Nanotubes trigger biochemical 'cross talk' for consumer protection tests

February 5, 2009

Researchers in West Virginia and Japan are reporting an advance toward a blood test that could help protect consumers from new products containing potentially harmful kinds of nanotubes. These ultra small wisps of carbon -- 1/5,000th the width a single human hair -- may become the basis for multibillion-dollar medical, consumer electronics, and other industries in the future.

Their report is appeared in the Jan. 14 issue of ACS’ Nano Letters, a monthly journal.

Petia Simeonova and colleagues cite hints from past studies that nanotubes are toxic to the lungs of laboratory animals. Those findings emphasized the need for tests to check on the toxicity before products containing these particles hit the market.

In the new research, scientists deposited nanotubes in the lung of lab mice, and discovered the existence of a “cross-talk” mechanism, in which the animals’ lungs alerted the rest of the body to the nanotubes presence. The alert caused specific genes in the animals to kick into action and produce certain proteins. The resulting biochemical signature of nanotube exposure could become a biomarker for exposure to harmful nanoparticles, the researchers say.

Article: “Cross-Talk between Lung and Systemic Circulation during Carbon Nanotube Respiratory Exposure. Potential Biomarkers,” Nano Letters

Source: ACS

Explore further: Ancient proteins involved in DNA repair could shed light on tumor development

Related Stories

Changing the way we think about urban infrastructure

July 22, 2015

In the early morning of Sept. 8, 2014, rain began to fall across the Phoenix metro area. It showed no signs of stopping during the morning commute, and soon lakes were forming on streets and freeways. Drivers scrambled from ...

Opinion: The politics and gender of climate change belief

July 16, 2015

Some of my best friends are climate scientists. This is handy, because I'm not a climate scientist myself – I am just a nosy person, who can justify asking people what they think about their world by calling my nosiness ...

Recommended for you

Reshaping the solar spectrum to turn light to electricity

July 28, 2015

When it comes to installing solar cells, labor cost and the cost of the land to house them constitute the bulk of the expense. The solar cells—made often of silicon or cadmium telluride—rarely cost more than 20 percent ...

Meet the high-performance single-molecule diode

July 29, 2015

A team of researchers from Berkeley Lab and Columbia University has passed a major milestone in molecular electronics with the creation of the world's highest-performance single-molecule diode. Working at Berkeley Lab's Molecular ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.