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Nanoscience -- helping save lives

By: Amelia Cerling Email
By: Amelia Cerling Email

Every day, researchers get closer to possibly curing diseases like diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

And instructors in nanoscience at CVTC are conducting experiments that directly relate to curing these diseases.

These instructors say Wisconsin is one of the top three centers in the United States for nanosciene research -- and they are excited about the applications of their research in helping save peoples lives.

CVTC nanoscience instructors John Wagner and Hans Mikelson say the ability to help people is at the core of why they do their work. Wagner says, “The ability to help mankind, apply high technology and actually help man solve some of the problems that are associated with normal life.”

The instructors have just finished up an experiment with their students that involves inserting a fragment of DNA from a fluorescent jellyfish, into E. coli bacteria. After a short incubation period -- the result looks like this -- glowing E. coli.

Mikelson says, “Green fluorescent protein won the Nobel prize in chemistry in 2008 for its many applications in biochemistry.”

Wagner says the applications of this experiment are vast. He says, “Many autoimmune diseases can be treated in theory with these kinds of techniques.”

And that's part of the reason why recent CVTC grad Jacob Shultz got into nanoscience to begin with, he says, “O yes, it's very exciting, yea just watching it be done and knowing that it could someday help mankind.”

Wagner says within 10 years we could start to see our doctors using this science in a practical way.

But the thing that excites Wagner the most, “I think there’s a real possibility of extending lives and prognoses for patients and it's really right around the corner.”

Wagner says nanosciene is already an $8 billion industry in Wisconsin -- and they hope to soon start attracting more nanoscience research into the Chippewa Valley.


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