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SCI/TECH: Buckyballs Could Deform Human DNA

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posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 12:02 PM
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As we move into a future of nano science, a computer simulation is showing the possibility that buckyballs could bind with DNA when in an aqueous environment. In fact, this study is showing that buckyballs are more apt to bind to DNA than to each other, which could be cause for concern for ourselves and other mammals. This could also affect fish and other sea creatures, so it includes all life on our world.
 



www.eurekalert.org
But could these microscopic spheres represent a potential environmental hazard?

A new study published in December 2005 in Biophysical Journal raises a red flag regarding the safety of buckyballs when dissolved in water. It reports the results of a detailed computer simulation that finds buckyballs bind to the spirals in DNA molecules in an aqueous environment, causing the DNA to deform, potentially interfering with its biological functions and possibly causing long-term negative side effects in people and other living organisms.

The research, conducted at Vanderbilt by chemical engineers Peter T. Cummings and Alberto Striolo (now a faculty member at the University of Oklahoma), along with Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientist Xiongce Zhao, employed molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the question of whether buckyballs would bind to DNA and, if so, might inflict any lasting damage.

The findings came as something of a surprise, despite earlier studies that have shown buckyballs to be toxic to cells unless coated and to be able to find their way into the brains of fish. Before these cautionary discoveries, researchers thought that the combination of buckyballs' dislike of water and their affinity for each other would cause them to clump together and sink to the bottom of a pool, lake, stream or other aqueous environment. As a result, researchers thought they should not cause a significant environmental problem.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


We are always moving into unknown territory when it comes to science and the nano world will become our future.

If these nano particles can bind with our DNA and cause permanent damage at that level, this becomes a frightening prospect for the future of this field of science. The story above stated that water was the key to binding to DNA, and us humans are full of it. And every living thing on the planet is a bag of water.

This topic needs to be followed closely so that we don't find out 20 years down the timeline that everyone has damaged DNA that will be passed down to future generations.

[edit on 6/12/2005 by anxietydisorder]




posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 12:15 PM
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Great find.


So buckyballs can bind to DNA in an acqueous environment.

The human body is what, about 90% water?

That would mean the human body is a fairly aqueous environment, right?





posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 12:15 PM
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Kind of off topic, but....one theory of the greys is that they are future humans and something happened to thier DNA. That is why they are visiting us and abducting us. Not sure if I believe in that theory.

Anyway, maybe this is the technology that starts this DNA failure? Something to think about.

[edit on 6-12-2005 by MacMerdin]



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 12:17 PM
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Yes but were these Particles doped to make them biocompatible? Nope. More research needs to go into making these particle safe and that should be possible as the more control we get the easier it will become to engineer the toxicity out of these particles. There is research into crafting theoretical models of self-assembling nanostructures, if they can adapt it to also make them as safe as possible that will be great.

Also this was a Simulation not an actual experiment. Lets not get all paranoid over something that could be completely wrong(allthough I doubt that, raw Buckballs have already been found to damage grey matter in fish, and a couple of years later the same team came up with a doping agent to make the buckyballs completely biocompatible(eg they did no damage and bound to the nearest silica deposit once it passed through the fishs digestive tract))

[edit on 6-12-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 12:20 PM
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I think some folks might appreciate a short tutorial on buckminsterfullerenes.

scifun.chem.wisc.edu...



[edit on 2005/12/6 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 12:29 PM
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Also there are no products on the market that has buckyballs as it's primary structural ingredient as they are very very expensive still(Hundreds of $$ per gram). They should spend more time researching the particles that are on the market right now, like Nano-Zinc oxide sunscreen and Nano-Silver wound dressings.

Efforts to develop easy and efficient recycling processes should be looked into as well. Richard Feynman the Grand-Daddy of nanotechnology speculated that the resource mines of the future will our dumping grounds of the presant. Wouldn't that be something.



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 12:40 PM
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Thanks Grady.



So a bunch of guys got together in 1985 at Rice University in Texas to vaporize carbon and see what developed. They essentially created a stable carbon atom, C60, which they called "buckminsterfullerene" and this author calls a buckyball. In 1990, a technology was developed to produce C60 in large quanties. C60 now is used to make superconductors, three-dimensional polymers and nanotubes.

And this stuff has been out in the world for maybe 2 decades already. But they just now realized it binds with DNA in water. How reassuring. Not.

...So do I have that right?

Also of interest: Dilemmas in Nanotechnology


sardion - Evaluation and criticism does not necessarily lead to Ludditism - most often, it's just good sense.





posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 12:41 PM
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Hmmm... very interesting find


I've not finished looking at the source yet, but intuitively it's not something you'd expect. I can't make sense of it chemically.

DNA is highly negatively charged, buckyballs are pretty much non polar. What's the interaction?

I suppose that it could interact with the bases... they certainly have non-polar regions, but I thought the 'flavor' of DNA was predominantly charged/polar.

Seems to go against basic chemistry.



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 12:49 PM
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sardion - Evaluation and criticism does not necessarily lead to Ludditism - most often, it's just good sense.


Look at what happened to the GMO debate, it's polarized beyond belief between two extremist views. I will always be working against that paradigm as i feel it damages intellectual debate. So yeah I guess I agree with you in a sense. It's still a possible future. I'm just waiting for the calls for a Moratorium by the ETC group and Prince Charles.


Oh boy I can't wait till Prey comes out in theatres


Basically what I'm saying is the Moderates should seize control of the debate before the pro and anti wackos gain control like they have in Politics and the GMO debate.



But they just now realized it binds with DNA in water.


Have they observed it first hand? No they have not, a simulation is a simulation and should not be taken as a field experiment like the C60 + Fish experiment.

And no Sofi this stuff is still waay to expensive to deploy on a large scale, it will be another 10-15 years before costs come down enough for us to start worrying. As I said before we have Nano-particles that are on store shelves RIGHT NOW and are advertised as such(most of the time, not in cosmetics though for some reason) Looking at relatively medium term threats distracts from potentially urgent threats here and now which is currently being ignored IMHO>

[edit on 6-12-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 12:59 PM
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Here's a couple more articles on this topic:


www.sciencenews.org...

www.sciencenews.org...

This is particularly interesting:



What is perhaps most amazing about Buckyballs is that despite their circuitous discovery in the laboratory, they have been naturally present on Earth all along. The earliest evidence that Buckyballs occur in nature was discovered by Arizona State University researchers Semeon Tsipursky and Peter Buseck, who found that a sample of rare, carbon-rich rock called shungit, estimated to have been formed between 600 million and 4 billion years ago, contained both C60 and C70 fullerenes. Since then, the fascinating molecules have also been identified in meteorites, impact craters, and materials struck by lightning. This new information has led some scientists to speculate about the role that fullerenes may have played in the development of life on Earth. Indeed, gases are known to become readily trapped inside the hollow molecules, and one research group has already found evidence of a form of helium in Buckyballs taken from the Sudbury crater (which contains the greatest known concentration of fullerenes in the world) that likely originated not inside of our own solar system, but within a red giant star. Thus, many consider it to be theoretically possible that Buckyballs carried from their stellar origin both the carbon essential to life and the volatiles that helped produce the planetary conditions necessary for life to begin.

www.micro.magnet.fsu.edu...



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Google Search


[edit on 2005/12/6 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 01:01 PM
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Points taken sardion. Thanks. But IMO - it's really important not to get defensive and kill productive debate from this side of the issues. There are enough other vested interests out there working to do just that - on both sides of the fence too.


Do you have definite examples of nanoparticles in consumer goods? And what's that bit about cosmetics? ...I do know nanoparticles have been used in the drug industry for some time. Keep meaning to do more research, but reality you know.



.



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 01:03 PM
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Hmmm. That new reference pretty much completely contradicts your earlier one Grady.

Is history being rewritten? Or what?

My conspiracy alarms go off big time when I see those kinds of contradictions. Like what are they hiding under all that BS?




posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 01:07 PM
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The buckyballs were discovered in 1985. They have since been found to have existed all along.

I think this is an example of nanomaterials in consumer products.



Nano Zinc Oxide Applications:
Nano Zinc Oxide (NZO) is presented in emphasis this time:

Compared with ordinary zinc oxide (particle size ≥100nm), on the basis of two kinds of property from nano material (surface effect, small size effect, macroscopical quanta tunnel effect) and zinc oxide (virulence, unflavour, achromaticity), the nano zinc oxide has the following characteristic and predominance:

1) Sunscreen and anti-bacteria in cosmetics
Nano zinc oxide has excellent screen effect to UV-A and UV-B; under the condition of irradiation of sunlight, water and air, the nano zinc oxide has the effect of killing most bacteria by chemical reaction.

2) Deodorant, antimicrobial, anti-ultraviolet in textile

www.reade.com...


[edit on 2005/12/6 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 01:07 PM
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Like what are they hiding under all that BS?


What BS are you refering to?

Also Nano-Zincoxide is transparent to visible light so it's clear and is absorbed by the skin.

Also for the record I was not being defensive I was merely trying to hi-light some potential threats here and now.

[edit on 6-12-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 01:29 PM
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Hmm, you know theres quite alot of stuff that deforms DNA in an aqueous solution, like Detergents for one, should we all start throwing our washing up liquids out of the window?
How exactly do you think these 'buckyballs' would make their way into the nucleus of our body's cells?
The benefits of this technology WAY exceed any health concerns.



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 01:34 PM
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Also did you guys check out this breakthrough I posted about today?

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 01:38 PM
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Thanks Grady - and sorry sardion. I thought the info was contradictory. Wasn't paying proper attention. Mea culpa.

One of Grady's links says "buckyballs are currently being manufactured in large quantities." ...?




Tiny Trouble: Nanoscale materials damage fish brains


In the field of nanotechnology, small might be better, but it's not necessarily safe. Biologists have found that a type of nanomaterial called buckyballs can damage brain cells in fish. ...Nanoscale materials are already used as pigments in cosmetics and sunscreens, and many more nanomaterials could reach consumers in the next decade or so. The exceptionally small size of these materials, whose dimensions may be only a few ten-thousandths of the width of a human hair, endows them with unique chemical and physical properties. However, their small size could also permit them to interact with living cells in unanticipated, potentially hazardous ways.

"There are so many positive things that can come of nanotechnology, so we need to be looking at the toxicity of these things," says biologist Eva Oberdörster at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Since buckyballs are currently being manufactured in large quantities, she and her colleagues looked for potential environmental effects of these soccer ball-shape carbon molecules.

To determine the molecules' toxicity, Oberdörster first tested the buckyballs on water fleas. The researchers added buckyballs to water tanks containing the small crustaceans. Over 48 hours, the team observed rising mortality with increased concentrations. They then calculated that at 800 parts per billion, 50 percent of the water fleas would die.

That makes the buckyballs "moderately toxic," says Oberdörster, slightly more toxic than nickel yet less toxic than chemicals such as benzopyrene, which is found in cigarette smoke and car exhaust.





ed format.

[edit on 6-12-2005 by soficrow]



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 02:04 PM
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Nanotubes are being produced by the Ton for research purposes yet a gram still costs Hundreds of Dollers. I'm not saying that we don't have the capacity to mass produce them I just say we don't have the knowhow to do it cheaply and efficiently which will limit their usage. Look how long it took Graphite and Ceramic Composites to reach the market, allot of the research done on those forms took place in the 50s and 60s yet it didn't really reach market potential until the late 90s and only in sporting equipment for Graphite and just now in new style Oil Rigs for Ceramic Composites(I think they were ceramic composites)

[edit on 6-12-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 02:15 PM
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Oberdorster is not just talking about nanotubes - but rather, buckyballs in general. She says they're being manufactured in large quantities, and are used in a variety of industries, as did you.

This obviously is a significant problem: Buckyballs are being manufactured in large quantities - and they DO damage cells. Computer simulations have explained that the damage occurs because the buckyballs bond with DNA in a water environment.

The question is:

What can be done to prevent buckyballs' bonding with DNA? ...The answer may be known already - and if it is, but is not being used/applied - then the regulation issue needs to be addressed, IMO.



sp.


[edit on 6-12-2005 by soficrow]



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 02:19 PM
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nvrmnd braincramp

[edit on 6-12-2005 by sardion2000]



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