Above: lots of dead dinosaurs.
New Scientist: Medical nanotech could find unconventional oil.
THE oil industry, operating on a gigantic scale, might seem at first sight to have little to learn from the intricacies of medical diagnosis and therapies. Yet nanotechnology developed for medical applications could form a model for ways of exploiting oil reserves that conventional methods cannot reach.
Oilfields deemed exhausted when all the free-flowing oil has been extracted still harbour plenty of the stuff, perhaps twice as much as what has been pumped conventionally, says Iraj Ershaghi, a petroleum engineer at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. A conservative estimate suggests that the remaining oil in old US fields amounts to "at least 360 billion barrels", he says.