Posted by Vipul Mistry Sunday, April 22, 2007 0 comments
Nanotechnology is a field of applied science and technology covering a broad range of topics. The main unifying theme is the control of matter on a scale smaller than 1 micrometer, normally between 1-100 nanometers, as well as the fabrication of devices on this same length scale. It is a highly multidisciplinary field, drawing from fields such as colloidal science, device physics, and supramolecular chemistry. Much speculation exists as to what new science and technology might result from these lines of research. Some view nanotechnology as a marketing term that describes pre-existing lines of research applied to the sub-micron size scale.
Despite the apparent simplicity of this definition, nanotechnology actually encompasses diverse lines of inquiry. Nanotechnology cuts across many disciplines, including
colloidal science, chemistry, applied physics, materials science, and even mechanical and electrical engineering. It could variously be seen as an extension of existing sciences into the nanoscale, or as a recasting of existing sciences using a newer, more modern term. Two main approaches are used in nanotechnology: one is a "bottom-up" approach where materials and devices are built from molecular components which assemble themselves chemically using principles of molecular recognition; the other being a "top-down" approach where nano-objects are constructed from larger entities without atomic-level control.
The impetus for nanotechnology has stemmed from a renewed interest in colloidal science, coupled with a new generation of analytical tools such as the
atomic force microscope (AFM) and the scanning tunneling microscope (STM). Combined with refined processes such as electron beam lithography and molecular beam epitaxy, these instruments allow the deliberate manipulation of nanostructures, and in turn led to the observation of novel phenomena. The manufacture of polymers based on molecular structure, or the design of computer chip layouts based on surface science are examples of nanotechnology in modern use. Despite the great promise of numerous nanotechnologies such as quantum dots and nanotubes, real applications that have moved out of the lab and into the marketplace have mainly utilized the advantages of colloidal nanoparticles in bulk form, such as suntan lotion, cosmetics, protective coatings, and stain resistant clothing.


Pune rave party: Several test positive

Posted by Vipul Mistry Sunday, April 8, 2007 0 comments
A month after the infamous rave party at Donje village, near Sinhagad Fort in Pune district, it has been found that as many as 248 youths who attended the party had consumed drugs. Of the 287 blood samples sent to the Pune regional Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), 248 tested positive, that is, they contained drug components, SP (Pune rural) Vishwas Nangre-Patil told TOI. "It means that a majority of the party-goers - 86% - had consumed drugs. These also include the blood samples of a few girls, which also tested positive," Nangre-Patil said. The FSL submitted the reports of 287 blood samples to the Pune rural police on Friday. The samples contained chemicals found in marijuana and hashish, it said. "It's a THC (Tetrahydrocannibinol) test, which proved the consumption of drugs by party-goers and organisers," he said. Nangre-Patil said the party goers - except for those who were involved in drug peddling and the supply of drugs - will be sent to de-addiction centres and will not be prosecuted, provided they complete a de-addiction course from a recognised institute. The Pune rural police had rounded up 287 boys and girls including seven drug suppliers, party organisers and a farm land owner, from a mango farm at the foothills of historic Sinhagad Frot at Donje village, some 30 km from Pune, on March 4 this year. The arrested youth and girls included call centre and IT firm employees, sons and daughters of affluent businessmen, air hostesses and college students. The police had seized seven bottles of phenylfine hydrochloride, two-and-half kg of marijuana (ganja), 100 gm of hashish (charas), beer cans, cigarettes, music systems, 45 cars, 29 two-wheelers and an unspecified number of mobile phones. The 287 youth were arrested under various sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS), 1985. However, local courts have granted bail to all the party-goers and the organisers. Nangre-Patil said the police would chargesheet the 287 youth but since a majority of the party-goers were first-time offenders, they had decided not to take stern action against them. Nangre-Patil said the police will seek the help of psychologists, psychiatrists and institutes like Muktangan and Sadhana Trust to help the party-goers. The 287 suspects cannot leave the country as the city court has already seized their passports. Meanwhile, the police are still gathering information about the website, which was used by the party organisers and goers to select the spot and to organise the party on the night of March 3.