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March 9th, 2005
Corn byproduct promising as aid in medicine
The word nanotechnology might spark visions of artificial, enhanced body parts featured in the latest Star Trek movie.
But on the University of Illinois campus, Graciela Padua sees the microelectronic science only in terms of a corn byproduct called zein. It's produced as waste from the corn to ethanol fuel process.
Padua, a nanotechnologist, believes the bricklike shape of corn zein molecules could serve as cages or boxes that could carry other molecules within the human body. (Ed.'s note: "microelectronic science" should read "nanoscience," and where they refer to "tiny computer chips or wires that can be measured in nanometers" - well, just read our definition)
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