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Nanotubes "As Deadly as Asbestos" 180

Stony Stevenson writes "Certain carbon nanotubes may be as hazardous to humans as asbestos. A paper to be published in Nature Nanotechnology suggests that inhaling certain types of nanotubes can lead to the formation of mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer commonly caused by exposure to asbestos. "This is a wakeup call for nanotechnology in general and carbon nanotubes in particular," said Andrew Maynard, co-author of the report and chief science adviser to the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies." I'm really hoping that those medical face masks get popular again. That's a look that should really be cyclic, like bell-bottoms and thongs. Update: 05/21 19:18 GMT by T : See also this page at the Nanotechnology Project, which features a link to video commentary from Andrew Maynard, the researcher mentioned in the above-linked article.
The Courts

Large Hadron Collider Sparks 'Doomsday' Lawsuit 731

smooth wombat writes "In what can only be considered a bizarre court case, a former nuclear safety officer and others are suing the U.S. Department of Energy, Fermilab, the National Science Foundation and CERN to stop the use of the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) until its safety is reassessed. The plaintiffs cite three possible 'doomsday' scenarios which might occur if the LHC becomes operational: the creation of microscopic black holes which would grow and swallow matter, the creation of strangelets which, if they touch other matter, would convert that matter into strangelets or the creation of magnetic monopoles which could start a chain reaction and convert atoms to other forms of matter. CERN will hold a public open house meeting on April 6 with word having been spread to some researchers to be prepared to answer questions on microscopic black holes and strangelets if asked."

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken