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A study by scientists in the UK and France has shown it is possible to fine tune the magnetic properties of tiny "nano" magnets made by bacteria, and this technology could one day be developed to target cancer tumours.
Some bacteria have the ability to digest iron into tiny nanoparticles of magnetite (Fe3O4) that are enclosed in lipid vesicles or membranes. These "magnetosomes" as they are called, have considerable potential for medical use because of their greater biocompatibility and convenient narrow and uniform shape compared to manmade versions
Bacteria use them like tiny compasses to help them search for environments rich in oxygen.