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Nanoparticles multitask

Nanoparticles can play many roles, but they're more often used for tagging and sorting molecules rather than for participating in chemical reactions. Nanoscale bits with magnetic properties, for instance, can enhance magnetic resonance images and can tag other molecules in chemical assays. But researchers have now shown that nanoparticles of magnetite (Fe3O4) can play an active chemical role with catalytic muscle applicable to wastewater treatment and biomedical assays.

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