Daily Archives: March 20, 2011

Scientific discoveries this week: 3-21-11

Evanston, Illinois, US – New cancer treatments in the form of diamond-coated chemotherapy drugs look promising. One of the primary difficulties with battling cancer has been getting the drugs to stay in the tumor long enough to kill it. Tumors, over time, develop “pumps” that evacuate the drug before it has a chance to work. Researchers have been working on a method of binding chemotherapy drugs to diamond nanoparticles, in an attempt to get the drugs “stuck” in the tumor. The particles are too large to be pumped out. With a longer drug residence time, tumors are reduced in size much more effectively.

Coal beds may hold the solution to natural gas problems

Methane (natural gas) from coal beds has long been a source of clean energy. Abundantly available, it burns cleanly and requires minimal processing to be used as a fuel. However, a supply problem is developing. Coal beds have a limited supply of the gas, and it take a long time to recharge the reservoirs. Gas drilling companies initially make large profits on the gas, because it essentially pumps itself out of the wells. After a time, however, the pressure of the gas drops to the point where it no longer makes sense to keep harvesting it.

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