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Nanoparticles in the Brain

Nanoparticles--tiny lumps of matter that could one day be used to build faster computer circuits and improve drug delivery systems--can travel to the brain after being inhaled. The finding sounds a cautionary note for advocates of nanotechnology, but may also lead to a fuller understanding of the health effects of the nanosized particles produced by diesel engines. Nanoparticles produced by diesel exhausts may be damaging to some parts of our body. It's estimated that people in cities take in about 25 million nanoparticles with every breath. These particles are believed to increase respiratory and cardiac problems, probably by triggering an inflammatory reaction in the lungs. The effects and potential uses of nanoparticles are just beginning to be explored. I recently posted an article about nanoparticles used for detoxification.

Nature January 9, 2004

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