Some of the Biggest Advances Coming in Modern Medicine May Also Be the Tiniest

A 3-D model of a carbon nanotube. Olga Reukova/Thinkstock Some of the biggest advances coming in modern medicine may also be the tiniest. For a few decades, scientists have been learning how to design molecules that can operate in the human body. We’re talking about tiny particles that can manipulate biological processes—designed to bind to and thus block the enzyme essential for HIV replication, to help destroy tumors but not healthy cells, to weld together arteries after surgery. Advertisement On this small a level, also known as the nanoscopic scale or nanoscale, chemists are building and manipulating matter as small as atoms, small molecules, proteins, antibodies, and DNA bases that are less than 100 nanometers wide. These objects are much smaller than the cells in your body. Many are even…


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