19 Amazing Diamond Facts

I found this infographic to be both helpful and interesting, and I hope you enjoy it!

amazing-diamond-facts-infographic-by-whiteflash

People Undergoing Root Canals May Have Gained A Powerful Yet Tiny New Ally — Diamonds

People undergoing root canals may have gained a powerful yet tiny new ally — diamonds.

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More than 15 million painful-yet-necessary root canal procedures are performed in the U.S. each year to protect us from tooth infections. But complications such as infection can arise post-surgery. Teeth infections can lead to tooth loss which is something the UCLA School of Dentistry is trying to prevent! In a new study at UCLA, they have found that these post-surgery infections can be warded off by a girl’s best friend: diamonds!

Nanodiamonds, specifically, were the subject of the researchers’ study. Thousands of times smaller than a human hair, at about four to five nanometers in diameter, nanodiamonds have the shape of very tiny soccer balls and are the byproduct of diamond mining and refining. They’ve also been widely explored for use in dentistry, cancer therapy, and regenerative medicine, among other applications. Combining the nanodiamonds with current root canal therapy, scientists at UCLA fortified a material that could significantly improve the outcomes of root canal patients.

Typically during a root canal, the area inside a tooth where there are nerves and blood vessels are is removed by dentists and refilled with a polymer called “gutta percha.” The purpose of the polymer is to act as a sealant and prevent future infection. However, gutta percha isn’t always successful in ridding a tooth of infection, in part due to the material not being a complete solid.

Using a compound that consisted of nanodiamonds and the traditional gutta percha mixture, the team at UCLA conducted an experiment on human teeth. One set of teeth was tested with nanodiamond-reinforced gutta percha while another set was tested with gutta percha by itself.

The traditional gutta percha mixture left small gaps in the canal — making the tooth susceptible to harmful bacteria. However, as predicted, the nanodiamond gutta percha mixture proved much stronger than traditional methods. By eliminating space for bacteria to fill within the tooth, the nanodiamond mixture allowed for a lower chance of infections or other complications following a root canal.

“The nanodiamond-enhanced gutta percha combines many desirable properties into a single platform, including vastly improved mechanical characteristics and the ability to combat bacterial infection following a root canal,” said UCLA study author Dong-Keun Lee in a press release.

Over the next two years, the team plans to optimize the nanodiamond-reinforced gutta percha formulation, and begin clinical trials at UCLA. To read more about this study or future research at The UCLA School of Dentistry, click here.

Diamonds Crystallizing From Seawater

In recent studies, scientists have discovered that diamonds crystallize from ancients saltwaters going back as far as 200 million year ago and plan on using this information to help figure out how exactly diamonds form. If found, it would be paramount for the diamond industry and might eliminate the infamous “blood diamonds” as this has been causing damages for decades.

Mark Bronner DiamondsGeochemist at Columbia University, Yaakov Weiss says, “We can look at diamonds as time capsules, as messengers from a place we have no other way of seeing.” This is an interesting way to conceptualize the expensive precious stones that have been a symbol of affluence as long as time.

Researchers hypothesize that the gems begin to crystallize from the extraordinary heat and pressure in the Earth’s mantle layer located about 90 to 100 miles below the surface. The deepest diamond found came from 430 miles below the surface. Volcanic action and eruptions bring the precious stones to the surface with some dating back as far as 2.1 billion years ago. They surface in rock formations called kimberlites. Of about 2,000 known kimberlites, only around 60 were worth mining.

It is believed that diamonds crystallize in these conditions with the aid of a fluid though it hasn’t been proven or agreed upon on what exactly that fluid is. Many agree that both poor and high quality diamonds  from this same fluid though. Weiss commented, “Personally, I am among those that think that most diamonds form in a similar way.”

In the Ekati Diamond Mine located in Canada, geochemists have been studying and analyzing fluid inclusions in the formation of diamonds in hopes to discover what the mystery fluid is that the changes their structure. The diamonds used for this process are usually flawed with impurities.  Eleven fibrous (multilevel) diamonds were used to conduct their study. What they found was that the fluid was salty and filled with sodium, chlorine, and potassium. All the characteristics of seawater.

This “seawater” could be evidence that the Earth’s oceanic crust is having a chemical reaction and creating a mixture with solid rock, allowing the diamonds to crystalize. Although more study and examination is necessary, this information could also mark a change and create a new wave in mining. This could also spark a boost in the declining market.