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Yale Scientists Use Nanotechnology To Fight E. Coli

September 5, 2007 - Nature, Science

Amazing! SWCNT (single walled carbon nanotubes) are being used in the lab to combat bacteria. These technologies could one day provide the replacements for antibiotics and as far as my laymans understanding goes there wouldn’t be any way for these bacteria to combat nanotech as its the nanotubes that more or less batter the actual cells of the bacteria and destroy them physically rather than chemically. Really quite mental!

“We began the study out of concerns for the possible toxicity [Nanotoxicology] of nanotubes in aquatic environments and their presence in the food chain,” said Menachem Elimelech, professor and chair of chemical and environmental engineering at Yale and senior author on the paper. “While nanotubes have great promise for medical and commercial applications there is little understanding of how they interact with humans and the environment.”

“Using the simple E. coli as test cells, the researchers incubated cultures of the bacteria in the presence of the nanotubes for up to an hour. The microbes were killed outright – but only when there was direct contact with aggregates of the SWCNTs that touched the bacteria. Elimelech speculates that the long, thin nanotubes puncture the cells and cause cellular damage.”

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