Categories

Investing Observation & Opinion

Tools

  • Economy & Politics
  • Investing
  • Personal Finance
  • Related Posts


    Apple’s New Criminal Appeal
    Ready For An All-New Personal Liberty Digest?
    One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other
    Goldman Sachs Warns Tesla Will Need To Raise At Least Another $6 Billion
    Silver Buyers Keep Stacking And Demand Higher … Yet Prices Fall
    The Power Of Changed Minds
    Alibaba Is All Of These Companies Rolled Into One
    This Putin Buddy Is Going To Make A Bundle From The Alibaba IPO
    All The Irresponsible Things Marissa Mayer Could Do With Yahoo’s Alibaba IPO Windfall
    Yahoo Has To Make Its Windfall Count After Alibaba IPO
    Sears Stock Plunges 16% This Week As Death Spiral Continues
    Should I Buy Alibaba Stock?
    Asian Buyers Of U.S. LNG Dial Back As Exuberance Dims
    China Hands Drugmaker GSK Record $489 Million Fine, Sentences Executives
    Some Consumers Say Apple Is Losing Its ‘Cool’ Factor


    This Technology Is Already Changing The World

    Nanotechnology usually makes investors’ eyes glaze over.

    It’s one of those abstract, overhyped concepts that you’ve heard about but can’t really generate enough understanding to effectuate any enthusiasm.

    I get it.

    But this field of science is as revolutionary as chemistry was during the 20th century. You know, antibiotics, biotech, preservatives, plastics, super materials, electronics — that kind of boring stuff.

    For example, here’s news in Azonano.com of a Colorado-based biotech firm that is getting solid results killing cancerous tumors:

    Actium BioSystems disclosed today that its novel system platform, ACT, for selectively delivering controlled hyperthermia as an adjuvant to chemotherapy, has been validated via in vivo studies by two independent authorities, including Duke University Medical Center and a contract research facility.

    Actium is now preparing for safety and pharmacokinetic studies to support an application to the FDA for permission to commence First-In-Human clinical studies as soon as possible.

    The in vivo studies successfully demonstrated that Actium technology is able to selectively achieve therapeutic temperatures in the bladder using an intravesical (in the bladder) nanoparticle-mediated hyperthermia approach. It has been known for many years that heat weakens and kills cancer. But heat also affects normal, healthy tissue the same as cancer cells—except that low-temperature heat, from the normal body temperature of 37°C (98.6°F) to less than about 42°C, has little effect on healthy tissue, but can weaken and kill cancer cells. This is the basic concept of treating cancer with low-temperature heat, called hyperthermia.

    And thanks to new techniques to see on such a tiny scale, stories like this one in NewScientist are becoming practically commonplace:

    Delftia acidovorans lives in sticky biofilms that form on top of gold deposits, but exposure to dissolved gold ions can kill it. That’s because although metallic gold is unreactive, the ions are toxic.

    To protect itself, the bacterium has evolved a chemical that detoxifies gold ions by turning them into harmless gold nanoparticles. These accumulate safely outside the bacterial cells.

    “This could have potential for gold extraction,” says Nathan Magarvey of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, who led the team that uncovered the bugs’ protective trick. “You could use the bug, or the molecules they secrete.”

    And then there’s this story that appeared on SigularityHub.com, a site that provides news about humans’ growing union with artificial intelligence and technology. Two reputable, publicly traded companies are working on printing human tissue and organs:

    3D printing technology is hot and getting hotter. Whereas once 3D printers were limited to a few select materials, these days inputs include metal, plastic, glass, wood, and—human cells? Bet you didn’t see that coming. (Actually, if you’re a regular here, you probably did.) Bioprinting firm, Organovo, isn’t anywhere near 3D printing a hand or heart. But a recently announced partnership with 3D modeling software giant Autodesk (maker of AutoCAD) might speed things up a bit.

    We first encountered Organovo in 2009. The firm introduced the NovoGen bioprinter in 2010—the first of its kind—and has since built ten more. At a cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and as yet only rudimentary capability, bioprinting technology is firmly in the developmental stages.

    But its potential is great. Organovo’s machines print human tissue just like ordinary 3D printers—additive construction guided by 3D computer models—but instead of inert materials they deposit living cells amid a simultaneously printed gel scaffold.

    Already bioprinters are capable of printing small parts, like arteries or knee cartilage. And in the near term, the most likely use is in drug testing—an $11 billion market in itself.

    But eventually (years from now) researchers hope to print, not just the piston, but the entire engine—a new heart or lung—customized and made entirely from a patient’s own tissue, limiting the probability of rejection by the body and doing away with long and uncertain waiting periods for donors.

    But it isn’t coming. It’s here now.

    These stories all have one thing in common: None of the advancements would be possible if researchers did not have access to equipment and technology that would allow them to observe, measure and build and manipulate objects on a molecular scale.

    In short, none would be possible without nanotechnologies.

    These kinds of science fiction stories are becoming less and less outrageous. The discovery of penicillin was a stunning achievement; yet, over the years, antibiotics were commonplace. It’s the same kind of thing. Growing and printing tissue sounds outrageous; but 40 years from now, few people will even blink at the concept.

    Where To Look

    Your best strategy is the venture capital approach: take small positions in various companies and hope for a few winners that dwarf the losers.

    The other, complementary strategy is to buy shovel sellers, not gold miners. Buy the ones that sell the new products and equipment that all the new tech players will need to exploit the new wave of advancements.

    With that in mind, here are a handful of interesting plays now in various spaces where nanotechnologies are kicking out some compelling products.

    CVD Equipment Corporation (CVV) is a small, specialized chemical vapor deposition (CVD) company with a division that specializes in building nanotech CVD equipment for research labs in the academic and corporate sectors. It also provides the expertise and training elements for the equipment, or will contract out for research and development. Its business continues to grow despite the harsh economic times.

    Of all the microscopy companies to choose from, I’ve always been partial to FEI Company (FEIC). You can’t do anything at the nano level unless you can see it. And FEI builds the equipment that allows researchers to see what’s going on. It’s one of the shovel sellers.

    Starpharma Holdings Limited (SPHRY) is one of the gems of Australia’s high tech community. This company is a major player in the dendrimer space with some major products in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Phase II and Phase III trials. It also has great exposure in Asian markets.

    Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (INO) is a vaccine maker that has bumped up a notch synthetic DNA-based vaccines. It has a very promising stable of vaccines in trials, including a universal influenza vaccine, one for Hepatitis C, another for cervical cancer, etc. It just got a nice write-up in Nature Biotechnology.

    On the 3D-printing side, Autodesk Inc. (ADSK), Organovo Holdings Inc. (ONVO)and 3D Systems Corp. (DDD) are worth watching. I like the latter the best, but this sector has had quite a run; it’s become the poster child for nanotech. Be patient and wait for a pullback.

    — GS Early

    Discuss this Story:

    Comment Policy: We encourage open discussion. Comments including racist statements, profanity, name calling or spam will be removed at our discretion. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear it is likely because it violates the policy.

    SAP Buys Expenses Software Maker Concur For $7.3 Billion
    U.S. Silica Sees Sand Demand Piling Up As Fracking Goes Super-Sized
    Wall St To Rise As Alibaba Debuts, Scots Stay In UK
    56 Million Cards: Home Depot Breach Tops Target’s
    Yum Yanks Banh Shop Logo After Angry Petition
    As He Steps Down, Larry Ellison’s Titanic Moments
    IU Grad’s ZergNet Surges, Powered By Mark Cuban
    GM To Build Big, New Caddy At Hamtramck
    9 Stocks So Bad They’ll Make You Sick
    Will The NFL Finally Clean Up Its Act?
    Court Denies Qualified Immunity For Police Who SWAT-Stormed Florida Barber Shop To Conduct Licensing ‘Inspection’
    How To Game A Rigged Market
    Got (Record-High-Priced) Milk?
    Walcome, Unicorn To Forex
    Dramatic First-Person Video Of Attempted Gunpoint Robbery Courtesy Of GoPro
    CEOs Darken Outlook, Slash Hiring and Cap-Ex Plans – Hope Now Focused on Share Buybacks (Which Just Plunged)
    Why King Coal Will Keep Its Crown
    Could Scotland’s Currency Be Bitcoin?
    Apple Is Using IPhone Privacy As A Sales Pitch—Too Bad Nobody Seems To Care
    Rite Aid, Pier 1 Slide; Futures Rise On Fed Support
    Alibaba Cash Could Fund Small Spending Spree At Yahoo
    Dollar Hits Six-year Peak Versus Yen, ECB Aims Cash Hose
    Amazon Expands Kindle Lineup, Boosts Price Of Basic E-reader
    Next Up For Markets: Scotland Vote
    Holder: Wall Street Execs Being Investigated
    17 Companies Pay Big Fat Raises To Investors
    Dow Sets Record Close As Fed Stays Rate Course
    Alibaba IPO Steamrolling These Tech Stocks
    Cop’s Teenage Son In Coma After Run-In With The Law
    Gold Demand In India Triples As China Launches Global Gold Bourse Tomorrow
    Read more from Investing...

    Liberty Investor Digest

    Get today's most important
    financial headlines all in
    one place by email!



    Sources


    close[X]

    Sign Up For Liberty Investor Digest™!

    Get Liberty Investor Digest FREE By Email!

    Input your name and email address in the fields below and get today's most important financial headlines sent straight to you inbox!

    Privacy PolicyYou can opt-out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.