Scientists Explore Nano-Tech for Shipping


In a move that could open up new opportunities for engineering cargo-containing nano-cages, researchers at the University of Washington Institute of Protein Design are working to invent a self-assembling protein shell, which could be used to deliver drugs and vaccines directly into cells, according to Science Daily.

The design, which is compared to an icosahedron – a polyhedron with 20 faces – could hold more than previous nano-cage designs and thereby store more as molecular shipping containers.

The researchers said: “The ability to design proteins that self-assemble into precisely specified, robust, and highly order icosahedral structures would open the door to a new generation of protein containers with properties custom-made for applications of interest.”

As well as exploring new opportunities in nano-technology, it was also recently announced that shipping could also be heading to a remote future.

Maersk and United Arab Shipping Company were recently reported by PTI as being the early users of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications technology, which could lead to the remote control of ships.

Together with this is the possibility for shipping lines to harness the power of Big Data, with recent reports pointing towards the possibility for shipping lines to recruit a maritime analytics leader.

Although not clearly defined, the role is likely to combine detailed quantitative experience with experience on the industry side in order to gain actionable insight.

In the port industry, Kalmar has recently introduced its ‘Kalmar Insight’ tool, which is a new piece of software aimed at helping ports make sense of Big Data.

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