help support and recognize the achievements of researchers in Canada. This is a non-partisan and cost-free approach that the government should have no difficulty accepting.
For this to occur, it must be enacted by Parliament and we must petition them formally. In this effort, we have set up a website where hard copies of a petition (in either French or English) can be downloaded and signed (www.canadianresearchday.ca). In addition, an online petition can also be found at http://www.petitiononline.com/NCRD/petition.html or through the link found at www.canadianresearchday.ca. The CSBMCB has also posted our links on their advocacy website.
Signing the online petition is good but if the effort is to be successful, hard copy petitions must be signed and sent. If you want to read the full notice, you can go here to the Don’t leave Canada behind forum.
The Vancouver (Canada) edition of the Word on the Street Festival is this Sunday, Sept.27, 2009. It goes from 11 am to 5 pm and is being held in the blocks surrounding the main branch of the Vancouver Public Library (at 350 West Georgia St.). There are maps on their website as well as other information. They do advise using public transit since they do close a few blocks to car traffic for the festival.