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August 22nd, 2007
Coating surfaces with carbon nanotubes could keep them microbe-free, according to a study that shows how they pop and kill bacteria upon contact.
Several previous studies have shown that carbon nanotubes can be toxic to human cells in the lab, and to some animals, although results have sometimes conflicted and often been controversial (see The great nanotech gamble).
However, until now no-one had checked to see if carbon nanotubes could kill microbes. "We thought, why not see if we can use this toxic effect in a beneficial way," says Menachem Elimelech of Yale University, who led the new study.
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