Nanoparticles' indirect threat to DNA

Nanoparticles' indirect threat to DNA

By Janet Raloff, 12:17 PM November 5, 2009

Tiny metal nanoparticles can damage DNA, essentially by triggering toxic gossip.

Researchers from throughout the United Kingdom took part in a series of tests in which they separated toxic metal nanoparticles from potentially vulnerable test cells — what I’ll refer to as cellular guinea pigs. In some cases the barrier was a piece of plastic, other times a four-cell-thick, intact wall of tissue.

Although the plastic wall protected the guinea pigs, “We found there was as much damage on the ...

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