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The paper is not reticent in its criticism of the earlier work; it ascribes the apparent toxic effects previously observed to the fact that the C60 was prepared in an organic solvent, THF, which was not completely removed when a water-suspension of C60 was prepared. In short, it was the toxic effects of THF that were affecting the unfortunate fish, not those of C60.
I should stress that I’m not advocating that Soft Machines readers should immediately consume a large quantity of C60 and then start abusing solvents, nor should we now assume that fullerenes are entirely safe and without potential environmental problems. But there are a couple of lessons we should draw from this. Firstly, toxicology is not necessarily easy to get right. But perhaps the most important lesson is that learning about science from press releases is very misleading. What appear to be the big breakthroughs at the time get lots of coverage, but the follow-up work, which can modify or even completely contradict the initial big story, barely gets noticed.