Ingested nanoparticles could be harmful to health

(PhysOrg.com) -- Billions of engineered nanoparticles in foods and pharmaceuticals are ingested by humans daily, and new Cornell research warns they may be more harmful to health than previously thought.

Engineers develop cancer-targeting nanoprobe sensors

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists at UC Berkeley have created smart nanoprobes that may one day be used in the battle against cancer to selectively seek out and destroy tumor cells, as well as report back on the mission's status. ...

Sorting plastic waste: A magnetic game

More than one third of the total plastic production in Europe—about 14 million tonnes per year—are polyolefins, also known as polyalkenes. This is a family of polymers used for the manufacture of a variety of products, ...

Sunlight degrades polystyrene faster than expected

A study published by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) shows that polystyrene, one of the world's most ubiquitous plastics, may degrade in decades or centuries when exposed to sunlight, rather than ...

Carbon Nanotubes Boost Cancer-Fighting Cells

(PhysOrg.com) -- Yale University engineers have found that the defects in carbon nanotubes cause T cell antigens to cluster in the blood and stimulate the body's natural immune response. Their findings, which appear as the ...

New microtweezers may build tiny 'MEMS' structures

Researchers have created new "microtweezers" capable of manipulating objects to build tiny structures, print coatings to make advanced sensors, and grab and position live stem cell spheres for research.

Lab study raises questions over nano-particle impact

Tests involving chickens have raised questions about the impact on health from engineered nano-particles, the ultra-fine grains commonly used in drugs and processed foods, scientists said on Sunday.

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Polystyrene

Polystyrene ( /ˌpɒliˈstaɪriːn/; IUPAC poly(1-phenylethene-1,2-diyl)) also known as Thermocole, abbreviated following ISO Standard PS, is an aromatic polymer made from the monomer styrene, a liquid hydrocarbon that is manufactured from petroleum by the chemical industry. Polystyrene is one of the most widely used plastics, the scale being several billion kilograms per year.

Polystyrene is a thermoplastic substance, which is in solid (glassy) state at room temperature, but flows if heated above its glass transition temperature of about 100 °C (for molding or extrusion), and becomes solid again when cooled. Pure solid polystyrene is a colorless, hard plastic with limited flexibility. It can be cast into molds with fine detail. Polystyrene can be transparent or can be made to take on various colors.

Solid polystyrene is used, for example, in disposable cutlery, plastic models, CD and DVD cases, and smoke detector housings. Products made from foamed polystyrene are nearly ubiquitous, for example packing materials, insulation, and foam drink cups.

Polystyrene can be recycled, and has the number "6" as its recycling symbol. The increasing oil prices have increased the value of polystyrene for recycling. No known microorganism has yet been shown to biodegrade polystyrene, and it is often abundant as a form of pollution in the outdoor environment, particularly along shores and waterways especially in its low density cellular form.

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