Study Kicks Nanotech Right in the Buckyballs

Just last week, we heard that carbon nanotubes could be as dangerous as asbestos. Now a new study takes another damning shot at nanotechnology, this time at the sector's golden child, buckyballs. Hollow balls of carbon that are promising for everything from fighting cancer to coating paint, a recent study found that buckyball clusters can easily penetrate cell membranes and hang out inside, their molecular structures fully intact.

The study used a computer simulation only, not actual physical science. And we don't know whether or not these carbon spheres would necessarily damage the cells they inhabit.

But that's exactly the point, right? While the complete biochemical theories behind these processes is admittedly a bit beyond us, it really seems like while one group is high-fiving that we can deliver drugs directly into cells, another group says, "Shit, this stuff penetrates our cells!"

With such materials already available commercially, it really feels like we haven't done our homework on whether or not our fancy new toys will actually be poisoning our bodies in an irreversible way. Maybe we should take a few steps back before readily adopting even promising materials that we apparently know so little about. [DailyTech]

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