Is Nanotechnology the Next Asbestos? (PXN)

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Nanotechnology is one of those industries that has advocates lining up for it and against it.  The theoretical possibilities are endless.  These could be in micro-computing, arterial plaque attacks, tissue repair, cleaning surfaces, cancer fighting, and on and on and on.

But nanotechnology also has many critics, particularly those who are concerned that nano-bots or nano particles could be used against people.  In a report published in advance from NATURE NANOTECHNOLOGY, the new fear is that nanotechnology’s carbon nanotubes injected into mice showed similarities to asbestos.

The pilot study in a small number of mice shows that long multiwalled carbon nanotubes introduced into the abdominal cavity can cause asbestos-like pathogenic behavior. The results suggest the need for further research and caution before introducing nanotube products into the market.

Mesothelioma is a death sentence.  If nanotech generates even the same fears, this technology may be crushed before even the simple applications can get off the ground  It sounds like they need a nano-drug now, one to fight nanothelioma.

The nanotech ETF, the PowerShares Lux Nanotech (AMEX: PXN) was down 2% at $14.51, although it was on thin volume when the market itself was soft.

Jon C. Ogg
May 20, 2008