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Nanomagnets tackle cancer

Technique uses heat to kill cancerous cells

By
11:50am, August 4, 2008

A new wave of therapies can exert a magnetic hold over disease — literally. The therapies employ powerful, roughly spherical magnets to help kill carefully targeted diseased cells and nothing else. What makes these magnets special is their size. Each is about a thousandth the diameter of a human hair.

Most researchers in the field are designing these billionth-of-a-meter-scale magnets to serve as highly localized space heaters. Under the influence of an external magnetic field, the magnetic particles will warm to temperatures that will kill immediately adjacent cells.

Two U.S. research groups recently reported succ

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