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January 22nd, 2008
We hear about nanotechnology everywhere but we seldom hear of its impacts. Is it good or bad?
We are just beginning to understand the nature and the extent of adverse effects that nanomaterials can cause. Nanomaterials, as the name suggests, are so small that they can easily pass through the cell wall. They are also capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier—a membrane in brain capillaries that normally doesn't allow any toxic particle in the bloodstream to enter into the brain.
Hence they represent a particular level of threat. But we are yet to know whether the technology is good or bad. I expect both. This will depend on its applications: whether its use as solar collectors and in medical applications will come up first or its indiscriminate commercial use in the cosmetics sector and household appliances will unleash some kind of tragedy.
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