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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Velli Koluse Mani

Engengu nee chenra pothum

'Isai medayil' song from 'Ilamai Kaalangal'


Rasave Unnai Naan

wendum wendum.flv

Tamil Movie Song - Vennira Aadai - Kannan Ennum Mannan Perai Solla Solla

Tamil Movie Song - Server Sundaram - Poga Poga Theriyum

Avalukku ena Alagiya Mugam

Or Aayiram Parvayile Songs by Vallavanukku Vallavan tamil video songs,do...

Gangai karai thottam

Odum Nadhiyinile - Savithri & Gemini Ganesan - Kathirunda Kangal


Memory Loss With Aging: What's Normal, What's Not

How does the brain store information?

Information is stored in different parts of your memory. Information stored in recent memory may include what you ate for breakfast this morning. Information stored in the short-term memory may include the name of a person you met moments ago. Information stored in the remote or long-term memory includes things that you stored in your memory years ago, such as memories of childhood.

How does aging change the brain?

When you're in your 20s, you begin to lose brain cells a few at a time. Your body also starts to make less of the chemicals your brain cells need to work. The older you are, the more these changes can affect your memory.

Aging may affect memory by changing the way the brain stores information and by making it harder to recall stored information.

Your short-term and remote memories aren't usually affected by aging. But your recent memory may be affected. For example, you may forget names of people you've met today or where you set your keys. These are normal changes.

What about when I know a word but can't recall it?

This is usually just a glitch in your memory. You'll almost always remember the word with time. This may become more common as you age. It can be very frustrating, but it's not usually serious.

Things to help you remember

  • Keep lists.
  • Follow a routine.
  • Make associations (connect things in your mind), such as using landmarks to help you find places.
  • Keep a detailed calendar.
  • Put important items, such as your keys, in the same place every time.
  • Repeat names when you meet new people.
  • Do things that keep your mind and body busy.
  • Run through the ABC's in your head to help you think of words you're having trouble remembering. "Hearing" the first letter of a word may jog your memory.

What are some other causes of memory problems?

Many things other than aging alone can cause memory problems. These include depression, dementia (severe problems with memory and thinking, such as Alzheimer's disease), side effects of drugs, strokes, head injury and alcoholism.

How does Alzheimer's disease change memory?

Alzheimer's disease starts by changing the recent memory. At first, a person who has Alzheimer's disease will remember even small details of his or her distant past but not be able to remember recent events or conversations. Over time, the disease affects all parts of the memory.

How can I tell if my memory problems are serious?

A memory problem is serious when it affects your daily living. If you sometimes forget names, you're probably okay. But you may have a more serious problem if you have trouble remembering how to do things you've done many times before, get to a place you've been to often, or do things that require steps (such as following a recipe).

Another difference between normal memory problems and dementia is that normal memory loss doesn't get much worse over time. Dementia gets much worse over several months to several years.

It may be hard to figure out on your own if you have a serious problem. Talk to your family doctor about any concerns you have. If your memory problems are caused by a certain medicine you're taking, your doctor can prescribe another medicine that doesn't have this side effect. If another condition is causing your memory loss (such as depression), your doctor can help you treat the condition.

Memory problems that aren't part of normal aging

  • Forgetting things much more often than you used to
  • Forgetting how to do things you've done many times before
  • Trouble learning new things
  • Repeating phrases or stories in the same conversation
  • Trouble making choices or handling money
  • Not being able to keep track of what happens each day

Symptom Checker: Symptoms & Signs Index

Terms related to Memory Loss:

  • Amnesia
  • Forgetfulness
  • Long-Term Memory Loss
  • Loss of Memory
  • Short-Term Memory Loss
  • Sudden Memory Loss
  • Temporal Memory Loss
Memory loss, also referred to as amnesia, is an abnormal degree of forgetfulness and/or inability to recall past events. Depending on the cause, memory loss may have either a sudden or gradual onset, and memory loss may be permanent or temporary. Memory loss may be limited to the inability to recall recent events, events from the distant past, or a combination of both. Although the normal aging process can result in difficulty in learning and retaining new material, normal aging itself is not a cause of significant memory loss unless there is accompanying disease that is responsible for the memory loss.
Transient global amnesia is a rare, temporary, complete loss of all memory.Anterograde amnesia refers to the inability to remember recent events in the aftermath of a trauma, but recollection of events in the distant past in unaltered.Retrograde amnesia is the inability to remember events preceding a trauma, but recall of events afterwards is possible.
Memory loss has multiple causes including a number of chronic medical and psychological conditions, trauma, medications, drug or alcohol abuse, and infections.

Memory Loss and Aging


It’s normal to forget things every now and then. We’ve all misplaced our keys, blanked on an acquaintance’s name, or forgotten a phone number we’ve dialed a hundred times before. When we’re young, we don’t tend to pay much mind to these lapses, but as we grow older, sometimes we worry about what they mean.
What’s normal when it comes to memory loss as we age? When should we be concerned? And is there anything we can do to prevent age-related memory loss? Read on to find the answers to these questions and more. Learn the difference between normal forgetfulness and more serious memory problems, the causes of memory loss, and how to stay mentally sharp throughout your golden years.

Memory and aging: What’s normal, what’s not

What causes age-related memory loss?

  • The hippocampus, a region of the brain involved in the formation and retrieval of memories, often deteriorates with age.
  • Growth factors—hormones and proteins that protect and repair brain cells and stimulate neural growth—decline with age.
  • Older people often experience decreased blood flow to the brain, which can impair memory and lead to changes in cognitive skills.
  • Older people are less efficient at absorbing brain-enhancing nutrients.
Forgetfulness is a common complaint among older adults. You start to talk about a movie you saw recently when you realize you can’t remember the title. You’re giving directions to your house when you suddenly blank on a familiar street name. You find yourself standing in the middle of the kitchen wondering what you went in there for.
Memory lapses can be frustrating, but most of the time they aren’t cause for concern. Age-related memory changes are not the same thing as dementia.
As we grow older, we experience physiological changes that can cause glitches in brain functions we’ve always taken for granted. It takes longer to learn and recall information. We’re not as quick as we used to be. In fact, we often mistake this slowing of our mental processes for true memory loss. But in most cases, if we give ourselves time, the information will come to mind.

Memory loss is not an inevitable part of the aging process

The brain is capable of producing new brain cells at any age, so significant memory loss is not an inevitable result of aging. But just as it is with muscle strength, you have to use it or lose it. Your lifestyle, health habits, and daily activities have a huge impact on the health of your brain. Whatever your age, there are many ways you can improve your cognitive skills, prevent memory loss, and protect your grey matter.
Furthermore, many mental abilities are largely unaffected by normal aging, such as:
  • Your ability to do the things you’ve always done and continue to do often
  • The wisdom and knowledge you’ve acquired from life experience
  • Your innate common sense
  • Your ability to form reasonable arguments and judgments

Normal forgetfulness vs. dementia

For most people, occasional lapses in memory are a normal part of the aging process, not a warning sign of serious mental deterioration or the onset of dementia.

Normal age-related forgetfulness

The following types of memory lapses are normal among older adults and generally are not considered warning signs of dementia:
  • Forgetting where you left things you use regularly, such as glasses or keys.

  • Forgetting names of acquaintances or blocking one memory with a similar one, such as calling a grandson by your son’s name.

  • Occasionally forgetting an appointment.

  • Having trouble remembering what you’ve just read, or the details of a conversation.

  • Walking into a room and forgetting why you entered.

  • Becoming easily distracted.

  • Not quite being able to retrieve information you have “on the tip of your tongue.”

Does your memory loss affect your ability to function?

The primary difference between age-related memory loss and dementia is that the former isn’t disabling. The memory lapses have little impact on your daily performance and ability to do what you want to do.
When memory loss becomes so pervasive and severe that it disrupts your work, hobbies, social activities, and family relationships, you may be experiencing the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease, or another disorder that causes dementia, or a condition that mimics dementia.
Normal age-related memory changes
Symptoms that may indicate dementia
Able to function independently and pursue normal activities, despite occasional memory lapses
Difficulty performing simple tasks (paying bills, dressing appropriately, washing up); forgetting how to do things you’ve done many times
Able to recall and describe incidents of forgetfulness
Unable to recall or describe specific instances where memory loss caused problems
May pause to remember directions, but doesn’t get lost in familiar places
Gets lost or disoriented even in familiar places; unable to follow directions
Occasional difficulty finding the right word, but no trouble holding a conversation
Words are frequently forgotten, misused, or garbled; Repeats phrases and stories in same conversation
Judgment and decision-making ability the same as always
Trouble making choices; May show poor judgment or behave in socially inappropriate ways

Reversible causes of memory loss

It’s important to be aware of ways that your health, environment, and lifestyle may contribute to memory loss. Sometimes, even what looks like significant memory loss can be caused by treatable conditions and reversible external factors.
  • Side effects of medication. Many prescribed and over-the-counter drugs or combinations of drugs can cause cognitive problems and memory loss as a side effect. This is especially common in older adults because they break down and absorb medication more slowly. Common medications that affect memory and brain function include sleeping pills, antihistamines, blood pressure and arthritis medication, antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, and painkillers.

  • Depression. Depression can mimic the signs of memory loss, making it hard for you to concentrate, stay organized, remember things, and get stuff done. Depression is a common problem in older adults—especially if you’re less social and active than you used to be or you’ve recently experienced a number of important losses or major life changes (retirement, a serious medical diagnosis, the loss of a loved one, moving out of your home).

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 protects neurons and is vital to healthy brain functioning. In fact, a lack of B12 can cause permanent damage to the brain. Older people have a slower nutritional absorption rate, which can make it difficult for you to get the B12 your mind and body need. If you smoke or drink, you may be at particular risk. If you address a vitamin B12 deficiency early, you can reverse the associated memory problems. Treatment is available in the form of a monthly injection.

  • Thyroid problems. The thyroid gland controls metabolism: if your metabolism is too fast, you may feel confused, and if it’s too slow, you can feel sluggish and depressed. Thyroid problems can cause memory problems such as forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating. Medication can reverse the symptoms.

  • Alcohol abuse. Excessive alcohol intake is toxic to brain cells, and alcohol abuse leads to memory loss. Over time, alcohol abuse may also increase the risk of dementia. Because of the damaging effects of excessive drinking, experts advise limiting your daily intake to just 1-2 drinks.

  • Dehydration. Older adults are particularly susceptible to dehydration. Severe dehydration can cause confusion, drowsiness, memory loss, and other symptoms that look like dementia. It’s important to stay hydrated (aim for 6-8 drinks per day). Be particularly vigilant if you take diuretics or laxatives or suffer from diabetes, high blood sugar, or diarrhea.

Preventing memory loss and cognitive decline

The same practices that contribute to healthy aging and physical vitality also contribute to healthy memory.
  • Exercise regularly. Regular exercise boosts brain growth factors and encourages the development of new brain cells. Exercise also reduces the risk for disorders that lead to memory loss, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Exercise also makes a huge difference in managing stress and alleviating anxiety and depression—all of which leads to a healthier brain.

  • Stay social. People who don’t have social contact with family and friends are at higher risk for memory problems than people who have strong social ties. Social interaction helps brain function in several ways: it often involves activities that challenge the mind, and it helps ward off stress and depression. So join a book club, reconnect with old friends, or visit the local senior center. Being with other people will help keep you sharp!

  • Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fats. Antioxidants, found in abundance in fresh produce, literally keep your brain cells from “rusting.” And foods rich in omega-3 fats (such as salmon, tuna, trout, walnuts, and flaxseed) are particularly good for your brain and memory. Also avoid saturated and trans fats, which helps cholesterol levels and reduces your risk of stroke.

  • Manage stress. Cortisol, the stress hormone, damages the brain over time and can lead to memory problems. But even before that happens, stress causes memory difficulties in the moment. When you’re stressed out, you’re more likely to suffer memory lapses and have trouble learning and concentrating.

  • Get plenty of sleep. Sleep is necessary for memory consolidation, the process of forming and storing new memories so you can retrieve them later. Sleep deprivation also reduces the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus and causes problems with memory, concentration, and decision-making. It can even lead to depression—another memory killer.

  • Don’t smoke. Smoking heightens the risk of vascular disorders that can cause stroke and constrict arteries that deliver oxygen to the brain.

Walking: An easy way to fight memory loss

New research indicates that walking six miles to nine miles every week can prevent brain shrinkage and memory loss. According to the American Academy of Neurology, older adults who walked between 6 and 9 miles per week had more gray matter in their brains nine years after the start of the study than people who didn't walk as much. Researchers say that those who walked the most cut their risk of developing memory loss in half.

Brain exercises to prevent memory loss and boost brainpower

When it comes to memory, it’s “use it or lose it.” Just as physical exercise can make and keep your body stronger, mental exercise can make your brain work better and lower the risk of mental decline.
Here are some ideas for brain exercise, from light workouts to heavy lifting:
  • Play games that involve strategy, like chess or bridge, and word games like Scrabble.

  • Try crossword and other word puzzles, or number puzzles such as Sudoku.

  • Read newspapers, magazines, and books that challenge you.

  • Get in the habit of learning new things: games, recipes, driving routes, a musical instrument, a foreign language.

  • Take a course in an unfamiliar subject that interests you. The more interested and engaged your brain, the more likely you’ll be to continue learning and the greater the benefits you’ll experience.

  • Take on a project that involves design and planning, such as a new garden, a quilt, or a koi pond.

Compensating for memory loss

Even if you are experiencing a troublesome level of memory loss, there are many things you can do to learn new information and retain it.

When to see a doctor for memory loss

It’s time to consult a doctor when memory lapses become frequent enough or sufficiently noticeable to concern you or a family member. If you get to that point, make an appointment to talk with your primary physician and have a thorough physical examination.
The doctor will ask you a lot of question about your memory, including:
  • how long you or others have noticed a problem with your memory

  • what kinds of things have been difficult to remember

  • whether the difficulty came on gradually or suddenly

  • whether you’re having trouble doing ordinary things.

The doctor also will want to know what medications you’re taking, how you’ve been eating and sleeping, whether you’ve been depressed or stressed lately, and other questions about what’s been happening in your life. Chances are the doctor will also ask you or your partner to keep track of your symptoms and check back in a few months.

Further evaluation of memory function

If your memory problem needs more evaluation, your doctor may send you to a neuropsychologist, who will provide you with pencil-and-paper tests that gauge different aspects of mental ability. If those tests show abnormal results, the doctor will try to rule out causes of cognitive dysfunction based on conditions such as vascular disease, psychological problems, eating and drinking habits, and environmental factors.
A problematic showing on mental ability tests means you’ll probably go in for imaging studies of the brain, such as a CT or MRI scan, which can detect anything putting pressure on your brain, and, if that’s normal, a SPECT or PET scan, which track blood flow and metabolic activity in the brain. These are currently the most sensitive tools for revealing brain abnormalities.
If you are diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or early Alzheimer’s disease, you may benefit from one of the medications that work by protecting acetylcholine, a brain chemical that facilitates memory and learning.
Alcohol and Memory Loss
Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to blackouts – periods of temporary memory loss or amnesia. Blackouts are common among alcohol abusers and can be a warning sign to drinkers and their friends that alcohol-related problems exist. Blackouts are also considered an early high-risk indicator of alcoholism. For problem and healthy drinkers alike, blackouts are often troubling or traumatic when serious and typically unforgettable occurrences are impossible to remember.
Alcohol has far reaching effects on many areas of the brain. When you consume alcohol, the body immediately begins to break it down. In the process, breakdown products called ethyl esters speed the movement of positively charged potassium ions from brain cells through the outer membranes, creating a negative charge within the cell. This impairs calcium channels, which brain cells rely upon to communicate with other cells throughout the body. The brain also receives less oxygen when alcohol is present. Alcohol also has a detrimental effect upon the central nervous system. The cumulative effect of these changes is that the activity of the hippocampus is disrupted. Moderate doses of alcohol disrupt the acquisition and performance of spatial reference memory tasks, and reduce the overall level of glutamate released at synapses within the hippocampus.

How to Test Gold, Silver, & Platinum

Fuel Cell Series: Platinum as a Catalyst - Hydrogen Peroxide




Platinum is considered as one of the most precious metals. In nature it is generally found as part of the so-called Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) and together with other metals such as gold, nickel or copper. The PGMs are Platinum (Pt), Palladium (Pd), Rhodium (Rh), Ruthenium (Ru), Iridium (Ir) and Osmium (Os). Platinum and Palladium are the most important of the PGMs.
Platinum is a rare, scarce and costly metal and it shows certain properties which make it unique. The specific chemical and physical properties of this metal are of essential use for many different applications. Platinum is known as the environmental metal. As a matter of fact, approximately 20% of the goods manufactured in the world contain platinum or are produced using platinum.

Origin and history
Although platinum is regarded as a "new" metal in its present form, it has a long history. Ancient Egyptians and Pre-Columbian Indian civilizations already valued it as a very important element. The "modern" discovery of platinum is attributed to Spanish conquerors in the 17th century. Actually the name platinum was given by the Spanish word, platina, meaning little silver. Spaniards had discovered alluvial deposits of the rare white metal when they were mining in search for gold in the Choco region in Colombia. Paradoxically, they considered platinum as a nuisance for their mining of gold.

After the introduction of platinum into Europe in the 18th century it became a metal of interest for scientists due to its special properties. In 1751, a Swedish assayer, Scheffer, recognized platinum as the seventh existing element at that time. The French physicist P.F. Chabaneau first obtained malleable platinum in 1789 in order to produce a chalice presented to Pius VI. It seems that the British chemist W. H. Wollaston was the first person to obtain a sample of pure platinum in the early 1800s. The techniques used by Wollaston in the separation of PGMs are considered to be the basis for modern platinum metallurgy.
The production of platinum requires very complex processing techniques that were not available until the end of the 19th century. Moreover, the high melting points of platinum made it very difficult to work with it. It was only with the development of new refining techniques that platinum was more widely used for new industrial applications. On the other hand, the use of platinum in fine jewelry rose quickly in the beginning of the 20th century. Platinum was already highly appreciated for its beauty and durability.
During World War II the availability of platinum was limited since it was declared as a strategic material. Use of platinum for most non-military applications was prohibited. After the war, consumption of platinum increased due to its catalytic properties. This increase in demand followed the development of molecular conversion techniques in the refining of petroleum. In the 1970s this demand grew even more thanks to the introduction of automotive emission standards in the developed countries.
One of the most important obstacles for a more widespread use of platinum in its history has been its limited supply. At present time, deposits of platinum are concentrated in a few areas in the world, mainly in South Africa and the Russian Federation. However, in the last few decades new mines have been opened and sophisticated platinum mining techniques have been developed. Platinum has become a metal of great importance in the world and prospects for this metal are very positive.

Description/Technical Characteristics
Platinum is one of the densest and heaviest metals, highly malleable, soft and ductile. It is extremely resistant to oxidation and to corrosion of high temperatures or chemical elements as well as a very good conductor of electricity and a powerful catalyzing agent. Platinum is soluble only in aqua regia. This precious metal has silvery-white color and does not tarnish.


Chemical symbol
Atomic number
Atomic weight
Crystal structure
Melting point
Boiling point
Vickers hardness No (annealed condition)
Electrical resistivity
Thermal conductivity
Tensile strength
Electronic configuration

Platinum is considered as a native element even though it is never 100% pure platinum. When extracted, platinum is rather impure and it normally contains small quantities of other elements. Well-formed crystals of platinum are very rare and the frequent appearance of platinum is in nuggets and grains. Platinum most common source is from placer deposits. The usual variety of native platinum is polyxene. It is 80 to 90 per cent platinum, with 3 to 11 per cent iron, in addition to the other platinum group metals as well as gold, copper and nickel. Native platinum is the primary ore of platinum. However, platinum may also be obtained from the very rare native alloy platiniridium. Moreover, it may be found combined with arsenic as sperrylite mineral and with sulfur as cooperite mineral, being also associated with minerals as chromite and olivine.
In jewelry platinum is mainly processed to a grade of 95% as stamped in the different jewelry items through the Pt 950 hallmark. This degree of purity contrasts with the one of other precious metals like gold, which is normally between 33 and 75%

Platinum has multiple and essential applications while new uses for platinum are constantly developed.
Platinum demand by application in 2006
Source: UNCTAD based on data from Johnson Matthey's platinum

Platinum jewelry demand was forecast to account for roughly 25% of total platinum demand in 2006 (dowm from 50% in 2000). High and volatile prices have adversely affected purchases of platinum across the major regions, particularly China.
This precious metal is highly valued for its beauty and purity together with its particular properties. Although in Europe and USA the normal purity is 95%, in certain countries the purity may be down to 85%. Platinum colour, strength, hardness and resistance to tarnish are some of the advantages of this metal in jewelry. It provides a secure setting for diamonds and other gemstones, enhancing their brilliance. Moreover, its flexibility is an important element for jewelry designers. Platinum jewelry is regarded as the precious metal for the "New Millenium".
Platinum jewelry demand had been increasing steadily for two decades (1980-1999). The world's leading platinum jewelry market had for long been Japan, where platinum is very popular and fashionable. However, this market has been affected by the situation of the Japanese economy during the last few years. In the meantime platinum demand has grown sharply in China, which has overtaken Japan as the world's leading platinum jewerly market. The white metal has become highly appreciated and consumed in China. As a result, platinum-manufacturing capacity has been developed in China. Europe and North America are also quite dynamic markets for platinum, particularly in rings for the bridal sector.

Platinum, together with palladium and rhodium, are primary elements in autocalysts that control vehicle exhausts emissions of hydro-carbons, carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen and particulate. Autocatalysts convert most of these emissions into less harmful carbon dioxide, nitrogen and water vapor. Autocatalyst was forecast to account for almost 51% of total platinum demand in 2006 (up from 25% in 2000).
Demand for platinum in autocatalysts started to increase significantly in the seventies when clean air legislation was introduced in USA and Japan. Many other countries followed this policy since then. However, in the 1990s, there was a substitution from platinum to palladium in autocatalysts in the United States, mainly due to its relatively lower cost and better performance in autocatalysts. In Europe platinum was more widely used since it is an essential element for diesel cars. Recent developments in the palladium market together with technological advances have led to a switch back to platinum. In recent years demand for platinum in autocatalysts has shown a considerable growth in emerging countries that introduced new environmental legislation. Demand for platinum in this application is expected to grow as stricter emissions standards and regulations are approved.
Electrical and electronics
Platinum is used in the production of hard disk drive coatings and fiber optic cables. The increasing number of personal computers will have a positive effect on platinum demand in the future. Other applications include thermocouples that measure temperature in the glass, steel and semiconductor industries or infra-red detectors for military and commercial applications. It is also used in multi-layer ceramic capacitors and crucibles to grow single crystals

 Platinum RTD 

platinum canopy caps


Platinum is used in fertilizers and explosives as a gauze for the catalytic conversion of ammonia to nitric acid. It is also used in the fabrication of silicones for the aerospace, automotive and construction sector. In the fuel sector it is important as a petrol additive to enhance combustion and reduce engine emissions. Moreover, it is a catalyst in the production of biodegradable elements for household detergents.
Platinum is used in glassmaking equipment. It is used in the manufacturing of fiberglass reinforced plastic and of glass for liquid crystal displays (LCD). In this context, some new developments in the production of LCD glass and cathode ray tubes, both used in computer screens should be mentioned.

Reinforcement glass fibre

The largest amount of platinum in use in the glass industry is for the production of textile glass fibre, commonly referred to as reinforcement fibre as it is mainly used for strengthening other materials. Its widest application is in glass-reinforced plastics (grp). Glass fibre producers use platinum components to channel the molten glass, but the main use of platinum and rhodium is in the fiberisation process itself. Fiberisation is the drawing of the glass fibres from a platinum alloy container called a "bushing" – a rectangular open topped box, the base of which has many precisely shaped holes, or jets, through which the fibres are drawn.

Liquid crystal displays (LCD)

LCD glass, used in applications such as digital watches and laptop computers, is the most intensive user of platinum and rhodium per unit of glass produced. This is due to the harsh conditions under which the raw materials for the glass are melted (usually at 1650oC) and the quality of glass required, which can be as little as half a millimetre thick and demands zero defects.

Cathode ray tube (CRT) displays

CRT displays refer to the monitors commonly used as TVs and visual display units (VDUs) for computers. There are two parts to the glass needed to make the CRT display - the cone glass panel that forms the back of the monitor, and the screen glass panel at the front. Platinum-rhodium alloys are used mainly in the production of the screen glass.

Optical & ophthalmic glass

In order to produce high quality optical glass, platinum equipment is used in the key areas of melting, conditioning and forming. Pure platinum is the preferred material since the use of alloys containing rhodium and, to a lesser extent, iridium, leads to unwanted colouration of the glass.

Container glass

Container glass refers to non-crystal tableware as well as bottles for drinks, jars for foodstuffs and containers for perfume and other items. The extent to which platinum is used mainly depends on the properties of the glass, which vary considerably according to its composition. Generally, the more corrosive the glass, the more platinum is required.

Ceramic glass

Commonly used in applications such as the flat glass surface of electric cooker hobs, ceramic glass has grown in demand in recent years. Large quantities of pgm equipment are used in the production of this type of glass.

Platinum is seen as an attractive investment vehicle and as a good way of hedging assets against inflation. This attraction for platinum investment is spreading worldwide and is based on platinum relative scarcity, its historical price performance and unique fundamentals. Investing in platinum may be done in futures and options or in bars, ingots and bullion coins like the American Eagle, the Australian Koala or the Canadian Maple Leaf among others.
Platinum is used as a refining catalyst in the petroleum industry.

Platinum is used in anti-cancer drugs and in implants. It is also used neurosurgical apparatus and in alloys for dental restorations.

 Applicationsinclude medical

Spark plugs
Most vehicles in North America use platinum-tipped spark plugs. In Europe higher durability requirements have led to an increase in the amount of platinum used in spark plugs.
Fuel cells
Fuel cells are devices that generate electric power. They are being developed as an alternative to internal combustion engines in vehicles. Most fuel cells apply proton exchange membrane technology producing energy from hydrogen and oxygen by using platinum catalysts. The use of fuel cells brings about environmental and economic advantages. They are more energy efficient and produce negligible pollution. All the major automotive companies, lead by Daimler-Chrysler, are planning to have fuel cell powered light vehicles by 2003-2004. Actually, there are already some fuel cell heavy vehicles working. However, the doubt remains since every vehicle using a fuel cell will be one that will not use a conventional autocatalyst. The effect on platinum demand will depend on which device uses more platinum. Present research is focusing on improving performance and reducing costs of fuel cells. Fuel cells can also provide stationary power generation. The use of platinum in fuel cells seems to be one of the platinum applications with best prospects for future demand.


Platinum anti-cancer drugs

Platinum has the ability, in certain chemical forms, to inhibit the division of living cells. The discovery of this property in 1962 led to the development of platinum-based drugs to treat a wide range of cancers. Cisplatin, the first platinum anti-cancer drug, began to be used in treatment in 1977. Testicular cancer was found to be susceptible to treatment with cisplatin and there were other successes with ovarian, head and neck cancers.
Researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden Hospital in London achieved a significant step when they found a compound similar to cisplatin in terms of activity, but much less toxic. This drug, carboplatin, was first approved in 1986. Recent research has sought to identify new platinum compounds which will treat tumours which do not respond to or which become resistant to cisplatin and carboplatin. The first of these drugs to reach commercialization is oxaliplatin, which is being marketed under the trade name Eloxatin.
Upcoming platinum anti-cancer drugs include satraplatin, which is being developed for treatment of prostate cancer. It is claimed that the use of satraplatin results in a higher survival rate than with existing chemotherapy treatments. Satraplatin will also be the first platinum anti-cancer drug that can be administered orally instead of intravenously, allowing patients to be treated at home. The drug is currently undergoing clinical trials.

Platinum biomedical components

Platinum can be fabricated into very tiny, complex components. As it is inert, platinum does not corrode inside the body, while allergic reactions to platinum are extremely rare. Platinum also has good electrical conductivity, which makes it an ideal electrode material.
Pacemakers, used to treat heart disorders which result in slow or irregular heartbeat, usually contain at least two platinum-iridium electrodes, through which pulses of electricity are transmitted to stabilise the heartbeat. Platinum electrodes are also found in pacemaker-like devices which are used to help people at risk of fatal disturbances in the heart's rhythm. This risk can be minimised by implanting a device known as an Internal Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) which sends a massive electric charge to the heart as soon as it detects a problem.
Catheters, flexible tubes which can be introduced into the arteries, are widely used in modern, minimally-invasive treatments for heart disease. Many catheters contain platinum marker bands and guide wires, which are used to help the surgeon guide the device to the treatment site. The radio-opacity of platinum, which makes it visible in x-ray images, enables doctors to monitor the position of the catheter during treatment.

Platinum Use in Medical Devices Highlighted in April's PMR
The most recent edition of the Platinum Metals Review, PMR, features a
comprehensive review of the biomedical applications which incorporate
platinum as an integral part of devices and active pharmaceutical
ingredients used to sustain and enhance quality of life.
London, UK…The April edition of the Platinum Metals Review (PMR), the platinum industry's
leading technical journal, has published a comprehensive review of those biomedical applications

which depend upon platinum and its alloys to sustain and improve the quality of life.  The article
entitled A Healthy Future:  Platinum in Medical Applications, appears in the Platinum Metals
Review, Volume 55 Issue 2, April 2011, Pgs 98 - 107.
Despite the perception of high cost, the unique chemical, mechanical and electrical properties of
platinum have been recognized by leading medical device companies as an enabling technology
in developing next generational device with increased longevity and durability.  Because of the
metal's radiopacity, conductivity and inertness, platinum has been incorporated as an integral part
of a range of specialized devices including pacemakers, defibrillators, stents and neurostimulation
Platinum has become a reliable tool in the arsenal of medical device companies who are striving
to satisfy the growing demand for advanced medical technologies as the global population
expands and ages in both the developed and emerging economies

Industrial Applications Of Platinum

  • Nitric Acid - Platinum-based catalysts have now been used in the commercial manufacture of nitric acid for a century.
  • Silicones - Adding platinum compounds controls curing, helping to achieve the properties required for the numerous uses they have in everyday life.
  • Computer Hard Disks - Platinum improves the data storage capacity of hard disks and today, all hard disks contain platinum in their magnetic layers.
  • Electronic Components - Palladium-containing components are used in virtually every type of electronic device.
  • Crucibles - With their high melting points and resistance to chemical attack, iridium and Platinum are the preferred material of choice for crucibles.
  • Glass - Used in the production of glass, platinum's high melting point, strength and resistance to corrosion allow it to withstand the abrasive action of molten glass.
  • Medical - Platinum inhibits the division of living cells and this property has resulted in the development of platinum-based drugs to treat a wide range of cancers.
  • Sensors - Are used in a variety of applications: measuring of oxygen and NOx levels in car engine control systems; detection of carbon monoxide in home safety devices; wire, foil and disc electrodes for various sensors in medical equipment