Nanotechnology involves very small particles, small enough that they behave differently and propagate differently. A few months ago I listened to a radio interview of several scientists who are involved with nanotechnology. One of the scientists said that nanoparticles can bypass barriers that protect brain cells and can thus enter the brain. This is exciting to medical doctors, because they envision that nanoparticles could carry drugs directly into the brain. My concern is that if nanoparticles can carry drugs directly into the brain, they could also carry other particles into the brain, or other organs of the body, and the results of this would be unknown and potentially harmful.

When scientists change the way our bodies naturally behave, I am concerned. Scientists have already become concerned about water pollution that is occurring from silver nanoparticles that are being deposited into the sea. Silver is a natural antibacterial agent, and products containing silver nanoparticles are being introduced into our commercial markets. These silver nanoparticles are being ingested by aquatic organisms that live in the water. In addition nanoparticles are being introduced into food and food containers, and this concerns some scientists. If the use of nanoparticles becomes globally widespread, and if harmful side effects occur, nanoparticles could trigger a world-wide disaster.

Scientists are investigating nanoparticles, and here are some of their results.
After a decade of rapidly growing industrial use, unimaginably tiny particles surround us everywhere, every day, in everything we do. Used in the manufacturing of cosmetics, clothing, paints, food, drug delivery systems and many other familiar products we all use daily, little is known about the effects these materials have on health. A research team led by Timothy R. Nurkiewicz, Ph.D., associate professor in the WVU School of Medicine Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and researcher in the Center for Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences, is finding inhalation of engineered nanomaterials negatively impacts gestational development in animal models.
New research reveals that pure gold nanoparticles found in everyday items such as personal care products, as well as drug delivery, MRI contrast agents and solar cells can inhibit adipose (fat) storage and lead to accelerated aging and wrinkling, slowed wound healing and the onset of diabetes. The researchers, led by Tatsiana Mironava, a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Molecular Engineering at Stony Brook University, detail their research in the journal Nanotoxicology.
In experiments mimicking a natural environment, Duke University researchers have demonstrated that the silver nanoparticles used in many consumer products can have an adverse effect on plants and microorganisms.
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) have provided the first evidence that engineered nanoparticles are able to accumulate within plants and damage their DNA. In a recent paper, the team led by NIST chemist Bryant C. Nelson showed that under laboratory conditions, cupric oxide nanoparticles have the capacity to enter plant root cells and generate many mutagenic DNA base lesions.
New groundbreaking research by scientists at Trinity College Dublin has found that exposure to nanoparticles can have a serious impact on health, linking it to rheumatoid arthritis and the development of other serious autoimmune diseases. The findings that have been recently published in the international journal Nanomedicine have health and safety implications for the manufacture, use and ultimate disposal of nanotechnology products and materials. They also identified new cellular targets for the development of potential drug therapies in combating the development of autoimmune diseases.
Research is urgently needed to evaluate the risks and benefits of nano-pesticides to human and environmental health. Melanie Kah and Thilo Hofmann from the Department of Environmental Geosciences of the University of Vienna recently performed an extensive analysis of this emerging field of research.

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