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Posted: June 5, 2009

Oh nanotechnology! Water will never be the same

(Nanowerk News) Here is this week's candidate for our "Slow News Friday" series (maybe we should rename it the "Snake Oil" series). This one was too good to pass over: in a widely circulated press release this week, titled "Breakthrough Nanotechnology Delivers Safe, Nutrition-Packed Cellular Hydration", a company pitches its nutritional supplements that "provide natural relief for pain, strengthening of immune systems and more." And, of course, the secret that makes these wonderful things possible is NANOTECHNOLOGY!
Listen to this: "Revive Health's nanotechnology begins with the way its specially formulated, water-based supplements are engineered. The key is recognizing that water exists only as water clusters -- with some particle in the middle that water clings to. Very simply put, the Revive Health process replaces that central particle with a nano-sized nutrient of choice. The water clusters restructure and stabilize around the nutrient, and the stable water clusters are then small enough to move seamlessly into the cells."
So "water exists only as water clusters"? With stuff in the middle? Cool, haven't heard it quite that way before. And:
"Through nanotechnology, water is fully absorbed into the body's cells, so people who drink water regularly but still feel thirsty will finally have that thirst quenched and their bodies replenished with proper hydration levels and the nutrition they've been desperately needing."
Isn't that great stuff? Never be thirsty again because now nanotechnology makes you fully utilize the benefits of water.
As was suspected, the company's website has a section about nanotechnology – "Learn About Nano" where they cobble together all sorts of things:
  • "Nano-technology is the most modern of science" – whatever that means; is it a science or is it a technology, or what?
  • Nanoparticle is wrongly defined as "A nanoparticle (or nanopowder or nanocluster or nanocrystal) is a small particle with at least one dimension less than 100 nm";
  • Of course they have to mention the usual nonsensical trillion dollar market hype (read more about the original hypemeisters here: "Debunking the trillion dollar nanotechnology market size hype");
  • They show an example of the effects of the nanoscale on surface area, the "Silver Dollar Expansion", which is lifted, word for word, from the Nanowerk site, but attribute neither us nor the original source here (we borrowed this example, too, but at least we are identifying the source).
  • And then there is this nice picture without any caption or reference – WTF?
    nice landscape
    And the final paragraph on that page:
    "Imagine what could happen if a cluster of water molecules was so small, that it accessed the body at the cellular level and transported the beneficial nutrients rapidly and effectively to the required area!"
    Yeah, imagine what could happen if companies stop abusing the nanotechnology label, or drop the idiotic market size hype, or people turn it down a notch on arguing what a (hypothetical) nanofactory is, and we instead focus the discussion on the real issues at hand?
    Source: Nanowerk (Michael Berger)