Preventing nerve decay

Published: Sunday 30 November 1997

Buckyballs are molecular spheres of carbon that are used in a variety of fields ranging from semiconductors to new chemicals. Now, researchers at the Washington University in St Louis, USA, have used them in a water soluble form to absorb certain nerve destroying chemicals in mice. Buckyballs helped slow down the nerve decay in the mice. They are soluble only in chemicals such as benzene. To get them dissolved in water, researchers attached a water soluble acid, carboxylic acid to buckyballs ( Science , Vol 277, No 5330).

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