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Science

Nanotechnology Products Have Serious Impact on Health

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It may or not be news to you, but we live in the future. We’re at that transitional stage when science and technology is on the verge of eclipsing fiction, and we have the front seats to it all. All the new technology will make our lives easier and more fun, but, like all things, this future comes with a price. Like any tool, these new toys can break down and go awry.

In a recent study conducted by Trinity College Dublin’s School of Medicine, scientists, led by Professor of Molecular Medicine, Yuri Volkov, took it upon themselves to figure out the effect of long term effect exposure to nanoparticles which are the debris left over when nanotechnology break down.

For those that don’t know, nanotechnology is a class of machines that are as small as or smaller than the cells in our own bodies, often the size of a few atoms. These small devices have applications in nearly every form of human endeavor from manufacturing to medicine. While most of the cool stuff is still about a decade away, some first-run production models are already in use.

The Trinity College research was on what happens when all of those little devices start breaking down. The scientists discovered that nanotechnology acts similarly to other types of environmental pollution such as “carbon particles emitted by car exhaust, smoking and long term inhalation of dust of various origins” if not handled properly. Nanoparticles are pollution in every sense of the word.

According to the research, exposure to these nanoparticles can lead to serious health problems such as rheumatoid arthritis and a number of autoimmune diseases, becoming a global health threat.

With these finding, it is clear that we must act now before this come inevitable. We have time to make nanotechnology work without killing us in the process. Catching this issue early was a good thing as we can now develop safe and useable manufacturer, use, and disposal regulations and techniques as we move forward including the treatments needed for the problems nanoparticles may cause.

However, the one thing we should not do is overact. There was good side to this research. As those Trinity College scientists proclaimed themselves, we now have a good explanation of how and why autoimmune diseases occur and develop. This means we are well on our way towards a cure for them regardless of the particulates in play, both man-made and natural.

Time will tell if we head the warning nature is telling us. Can we develop nanotechnology without causing more damage to world than necessarily? Maybe or maybe not, but be humans tend to be reactive rather than proactive, and that may spell disaster for when we need it the most.


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