Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Earth Science Technology

Using Cinnamon In the Production of Nanoparticles 126

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-about-the-brown-sugar? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Scientists at the University of Missouri used cinnamon to replace almost all toxic chemicals needed for making gold nanoparticles used in electronics and healthcare products. Nanoparticle production requires the use of extremely dangerous and toxic chemicals. While the nanotechnology industry is expected to produce large quantities of useful nanoparticles in the near future, the entire production process could be detrimental to the environment."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Using Cinnamon In the Production of Nanoparticles

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Now the grey goo will have a homey, delightful odor as it consumes our planet!*

    *(Yes, I'm aware 'grey goo' is impossible. Shuddup)
  • The particles will smell terrific
  • Cinnamon? (Score:4, Funny)

    by nospam007 (722110) * on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @06:28PM (#34411190)

    They should taste my nano-apfelstrudel!

  • ...a pinch of oregano, 'cause you know a little goes a long way.

  • I think advertisers just creamed themselves.

  • You got... (Score:5, Funny)

    by MrQuacker (1938262) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @06:29PM (#34411200)
    I can see it now...

    -- You got cinnamon on my gold!
    -- You got gold on my cinnamon!
    -- Woah, wtf is *that*!?

    • I can see it now...

      -- You got cinnamon on my gold!
      -- You got gold on my cinnamon!
      -- Woah, wtf is *that*!?

      Mine!
      I saw it first.
      No you didn't.
      Did to. Now let go!
      ...and so on.

      • by sconeu (64226)

        You're obviously too young to have seen the classic Reese's commercial:

        "You got chocolate in my peanut butter!"
        "You got peanut butter in my chocolate!"

        • by hedwards (940851)
          Classic? You do realize that "classic" isn't a synonym for old, right? Somethings belong in the past and should remain buried there.
        • I am familiar with the commercial. Despite my youthful appearance and rugged good looks, I was born before the invention of the microwave oven and the internet. No, I was making a bid for a +5 funny by extrapolating the conversation. However, the moderators are in a humourless mood today.
    • by Stregano (1285764)
      I am sorry, but I find that offensive since that is my mother's "special nickname" at her job as a dancer. She still refuses to tell me what kind of dancing she does, which is odd
    • by alienzed (732782)
      cinagold or goldamon? hmm, the second one sounds like a Pokemon...
  • by UBfusion (1303959)

    Something tells me that this is going to end like the biofuel scam, where forests are vanishing to produce a more pollutant fuel than gasoline... Killing natural spices to produce gold in some industries' pockets.

    • by macraig (621737)

      Yeah... just how many cinnamon plantations are there? Land for more cinnamon trees or more gated communities?

      Or... we could just deal with overpopulation....

  • by TheOtherChimeraTwin (697085) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @06:31PM (#34411222)
    Well, that explains Cinnabon.
  • by trollertron3000 (1940942) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @06:32PM (#34411232)
    Once again it is proved - the spice is the worm. The worm is the spice.
  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @06:33PM (#34411242) Homepage Journal

    “Our gold nanoparticles are not only ecologically and biologically benign, they are also biologically active against cancer cells,”

    A) How can you be benign AND active?.

    B) everything is poisonous. It's the dose them makes the poison.

    C) I can't see how this process uses no electricity. How does the cinnamon and gold particles get together? how is the cinnamon remove?

    D) How much energy will go into harvesting more cinnamon?

    I hope is true because Oz. to Oz Cinnamon will be a safer product to use in the process, but it's not magic.

    • by BradleyUffner (103496) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @06:39PM (#34411322) Homepage

      “Our gold nanoparticles are not only ecologically and biologically benign, they are also biologically active against cancer cells,”

      A) How can you be benign AND active?.

      B) everything is poisonous. It's the dose them makes the poison.

      C) I can't see how this process uses no electricity. How does the cinnamon and gold particles get together? how is the cinnamon remove?

      D) How much energy will go into harvesting more cinnamon?

      I hope is true because Oz. to Oz Cinnamon will be a safer product to use in the process, but it's not magic.

      A: Magic
      B: Cinnamon is all natural, and there for only hurts bad things. It's good for your skin too!
      C1: Elves, C2: Free Range Hamsters
      D: None

    • A) The two aren't mutually exclusive, look up the definition of benign. Also consider yoghurt. Active, and benign. It's not malicious or harmful, but it's an active culture.

      b) Now you're being pedantic

      c) that i'll agree on, unlesss they mean that it doesnt need us to add any and it's using it's own charge or something

      D) That's my big concern.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        well it's sure not benign to the cancer cell. I know, see b)

        b) I know. The whole article was written like it's a magic process.

        d) Not really a big concern for me. If the toxic chemicals are as nasty as others in similar industries, then spending a lot of energy harvesting cinnamon is better then poisoning the water supply . And of course the energy going into make the chemicals and so on.

    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @08:19PM (#34412280)

      I can't see how this process uses no electricity. How does the cinnamon and gold particles get together? how is the cinnamon remove?

      Jeeze, did you read the damn thing? They mix gold salts and cinnamon in water and get gold nanoparticles.

      There is no electricity because there is no electricity. It's a purely chemical process.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        SO nothing stirs or mixes them? no electricity is used getting them together? separating them? Is there anything need to remove excess heat from the process?

        yes I read the article, and it talked like Cinnamon is a magic energy free green process with no real facts.

        I cant believe you have never heard of a chemical process creating electricity.

    • by mangu (126918)

      I hope is true because Oz. to Oz Cinnamon will be a safer product to use in the process, but it's not magic.

      I know anything about Australia is always accepted at /., but this one is about scientists at the University of Missouri. This has nothing to do wit Oz.

  • I bet there was a little voice inside their heads that said they should do this for the lulz and to show how we sometimes really over complicate things.
  • Let the spice wars begin.

  • Not likely (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @06:36PM (#34411276)
    Real Cinnamon is rare and expensive, toxic chemicals usually aren't. Which do you think China's going to decide to use?
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Exactamundo. Cinnamon isn't exactly expensive unless you're getting something fancy, but it's a lot more expensive than putting some practically-free chemicals into a vat and running some electricity from coal through them.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Which is why most people use fake cinnamon, cassia. Which is grown in china, so maybe they will use that.

      • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        The two come from the same genus and are extremely similar. This is why cassia can be sold as low-grade "cinnamon" - it is nearly identical to the Sri Lanka variety.

        For manufacturing purposes I doubt there is any significant difference.

        • Re:Not likely (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @08:12PM (#34412214) Homepage Journal

          Distill the oils of both.

          Put a toothpick in each oil sample and let it soak it up.

          I'll bet twenty bucks you can hold the cassia in your mouth while the cinnamon one will blister you.

          • Ah...cinnamon toothpicks! That takes me back. In junior high I used to make them and sell them at school. Ten cents for one, a quarter for three. I used to shoplift those little vials of cinnamon oil from K-mart. Pour onto a plate, add toothpicks, let soak overnight. Put them into a sandwich baggie the next day and I had enough money to buy ice cream at lunch all week. For extra fun, I'd soak one or two in clove oil and mix them in with the rest.

            I've tried relating this story to others before and I

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          Oh wow the same genus, I suggest you substitute the fruit of Solanum atropurpureum for Solanum lycopersicum in your next salad or sandwich.

          These two are farther apart then cassia and cinnamon, but those two are not quite the same either, surely not nearly identical. Their coumarin levels are quite different for instance.

    • by stms (1132653)

      Real Cinnamon is rare and expensive, toxic chemicals usually aren't. Which do you think China's going to decide to use?

      The one that consumers are willing to buy...

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        If it is anything like the cinnamon case consumers in the EU will have no problem getting the real thing and us Americans will have to order it online and pay through the nose.

    • Re:Not likely (Score:5, Informative)

      by c0lo (1497653) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @08:10PM (#34412188)
      Here's a map [wikipedia.org] with the top world producers of Cinnamon in 2005. China has 10 yellow bubbles (=10% of the world's top producer) meaning in 2005 it produced 60,000 tones of cinnamon.

      For comparison, the entire world's gold production of 2006 [wikipedia.org] was 2,310 tons.

      Me thinks that the world risks running out of gold faster than China of cinnamon... but hey, I might be mistaken.

      However, on another track, TFA says:

      They mixed gold salts with a common spice – cinnamon – and stirred the mixture in water to synthesize gold nanoparticles.

      Now, unless one finds a method to obtain gold salts by using plain cooking salt (Ok... I'll make a concession and allow capsicum powder as well), this step may require indeed the use of toxic chemicals.

      • by jrumney (197329)
        China has 9 yellow bubbles. One of those 10 bubbles you are counting belongs to Vietnam.
      • by geekoid (135745)

        Those numbers are completely meaning less to determine when we will run out.

        You need to look at total available and compare it to total used over a period of time.

        If we need to use 10,000 times the cinnamon then gold, that would change things now, wouldn't it?

        • by c0lo (1497653)

          Those numbers are completely meaning less to determine when we will run out.

          Theoretically, you are right.

          ------ In no way the following is intended to be flamebite/troll (at most, karma whoring) -------

          It would be advisable, based on this theory and the above poster's estimate for a rate of 20000/1, to invest in cinnamon plantations, but keep the following points in mind:
          1. cinnamon is more renewable than the Earth's gold resource - advantage? Yes, suply limited only on short periods of time ("world cinnamon crisis" will be different than "world oil crisis")
          2. on long term I r

      • by guttergod (94044)

        Now, unless one finds a method to obtain gold salts by using plain cooking salt (Ok... I'll make a concession and allow capsicum powder as well), this step may require indeed the use of toxic chemicals.

        Who said anything about not using toxic chemicals? They used cinnamon to replace "almost all toxic chemicals".

  • by Anonymous Coward
    By using the word nano and variations, like nanoparticles and nanotechnology, a nanoposting can include the word five times.
  • Gold? Cinnamon? It's a delicious discovery for science! See, it's not toxic at all, we can drink a ton of it!
    • Gold? Cinnamon? It's a delicious discovery for science! See, it's not toxic at all, we can drink a ton of it!

      Even without the toxic-by-the-ton ethyl-alcohol in Goldschläger, true cinnamon actually contains a small amount of coumarin (used as rat poison in concentrated forms, or processed into a blood thinner for heart surgery patients)...

      And of course if Goldschläger cheaped out and uses the "fake" cassia cinnamon, it would actually have even more coumarin...

      On the other hand, a Goldschläger challenge seems much less harmful than a cinnamon challenge (a description of which used to be on wikipedia,

  • That BIG RED freshness will last right through it. Your production goes on and on as you use this...
  • So Melange really is just cinnamon!?
  • Looking forward to Heston Blumenthal's Gold Nanoparticle Flavoured 'Sounds of Science'.
  • Ha! All cinnamon processes are puny in comparison to my "Incense and Peppermints" process!

    From my patent application:

    Good sense, innocence, cripplin' and kind.

    Dead kings, many things I can't define.

    Oh Cajun spice, sweats and blushers your mind.

    Incense and peppermints, the color of thyme.

    This patent will be more important than the Segway!

  • by qbwiz (87077) <john.baumanfamily@com> on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @07:19PM (#34411752) Homepage

    Make cinnamon into a highly toxic chemical.

  • Just wanted to say that.
  • by BluBrick (1924)
    Using cinnamon with gold is nothing particularly new [wikipedia.org]!
  • by MagusSlurpy (592575) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @08:34PM (#34412452) Homepage
    The actual article [springerlink.com] talks about how gold nanoparticles are often made with super-strong reducing agents like sodium borohydride and how this is awesomely bad for the environment.

    What the article doesn't mention is who made the very first gold nanoparticles, or how they were made.

    It was Michael Faraday (yes, that Faraday), who made them using a reducing agent called. . . phosphorus. Horribly toxic, world-destroying . . . Oh, wait, it's safe. Never mind.

    There are 80 thousand ways to make AuNPs, the reason the strong reducing agents are usually used is because it's simply a quicker reaction, or because you want them there to activate something else you are sticking to the surface of the nanoparticle.

    Now, the part about the cinnamon extracts stabilizing the AuNPs in physiological conditions, that might be more impressive - I'm not familiar with work in that area. But the toxicity part is nothing more than a cry for attention.
    • The use of pesticides and fungicides to treat cinnamon trees will still pose an environmental problem perhaps even more so if there is an increased demand. And many of the countries where Cinnamon is grown, probably don't have the same environmental standards than 'Western' countries. That is, pesticides and fungicides that were banned by the EPA 50 years ago might still be used in these countries.

  • Every time a new use is found for something we seem to pay through the neck. Rice, corn, potatoes and wheat can all make fuel for your car or be mixed with gasoline. Anyone priced a bag of spuds lately. Corn is now so expensive that there have been riots in Mexico as they can't make their taco shells. If cinnamon finds industrial uses my toast may never be the same.

  • They mixed gold salts with a common spice – cinnamon – and stirred the mixture in water

    I wonder, how does gold salt taste compared to iodised salt? And with a pinch of cinnamon thrown in... I might have to try it with the rice porridge for xmas.

  • "I see you do much working with the spice... you make paper... plastics... and isn't that chemical explosives?"....

  • The spice... nanoparticles... travelling without moving... Arrakis... desert planet...
  • Do Frankincense and Myrrh also work?
  • Tigers hate cinnamon, everybody knows that.

Someone is unenthusiastic about your work.

Working...