Posted on April 13, 2023 by Lynn L Bergeson
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on April 11, 2023, that its Agricultural Research Service (ARS) recently developed sustainable, machine-washable antimicrobial wipes that can be used at least 30 times for cleaning hard and nonporous surfaces. According to USDA, ARS researchers developed the antimicrobial wipes “by using raw cotton fiber that naturally produced silver nanoparticles inside the fiber in the presence of a silver precursor.” USDA states that the embedded silver nanoparticles then release silver ions that act as antibacterial agents and kill harmful bacteria. USDA notes that in their research, scientists found that the wipes killed 99.9 percent of harmful bacteria S. aureus and P. aeruginosa on surfaces.
USDA states that the advantages to this technology include omitting the conventional pretreatments of raw cotton fibers (such as scouring and bleaching), which consume a large number of chemicals and energy, and not requiring any chemical agents except for a silver precursor. According to USDA, the technology “also transforms cotton fibers themselves into antimicrobial agents rather than serving as a carrier of antimicrobial agents, which is what makes them reusable.” USDA notes that the antimicrobial wipes are made from “natural cotton fibers, rather than conventional petroleum-based synthetic fibers.” The wipes can be reused by being washed in the laundry.
More information on the antimicrobial wipes is available in an article in Molecules entitled “Washable Antimicrobial Wipes Fabricated from a Blend of Nanocomposite Raw Cotton Fiber.”
Posted on December 05, 2022 by Lynn L Bergeson
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
On November 30, 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) announced that its scientists have determined that plants could be used to produce nanobodies that quickly block emerging pathogens in human medicine and agriculture. The nanobodies are small antibody proteins naturally produced in specific animals like camels, alpacas, and llamas. ARS researchers evaluated nanobodies to prevent and treat citrus greening disease in citrus trees. The scientists are now using their newly developed and patented SymbiontTM technology to show that nanobodies can be easily produced in a plant system with broad agricultural and public health applications. According to ARS, as a proof-of-concept, researchers showed that nanobodies targeting the SARS-CoV-2 virus could be made in plant cells and remain functional in blocking the binding of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to its receptor protein: the process responsible for initiating viral infection in human cells.
AgroSource, Inc. collaborated with ARS to develop the plant-based production system. According to ARS, they are currently taking the necessary steps to see how they can move this advancement into the commercial sector. ARS notes that this research collaboration is in response to the White House’s Executive Order on advancing biotechnology and biomanufacturing innovation for a sustainable, safe, and secure American bioeconomy.
Posted on October 26, 2018 by Lynn L Bergeson
By Lynn L. Bergeson
In the beginning of October 2018, researchers from the University of California – Berkeley published a paper in Nature Nanotechnology that explains how a new bacterium can produce fuels through artificial photosynthesis upon being fed gold. The formerly undiscovered bacterium, Moorella thermoacetica, allows for the development of photosynthetic biohybrid systems (PBS), linking inorganic light with preassembled biosynthetic pathways. The addition of gold nanoclusters, AuNCs, is used to circumvent electron transfer for existing PBSs through its addition to M. thermoacetica, which is a non-photosynthetic bacterium. “Translocation of these AuNCs into the bacteria enables photosynthesis of acetic acid from CO2 […] realizing CO2 fixation continuously over several days,” which leads to an accelerated production of biofuels.
Posted on November 04, 2016 by Emily A. Scherer
Posted on January 15, 2016 by bbadm