• 15 mins Kuwait Greenlights Game-Changing Gas Fields Project After Years of Delay
  • 45 mins Minnesota Begins Public Hearings On Enbridge Line 3 Project
  • 1 hour China Looks To Create National Natural Gas Pipeline Firm
  • 2 hours Total Not In A Rush To Sell Canadian Oil Sands Assets
  • 2 hours DOE Seeks To Boost Usage Of Carbon Capture Tech
  • 3 hours Taxpayers Likely To Pick Up The Growing Tab For DAPL Protests
  • 6 hours WTI At 7-Month High On Supply Optimism, Kurdistan Referendum
  • 12 hours Permian Still Holds 60-70 Billion Barrels Of Recoverable Oil
  • 17 hours Petrobras Creditors Agree To $6.22 Billion Debt Swap
  • 21 hours Cracks Emerge In OPEC-Russia Oil Output Cut Pact
  • 1 day Iran Calls On OPEC To Sway Libya, Nigeria To Join Cut
  • 1 day Chevron To Invest $4B In Permian Production
  • 1 day U.S.-Backed Forces Retake Syrian Conoco Gas Plant From ISIS
  • 1 day Iraq Says Shell May Not Quit Majnoon Oilfield
  • 4 days Nigerian Oil Output Below 1.8 Million BPD Quota
  • 4 days Colorado Landfills Contain Radioactive Substances From Oil Sector
  • 4 days Phillips 66 Partners To Buy Phillips 66 Assets In $2.4B Deal
  • 4 days Japan Court Slams Tepco With Fukushima Damages Bill
  • 4 days Oil Spills From Pipeline After Syria Army Retakes Oil Field From ISIS
  • 4 days Total Joins Chevron In Gulf Of Mexico Development
  • 4 days Goldman Chief Urges Riyadh To Get Vision 2030 Going
  • 4 days OPEC Talks End Without Recommendation On Output Cut Extension
  • 5 days Jamaican Refinery Expansion Stalls Due To Venezuela’s Financial Woes
  • 5 days India In Talks to Acquire 20 Percent Of UAE Oilfield
  • 5 days The Real Cause Of Peak Gasoline Demand
  • 5 days Hundreds Of Vertical Oil Wells Damaged By Horizontal Fracking
  • 5 days Oil Exempt In Fresh Sanctions On North Korea
  • 5 days Sudan, South Sudan Sign Deal To Boost Oil Output
  • 5 days Peruvian Villagers Shut Down 50 Oil Wells In Protest
  • 5 days Bay Area Sues Big Oil For Billions
  • 6 days Lukoil Looks To Sell Italian Refinery As Crimea Sanctions Intensify
  • 6 days Kurdistan’s Biggest Source Of Oil Funds
  • 6 days Oil Prices On Track For Largest Q3 Gain Since 2004
  • 6 days Reliance Plans To Boost Capacity Of World’s Biggest Oil Refinery
  • 6 days Saudi Aramco May Unveil Financials In Early 2018
  • 6 days Has The EIA Been Overestimating Oil Production?
  • 6 days Taiwan Cuts Off Fossil Fuels To North Korea
  • 6 days Clash In Oil-Rich South Sudan Region Kills At Least 25
  • 6 days Lebanon Passes Oil Taxation Law Ahead Of First Licensing Auction
  • 7 days India’s Oil Majors To Lift Borrowing To Cover Dividends, Capex
The OPEC Deal: Why Iraq’s Words Matter

The OPEC Deal: Why Iraq’s Words Matter

Iraq’s oil minister has claimed…

Erdogan Threatens To Cut Off Kurdish Oil Exports

Erdogan Threatens To Cut Off Kurdish Oil Exports

In response to the Kurdish…

James Burgess

James Burgess

James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…

More Info

Graphene the ‘Miracle Material’ may be Deadly to Humans

Graphene has been described as a ‘miracle material’. It is basically just a one atom thick sheet of carbon that is immensely strong and has incredible electronic, mechanical, and photonic properties. It has the potential to revolutionise fields such as electronics, solar energy, batteries, and medical devices, yet because it was only discovered around ten years ago there are still many aspects of its use that are unknown.

New research from Brown University has revealed that grapheme may in fact be very toxic to human cells, throwing into doubt manufacturing techniques, and real world applications.

It turns out that the sharp edges on grapheme micro-sheets are able to easily pierce cell membranes, from whence on they are then absorbed by the cell and once fully inside begin to disrupt the cells normal functions.

Related article: Six Tech Advancements Changing the Fossil Fuels Game

graphene microsheet
A jagged graphene microsheet with the bottom corner stuck in an animal cell. Scale bar is equal to two microns. (Cleantechnica)

Results from the initial studies warrant further investigation in order to determine the full extent to which grapheme may affect human and animal health.

Agnes Kane, the author of the study and chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Brown, explained that “at a fundamental level, we want to understand the features of these materials that are responsible for how they interact with cells. If there’s some feature that is responsible for its toxicity, then maybe the engineers can engineer it out.”

Related article: Opportunities Abound in the Smart Power Sector – Interview with EDF

The worry is that during its manufacture, or merely during normal wear and tear of a grapheme product in a working environment, microscopic splinters could be chipped off and unintentionally inhaled. Robert Hurt, a professor of engineering and another author of the study, said that “these materials can be inhaled unintentionally, or they may be intentionally injected or implanted as components of new biomedical technologies. So we want to understand how they interact with cells once inside the body.”

In the write up of the Brown University study, it was described that “Annette von dem Bussche, assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, was able to verify the model experimentally. She placed human lung, skin and immune cells in Petri dishes along with graphene microsheets. Electron microscope images confirmed that graphene entered the cells starting at rough edges and corners. The experiments showed that even fairly large graphene sheets of up to 10 micrometers could be completely internalized by a cell.”

Kane suggests that this news should not have a negative impact on the application of graphene in the future because it is used to create “man-made materials, so we should be able to be clever and make them safer.”

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • evodevo on July 17 2013 said:
    Think asbestos ....
  • Winston Kodogo on July 16 2013 said:
    Is it 'graphene' or 'grapheme'?
  • Jay Schiavone on July 16 2013 said:
    "...we should be able to be clever..."
    The check, as they say, is in the mail.

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News