Health: Are Buckyballs An Environmental Hazard?

Scientists expect very big things for buckyballs, the microscopic, soccer-ball-shaped molecules of pure carbon that are vital to the promising field of nanotechnology. A new study, however, has raised concerns about their possible toxicity. A solution of buckyballs caused "severe" brain damage to young largemouth bass in a lab aquarium (it also wiped out populations of the water flea, Daphnia, an ecologically important link in the food chain). While it isn't known whether buckyballs could pose a danger to humans, the study urges further investigation of the fledgling technology's potential risks. --David Bjerklie

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