The nano-brain barrier

HLovy writes "Let's make some decisions based on what we do know, rather than what we don't. Here's one thing we know: Texas Tech professor David D. Allen recently demonstrated "no adverse effects" of nanomaterials "on blood-brain barrier baseline parameters." Yes, it's one study of a few varieties of nanoparticles and not by a long shot the final word on the toxicity of nanoparticles. But it is something that the "nanotech is bad for you" crowd lacks: actual scientific data.

What's seems especially surreal to me is the way nanotech's detractors take the issue of size, the very property that sets nano apart as such a promising technology, and create the impression that this scale is a force to be feared rather than looked upon with hope. Nanoparticles' nanosize is what gives each of them the ability to target individual cells, or clumps of them to cover larger surface areas (and in the case of SoilSET, apparently prevent erosion).

And it's in this breach of the blood-brain barrier that, for me anyway, inspires the most hope. This barrier is one of the human body's final frontiers, beyond which might lie a key to longer life, a way to make drugs more effective or even a cure for Alzheimer's.

For the complete commentary, please see Howard Lovy's NanoBot."

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