If you haven’t been keeping up with the news on nanotechnology, you might just start reading Popular Science after this. A group of scientists at Northwestern University have actually managed to use gold nanoparticles to develop a method of controlling cholesterol levels.
Using very tiny particles of gold, this group has actually managed to produce synthetic HDL, or high-density lipoprotein, or in layman’s terms, “good cholesterol”.
Depending on the results of further testing, this could be a pretty important breakthrough. There are plenty of drugs on the market that can help you to lower your “bad cholesterol”, but up until now, there aren’t really any good ways of raising your “good cholesterol”.
Basically, this whole process was achieved by attaching lipids and proteins to tiny, tiny nanoparticles of gold, in order to create lipoprotein nanoparticles. HDL is a natural particle, and the aim of this project was to find a way to mimic it.
Says assistant professor Shad Thaxton, “Our hope is that, with further development, our synthetic form of HDL could be used to increase HDL levels and promote better health.”
This really goes to show what an age we live in. Even in light of our economic woes, you have to admit that the 21st Century has brought us some fascinating scientific and technological breakthroughs. If you’d suggested fifty years ago that we would one day be using microscopic pieces of gold to control cholesterol, you’d be getting a visit from the nice men in white coats.
In the US, health problems have become as serious a concern as financial problems, so for gold investors, this is good news on both counts. You can improve your cholesterol with gold nanoparticles, and sell a little bit of your gold off to researchers and pharmacy companies to create more HDL particles… Of course, they’re only going to be buying a tiny, tiny bit of it!
No word yet on whether or not silver can lower your blood pressure, but we’ll keep you posted!