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Nanotechnology's miniature answers to developing world's biggest problems

f food equipment, packaging, or food; and nanotech-based sensors to detect and identify contamination;

7. Air pollution remediation: including nanotech-based innovations that destroy air pollutants with light; make catalytic converters more efficient, cheaper and better controlled; detect toxic materials and leaks; reduce fossil fuel emissions; and separate gases.

8. Construction: including nano-molecular structures to make asphalt and concrete more resistant to water; materials to block ultraviolet and infrared radiation; materials for cheaper and durable housing, surfaces, coatings, glues, concrete, and heat and light exclusion; and self-cleaning for windows, mirrors and toilets.

9. Health monitoring: several nano-devices are being developed to keep track of daily changes in patients' physiological variables such as the levels of glucose, of carbon dioxide, and of cholesterol, without the need for drawing blood in a hospital setting. This way, patients suffering from diabetes would know at any given time the concentration of sugar in their blood; similarly, patients with heart diseases would be able to monitor their cholesterol levels constantly.

10. Disease vector and pest detection control: including nano-scale sensors for pest detection, and improved pesticides, insecticides, and insect repellents.

Addressing global challenges using nanotechnology

The study team found that several developing countries have already launched nanotechnology initiatives. India's Department of Science and Technology will invest $20 million over the next four years, for example, and China ranks third in the world behind the United States and Japan in the number of nanotech patent applications.

Researchers at China's Tsinghua University have begun clinical tests for a bone scaffold based on nanotechnology which gradually disintegrates as the patient's damaged skeletal tissue heals. This application of nanotechnology is esp
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11-Apr-2005


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