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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Nanotechnoloy : a small stuff but really big


Nanotechnology the new boost of scince is attracting ths whole science market. In some recent comments it found that nano isn't nano
You may never have heard of it, but chances are some of the products you use make use of nanotechnology. These products include particles so small, they might be able to pass through the wall of a cell.

Nanomaterials are measured in nanometres — or millionths of a millimetre. A human hair is 100,000 times thicker than a particle measuring one nanometre.

Proponents hail nanotechnologies as the next industrial revolution, with the potential to make cancer therapy more effective, consumer products more durable, solar cells more efficient and revolutionize the natural gas industry. Those developments could be years away.

Nanoscale chemical substances, or nanomaterials, behave differently from their full-sized counterparts. Nano-gold, for instance, shows dramatic changes in properties and colour with only slight changes in size. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles in sunscreen are transparent to visible light, but absorb UV light. The same chemical in its conventional form is thick, white and opaque, and is used in products such as house paint and adhesives.

Titanium dioxide accounts for 70 per cent of the worldwide production of pigments. It has also been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a possible human carcinogen.

The question many are asking is whether or not the novel properties of nanomaterials give rise to new exposures and effects, and would that mean that already-approved chemicals should be reassessed for their potential impact as nanomaterials on human health and the environment?

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