• 1 hour Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 3 hours Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 5 hours EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 7 hours Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 8 hours Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
  • 3 days Trump Passes Iran Nuclear Deal Back to Congress
  • 3 days Texas Shutters More Coal-Fired Plants
  • 3 days Oil Trading Firm Expects Unprecedented U.S. Crude Exports
  • 3 days UK’s FCA Met With Aramco Prior To Proposing Listing Rule Change
  • 3 days Chevron Quits Australian Deepwater Oil Exploration
  • 4 days Europe Braces For End Of Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 4 days Renewable Energy Startup Powering Native American Protest Camp
  • 4 days Husky Energy Set To Restart Pipeline
  • 4 days Russia, Morocco Sign String Of Energy And Military Deals
  • 4 days Norway Looks To Cut Some Of Its Generous Tax Breaks For EVs
  • 4 days China Set To Continue Crude Oil Buying Spree, IEA Says
  • 4 days India Needs Help To Boost Oil Production
  • 4 days Shell Buys One Of Europe’s Largest EV Charging Networks
  • 4 days Oil Throwback: BP Is Bringing Back The Amoco Brand
  • 4 days Libyan Oil Output Covers 25% Of 2017 Budget Needs
  • 4 days District Judge Rules Dakota Access Can Continue Operating
  • 5 days Surprise Oil Inventory Build Shocks Markets
  • 5 days France’s Biggest Listed Bank To Stop Funding Shale, Oil Sands Projects
  • 5 days Syria’s Kurds Aim To Control Oil-Rich Areas
  • 5 days Chinese Teapots Create $5B JV To Compete With State Firms
  • 5 days Oil M&A Deals Set To Rise
  • 5 days South Sudan Tightens Oil Industry Security
  • 6 days Over 1 Million Bpd Remain Offline In Gulf Of Mexico
  • 6 days Turkmenistan To Spend $93-Billion On Oil And Gas Sector
  • 6 days Indian Hydrocarbon Projects Get $300 Billion Boost Over 10 Years
  • 6 days Record U.S. Crude Exports Squeeze North Sea Oil
  • 6 days Iraq Aims To Reopen Kirkuk-Turkey Oil Pipeline Bypassing Kurdistan
  • 6 days Supply Crunch To Lead To Oil Price Spike By 2020s, Expert Says
  • 6 days Saudi Arabia Ups November Oil Exports To 7-Million Bpd
  • 6 days Niger Delta State Looks To Break Free From Oil
  • 7 days Brazilian Conglomerate To Expand Into Renewables
  • 7 days Kurdish Independence Could Spark Civil War
  • 7 days Chevron, Total Waiting In The Wings As Shell Mulls Majnoon Exit
  • 7 days The Capital Of Coal Is Looking For Other Options
  • 7 days China’s Sinopec Puts $1B Argentina Oil Assets Up For Sale
Natural Gas: Fading the Weather

Natural Gas: Fading the Weather

Recent news reports on warm…

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