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Tiny Robots Could Someday Brush, Floss Your Teeth for You

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Aug. 23, 2022 – Your twice-daily brushing and flossing routine could someday be automated using tiny microrobots that scrub your teeth for a customized clean, thanks to new research from the University of Pennsylvania.

Scientists used magnetic fields to assemble nanoparticles into tiny, brush-like robotic structures that precisely remove biofilms, a network of germs and other sticky substances, from the surfaces of teeth. They describe their results in a paper published in the journal ACS Nano.

The microrobots feature bristles that can extend, retract, change shape, and move horizontally, vertically, and in circles. The bristles can adapt to each person’s tooth alignment and get into hard-to-reach spaces.

“It could be perfectly aligned teeth or misaligned teeth,” says study author Hyun (Michel) Koo, DDS, founding director at the Center for Innovation & Precision Dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania. “It will work in either case because they can adapt to different surfaces, different nooks and crannies.”While they scrub your teeth, these bristles can also help to kill germs. That’s because they’re made from “iron oxide nanoparticles,” which can activate hydrogen peroxide to help kill bacteria and degrade biofilms. Another benefit: These nanoparticles are cheaper and more plentiful than many materials used in nanotechnology, like gold and platinum.

“It’s such a basic material,” says study author Edward Steager, PhD, a research investigator at Penn Engineering. “It’s not even a necessarily fancy material.”

When Will Tiny Teeth-Brushing Robots Be Available to You?

The team is packaging the technology into a consumer-friendly prototype, which they hope to have ready within a year. But they will likely need a few more years of testing before the robots are ready for commercial use.

Once fully developed, this technology could be a game changer for people with disabilities, older populations, or anyone who lacks the manual ability to take good care of their oral health, says Koo. These populations will likely be the first to try out the device, then others will follow.

“We started with persons with disabilities or an older geriatric population, but I think at the end of the day, we want this to become available for everyone,” says Koo.

This innovation could change the whole oral care industry, he notes.

“The whole technology of dental plaque control has not been disrupted for, say, centuries,” Koo says. “I mean, essentially, you have a bristle-on-a-stick concept, which has been used since early millennia, you know, and it’s not very effective, right? To the point that you have to actually floss and rinse to make sure that you have effective plaque control. We want to disrupt that. We want to have something that is user-friendly, plug and play.”

Dental floss has been around for a couple hundred years, but only about a third of Americans floss daily, according to the CDC. Any plaque left behind after brushing and flossing puts your mouth at risk.

“Dental plaque is the source of a number of oral diseases, from tooth decay to gum diseases,” says Koo.

With a precise, effective way to control oral disease, we can protect our overall health, he says. Indeed: Gum disease is linked to heart disease and diabetes.

“Bacteria found in the oral cavity are associated with Alzheimer’s,” Koo says. “So there’s a lot of connection between oral and general health.”

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Original Source: webmd.com

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Congress Under Pressure: Colorado Officials Push for Cannabis Banking Reform

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With the end of Congress’ session just around the corner, marijuana advocates, stakeholders and lawmakers continue to push for marijuana banking policy change.

This time, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) joined forces with Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera (D), Attorney General Phil Weiser (D), Treasurer Dave Young (D) and Department of Public Safety (DPS) Executive Director Stan Hilkey in urging congressional leaders to revisit the issue, reported Marijuana Moment.

In a letter sent on Monday to both House and Senate leaders, Colorado officials focused on the impact which a bipartisan marijuana banking bill will have in terms of public safety and industry equity,

“The lack of safe banking and financial services for the cannabis industry in the State of Colorado has become a dire public safety issue for highly regulated cannabis businesses operating in compliance with state …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Original Post: benzinga.com

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New Data Shows Weed Legalization a Boon for Real Estate, New Jobs and Tax Revenue

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A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank shed light on the economic impact marijuana legalization has had in recent years, reported Marijuana Moment. Policy changes on the state level have resulted in increased commercial real estate demand, as well as a surge in tax revenues while creating more jobs.

According to an analysis from the Kansas City arm of the Central Bank, which collected data from several states under its jurisdiction, the Tenth Federal Reserve District, the cannabis industry has become one of the main economic sectors positioned to grow substantially in the coming period.

“Overall, the marijuana industry has had a significant effect on the economies of Tenth District states in the initial years after legalization,” the report said. “The emergence of the industry has …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Article: benzinga.com

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Will Missouri Legalize Cannabis? Amendment 3 Suffers Another Attack This Time by State NAACP

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Cannabis legalization efforts in Missouri are under attack once again, this time by The Missouri State Conference of the NAACP.

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The Missouri NAACP, breaking with chapters in the St. Louis area is urging its members to vote against Amendment 3 on the Nov. 8 ballot, reported the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch.

The group announced Thursday that it believes recreational marijuana legalization, as it is proposed under Amendment 3, would prevent minorities from entering the cannabis industry. 

“Marijuana possession should not be a constitutional crime. Additionally, for years now, Black people, other minorities, and people who have been criminalized by marijuana laws in the past have been unable to enter the medical marijuana market,” the Missouri NAACP wrote. “That is not right. In an effort to prevent the permanent exclusion of minorities from the cannabis industry in the state of Missouri, the NAACP calls upon every voter to reject the criminalization of marijuana possession, de facto racist regulation of the cannabis market, and the wool being pulled over our eyes by the supporters of Amendment 3.”

Under Amendment 3, the first “comprehensive” cannabis business licenses would be provided to existing medical marijuana companies. 

The state’s chapter highlighted that the amendment “does not increase the number of available full market licenses” and claims that giving “micro” business licenses to disadvantaged groups makes a “very limited” program. 

According to Nimrod “Rod” Chapel Jr., president of the Missouri NAACP, members agreed last week …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Source: benzinga.com

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