August 10, 2012
State of Education: Nanotechnology studies
By: Vince Gallagher
At a program poster presentation, students showcased their findings in nanotechnology studies. And these days, the ‘nano’ prefix is being applied more and more. For example, nano-medicine was studied for a noble effort: finding a cure for cancer, using DNA that's folded into what's called a quadroplex.
"That shape allows it to combine to certain proteins on the cancer cell surface and then we can use that to deliver drugs directly to those cancer cells," explained Brad Sutliff, a student from Syracuse.
Another worthy project is brain tumor research
"I found there's a barrier that surrounds the brain, it's actually a fluid that filters out the toxins in the blood, and certain toxins are thought as drugs so the brain rejects them," said Patricia Massa, a Clifton Park student.
So a solution is in the works. There's also a common theme between three students: nano-economics.
"The first student has focused on the aspects of entrepreneurial technology development, looking at incubation, funding, and other aspects of it. The second student looked at how does that compare to other universities, and what are the factors as to why certain universities succeed and others don't do quite as well," said Michael Fancher, nano-economics associate professor.
The third student applied that knowledge to smart cities technology. But regardless of the project, whether it's nano-engineering, nano-science, or nano-bioscience, this field of study is practically a necessity for the 21st century student.
“It's something that puts a point on it to basically to help the economy by using all these researchers and basically help us come up with new products,” said Sina Shahrezai, a student.
"You can definitely see the differences in all the posters around here, everybody is very specific about what they're doing, but without and understanding of the broad topic, it becomes very difficult to actually narrow it down," said Massa.
“It's definitely something that's going to be vaguely literate in, because you're going to see it anywhere from you suntan lotion to your doctor's office,” said Sutliff.