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May 19th, 2007
Analysis: Cancer in nano's crosshairs
With medical advances not making as big a dent in cancer lethality as scientists had hoped, researchers are increasingly turning to the nascent nanotechnology arena as a last best hope, medical experts said at a recent biotechnology conference.
"There is not much overall reduction in the death rate of cancer. It is an enormous challenge facing the United States," said Shan Wang of Stanford University, who is studying how to use nanotechnology to detect cancer. He spoke at the recent International Biotechnology conference in Boston.
Nanotechnology is the manipulation of tiny particles of substances as small as an atom. It shows great promise for many fields ranging from computers to cosmetics, and is already in use in everyday consumer products like skin lotion.
Whether nanoparticles can cause harm remains an open debate, with few studies as yet on the impact of the technology.
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