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November 17th, 2009
A recent story by ABC-Australia News begins: "Researchers in the United Kingdom have found some nanoparticles - which can be found in common household items - can damage DNA without even penetrating the cells."
This is certainly an intriguing beginning. And judging from the spate of comments from the scientific community since the study's release, the reporter was not alone in finding this story interesting.
However, right there in the first line, the reporter inadvertently muddies the waters in the public's understanding of this study - and of nanoparticles in general. The problem is that the opening implies that all nanoparticles are alike, when it is really the opposite that is the case.
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