Tuesday, Sep 22

Nanotechnology– A Solution To The Problems Of Developing Countries?

Nanotechnology– A Solution To The Problems Of Developing Countries?

There is a world so small, we can't see even with a light microscope. That world is the field of nanotechnology, the realm of atoms and nanostructures. Nanotechnology is a field of research and innovation concerned with building 'things' - generally, materials and devices - on the scale of atoms and molecules. Nanotechnology represents the manipulation of matter on an atomic molecular and supermolecular scale.

The science of nanotech is cutting-edge but simple enough to be affordable globally and the development prospect is enormous. So it’s no surprise that many developing countries have already embarked on commercializing the technology. The developing world, Brazil, Chile, China, India, the Philippines, South Korea, South Africa and Thailand have shown their commitment to nanotechnology by establishing government-funded programmes and research institutes. Researchers at the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics have classified these countries as 'front-runners' (China, South Korea, India) and 'middle ground' players (Thailand, Philippines, South Africa, Brazil, Chile). In addition, Argentina and Mexico are 'up and comers': although they have research groups studying nanotechnology, their governments have not yet organized dedicated funding.

Nanotechnology holds the promise of new solutions to problems that hinder the development of poor countries, especially in relation to health and sanitation, food security, and the environment. In its 2005 report entitled Innovation: applying knowledge in development, the UN Millennium Project task force on science technology and innovation wrote that "nanotechnology is likely to be particularly important in the developing world, because it involves little labour, land or maintenance; it is highly productive and inexpensive; and it requires only modest amounts of materials and energy". Scientists are even investigating use of nanomaterials to improve delivery of fertilizers and pesticides, and to create transgenic crops that would not be considered GM. Sonia Trigueros, a researcher at Britain’s University of Oxford believes its “applications are limitless”.


water treat

With regard to nanotechnology and water treatment, an active emerging area of research is the development of novel nanomaterials with increased affinity, capacity, and selectivity for heavy metals and other contaminants. Numerous studies have shown that nanomaterials can effectively remove various pollutants in water and thus have been successfully applied in water and wastewater treatment. The benefits from use of nanomaterials may derive from their enhanced reactivity, surface area and sequestration characteristics. A variety of nanomaterials are in various stages of research and development, each possessing unique functionalities that is potentially applicable to the remediation of industrial effluents, groundwater, surface water and drinking water.

carbon tubesCarbon tubes nanotech

Membrane processes are considered key components of advanced water purification and desalination technologies and nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes, nanoparticles, and dendrimers are contributing to the development of more efficient and cost-effective water filtration processes.
With regard to sensing, detection, and monitoring, of particular interest is the development of new and enhanced sensors to detect biological and chemical contaminants at very low concentration levels in the environment, including water.



The medical advances that may be possible through nanotechnology include both diagnostics and therapeutic procedures. Disease diagnostics and screening play a major role in developing countries, where access to medical facilities is scarce or non-existent. Cheap and easy-to-use diagnostic solutions in form of portable lab-on-chip technology and sensor devices for blood tests and pathogen detection will be especially beneficial in rural areas. For instance, several biological agents like albumin/dextran/perfluorobutane gas microcarriers (PGMCs) nanoparticles can be utilized for cardiac applications. Albumin-coated gas microbubbles have an interesting property, that is, they do not adhere to normally functioning endothelium but can attach to dysfunctional endothelial cells or to extracellular matrix of the disrupted vascular wall, an interaction that could be used not only as a marker of endothelial damage but even drug delivery. The cardiovascular drugs can be incorporated into the microbubbles in a number of different ways, including binding of the drug to the microbubble shell and attachment of site-specific ligands.

The much touted big three diseases (HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis) are responsible for millions of deaths in developing countries, while their impact on the developed world is significantly less due to the social and medical apparatus in these countries offering better living conditions to those who fall ill. With the help of nanotechnologies, this dramatic issue could be efficiently addressed.

Numerous nanomedicine research efforts deal with diagnosing and fighting the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) that causes (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). Nanotechnology offers a unique opportunity to combine and improve different pharmacological profiles of antiretroviral drugs, with more convenient drug administration and potentially better patient adherence to HIV therapy.
Research is also underway to use nanotechnology against malaria parasites and nanobiosensors for treatment of tuberculosis, as well as exploring the possibility of creating a tuberculosis vaccine. In the near future, it should become possible to construct machines (nanorobots) on the micrometer scale, made up of parts on the nanometer scale, like 100 nm manipulator arms, 10 nm sorting rotors for molecule-by-molecule reagent purification, and smooth super hard surfaces made of atomically flawless diamond. These devices could be controlled by nanocomputers that would be able to activate, control, and deactivate these devices at will. Further, they would store and execute clinical plans, receive and process external signals and stimuli, communicate with other nanocomputers or external control and monitoring devices, and possess contextual knowledge to ensure safe functioning of the nanorobots.


plant science

The use of carbon nanotubes — long, narrow, stiff tubes of carbon — to alter plant genes without foreign DNA being inserted into the plant genome itself, which would lead to gene-edited crops that would not be considered genetically modified is one of the perks of nanotechnology. Given the large and ongoing public opposition to genetically modified crops in developing nations, this approach could be a more palatable way to deliver benefits such as drought or flood resistance. Recent research studies show that carbon nanotubes can be used to deliver gene-editing machinery known as CRISPR/Cas9 inside plant cells — through the cell wall and the membrane– something that is otherwise tricky to do.
Gene editing then allows precise genetic enhancement to create crops that are resistant to herbicides, insects, diseases and drought. It has the potential to make better crops without the kind of public fears surrounding genetic modification. The nanoparticles do not require refrigeration, as does Agrobacterium, or advanced-tech laboratory equipment for use, as would a gene gun, so their use is possible in limited-resource environments. Furthermore, as agriculture faces numerous and unprecedented challenges, such as reduced crop yield due to biotic and abiotic stresses, including nutrient deficiency and environmental pollution, the emergence of nanotechnology has offered promising applications for precision agriculture. The term precision agriculture or farming has emerged in recent years, meaning the development of wireless networking and miniaturization of the sensors for monitoring, assessing, and controlling agricultural practices.

More specifically, it is related to the site-specific crop management with a wide array of pre- and post-production aspects of agriculture, ranging from horticultural crops to field crops. Recent advancements in tissue engineering and engineered nanomaterials-based targeted delivery of CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)/Cas (CRISPR-associated protein) mRNA, and sgRNA for the genetic modification (GM) of crops is a noteworthy scientific achievement.   Again, nanotechnology provides excellent solutions for an increasing number of environmental challenges. For example, the development of nanosensors has extensive prospects for the observation of environmental stress and enhancing the combating potentials of plants against diseases. Therefore, such continuous improvements in nanotechnology with special preference on the identification of problems and development of collaborative approaches for sustainable agricultural growth has remarkable potential to provide broad social and equitable benefits.

It’s hard to argue against technologies that will prolong human life, and this is probably the most exciting area of nanotechnology. The holy grail of nanomedicine is nanobots that swim through your bloodstream patrolling for tumors, arterial clogs, or other dangerous abnormalities. Those things are still a long way away, but in the meantime, scientists are using nanoparticles in multiple ways like targeted delivery vehicles for cancer medications. Scientists from MIT recently proved that it’s possible to insert nano factories into the body to manufacture drugs on demand at specific sites. Who knows, in the future, curing cancer could be as simple as getting a shot.

Despite the blossoming of this relatively new technology some scientists have raised concerns about its long-term safety to human health and the environment, with many scientists calling for better and more internationally coordinated regulation and oversight of the proliferating uses of nanoparticles. But against this march of technology, some people have been increasingly worried about the lack of long-term studies on the impact of nanomaterials on human health— and the environment. The transparency and vigilance against the risk are too many. No one knows if, and how, safe they are in the long term since most safety research has been done in the lab, on cells or mice, and in unrealistic settings

Top Five business-technology trends in 2020 to look out for

We are amidst the 4th Industrial Revolution, and the evolution of tech is in competition with the speed of light. With the advent of new-age technology, we are about three innovations away from fully transitioning into cyborgs. By 2022, 70 percent of enterprises will be experimenting with immersive technologies for consumer and enterprise use, and 25 percent will have them deployed in production, according to Gartner. Additionally, low-code application development will be responsible for more than 65 percent of application development activity by 2024. Companies and individuals that don't keep up with some of the major tech trends run the risk of being left behind as consumers have adjusted to the tech way of doing business. Understanding the key trends will allow people and businesses to prepare and grasp the opportunities in this new age.  In 2020, there are five top tech trends to expect including:

Service AI

Service AI

AI refers to computer systems built to mimic human intelligence and perform tasks such as recognition of images, speech or patterns and decision making. AI’s do these tasks faster and more accurately than humans. Most companies have started to explore how they can use AI to improve the customer experience and to streamline their business operations. This will proceed in 2020, and keeping in mind that individuals will progressively wind up being used to working close by AIs, designing and deploying AI-based systems will stay a costly recommendation for most of the organizations. Consequently, a significant number of AI applications will continue to be done through providers of as-a-service platforms, which allow us to simply feed in data and pay for the algorithms or compute resources as we use them.

Currently, these platforms, provided by the likes of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, tend to be somewhat broad in scope, with (often expensive) custom-engineering required to apply them to the specific tasks an organization may require. During 2020, we will see wider adoption and a growing pool of providers that are likely to start offering more tailored applications and services for specific or specialized tasks. This will mean no company will have any excuses left not to use AI.

AI is one part of what is referred to broadly as automation, and automation is a hot topic because of potential job loss. Experts say automation will eliminate 73 million more jobs by 2030. However, automation is creating jobs as well as eliminating them, especially in the field of AI; Pundits predict that jobs in AI will number 23 million by 2020. Proliferation in this area, and a move to more specific AI tasks being offered on subscription, is a likely development in 2020.


5G Network

5G Network

This next generation of wireless network technology will also be an enabler across a myriad of industries and applications, and in all likelihood spur all-new use cases as well. With some of the biggest names in telecommunications, like Qualcomm, AT&T, Verizon, Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei making sure that global 5G deployments stay on pace, and the world’s best Android handset makers already releasing 5G phones, 5G will hit the ground running in 2020 and that means plucking lightning-fast internet straight from cellular networks. Qualcomm specifically is on the forefront of 5G technologies, with end-to-end silicon solutions from 5G client handset devices like Samsung’s Galaxy S10 and Note 10 series, to base station and fixed wireless customer premise solutions and You can expect more of this in the near future.

 While there have been some, seemingly unfounded concerns over what 5G could be doing to our bodies, the tidal wave is continuing to roll. The increased bandwidth will provide faster internet speeds with a simpler setup process. As if that’s not enough, 5G networks will also facilitate the use of drones and driverless cars, allowing them to rapidly communicate with any other smart vehicles in their vicinity, an essential feature of futuristic smart cities.

The advent of 5G will be driven by the Edge Computing and Massive Machine Type Communication. The fast data transmission promised by 5G will only play a minor role. The less publicly discussed technical features of the network will be much more important: very low latency, extremely high reliability with low energy consumption at low transmission rates, and the ability to address many more devices than today per radio cell. 5G quite literally has the potential to transform not only internet broadband service, but it will also enable new applications and use cases, from connected smart devices in the IoT, to autonomous vehicles, smart cities and connected factories; the list goes on.

Waverly Ambassador Translator

Waverly Ambassador Translator

Many people all over the world have the misfortune of being cursed with mono-lingualism and this poses several problems. Imagine missing your flight because you couldn’t read the foreign language displayed on the screen. Don’t fret. For those who want to travel regardless of language boundaries—or easily converse with people who speak different languages in their own neighborhood—Waverly Labs invented an audio device that translates on the spot. With a number of game-changing features, the Ambassador's over-the-ear design makes it as versatile as it is shareable. Enjoy seamless pairing, simple sharing and adaptable settings for natural and professional-grade live translations across the globe. The earbuds have smooth sharing with guests by pairing multiple Ambassadors to one smartphone. Its hygienic over-the-ear design allows for seamless sharing, longer battery life, and uncompromised signal quality. It also has an advanced microphone array to naturally interpret to people around you with high clarity, translate and understand dozens of languages or dialects with guests and groups.

There are many situations in which to use it, but perhaps the most useful setup is to attach one to your ear, hand the other to someone who doesn't speak the same language to strap onto their own head, and talk away. The correct translation will play in both of your ears. The technology is still in the Indiegogo stage, but it might be worth it to you to get your hands on an early version.


Blockchain moves beyond Crypto


Blockchain, which is already appearing in experimental and small-scope projects, will be fully scalable by 2023. Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger, an expanding chronologically ordered list of cryptographically signed, irrevocable transactional records shared by all participants in a network.

Blockchain was overhyped and thus always going to be a bust in 2019 following the bitcoin craze. However, 2020 will finally see scale for some meaningful use cases for blockchain beyond cryptocurrency. For instance, one of the most problematic results of the internet age has been identity security. As diligent as many individuals and organizations are in maintaining their online identities and securing private information, there are always nefarious actors looking to steal and profit off of these digital items. Blockchain technology has already demonstrated the potential for transforming the way that online identity management takes place.

Blockchain offers a tremendous level of security, thanks to independent verification processes that take place throughout member computers on a blockchain network. In digital currency cases, this verification is used to approve transactions before they are added to the chain. This mechanism could just as easily be applied to other types of verification procedures, including identity verification and many other applications as well. Amazon Web Services is democratizing blockchain technology with their subscription based blockchain-as-a-service platform.  And they are not alone on this effort. Many other global leaders are also playing in this space, including Samsung, Microsoft, IBM and China’s Alibaba. What’s more, we are beginning to see more use cases for the technology beyond payments and cryptocurrencies. Look to how blockchain will be used in food safety, intellectual property and royalties, and real estate/asset management for instance. 2020 could be the start of the true rise of Blockchain.

Extended Reality

Extended Reality

Extended Reality (XR) is a catch-all term encapsulating Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR), and everything in between. Although AR and VR offer a wide range of revolutionary experiences, the same underlying technologies are powering XR. XR is used to create more immersive digital experiences. Virtual reality (VR) provides a fully digitally immersive experience where you enter a computer-generated world using headsets that blend out the real world. Augmented reality (AR) overlays digital objects onto the real world via smartphone screens or displays (think Snapchat filters). Mixed reality (MR) is an extension of AR, that means users can interact with digital objects placed in the real world (think playing a holographic piano that you have placed into your room via an AR headset). These technologies have been around for a few years now but have largely been confined to the world of entertainment – with Oculus Rift and Vive headsets providing the current state-of-the-art in videogames, and smartphone features such as camera filters and Pokémon Go-style games providing the most visible examples of AR.

From 2020, expect all of that to change as businesses get to grips with the wealth of exciting possibilities offered by both current forms of XR. Virtual and augmented reality will become increasingly prevalent for training and simulation, as well as offering new ways to interact with customers. By 2025 the healthcare revenue from augmented and virtual reality is projected to reach $5B. In fact, technology insiders actually expect to see the most advancements of AR technology in the healthcare industry. You may have noticed that AR has already made its way into hospitals and doctors’ offices. The Accuvein scanner is one great example of this. The AR tool projects where valves and veins are so that healthcare professionals can find a patient’s vein more easily when doing Intravenous therapy placements.

In the real estate industry, VR allows potential home buyers to tour properties through a headset before the property is even finished being built. This benefit both the potential buyers but also the property management companies who are able to sell well before a place is ready. Simultaneously AR technologies allow those building the properties to envision how a certain type of cabinet would look like before they are ever installed. With all these advances to be seen in the near future, this young but blossoming industry truly is one to keep an eye on.

It will suffice to conclude that Technology is now on the cusp of moving beyond augmentation that replaces a human capability into augmentation that creates superhuman capabilities. The trends are structured around the idea of “people-centric smart spaces,” which means considering how these technologies will affect people (i.e., customers, employees) and the places that they live in (i.e., home, office, car). According to Brian Burke, Gartner Research VP, “these trends have a profound impact on the people and the spaces they inhabit. Rather than building a technology stack and then exploring the potential applications, organizations must consider the business and human context first.” 

The Future with Internet of Things

The Future with Internet of Things

… Internet of Everything

We all use the internet daily for various reasons employing different standard devices such as

Rethinking Elderly Care  …Embracing technology for a tranquil elderly living

Rethinking Elderly Care …Embracing technology for a tranquil elderly living

Caring for the elderly/aged should not be a burden. Unfortunately, some people find it very difficult to care for their aged parents, grandparents or other family members.

5G Rollout and Key Guiding Principles for Telco CEOs

5G Rollout and Key Guiding Principles for Telco CEOs

Most telco operators today are priming for the rollout of 5G wireless technology. The majority are doing

Technology Trends for 2019

Technology Trends for 2019

The rapid development of technology with acceleration has made it the principal factor for social, economic and political changes in the world.

Domestic airline operators have reduced the number of passengers by about fifty per cent in a bid to abide by the social distancing protocols which form part of measures to control the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease.

The decision follows the resumption of domestic flights after about a month of inactivity due to the closure of Ghana’s borders and the three-week partial lockdown imposed on Accra and parts of the Ashanti Region....