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Jun 21, 2007

Investigators Discover that Buckyballs Block Allergies

  • Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University and Luna Innovations found that buckyballs, a soccer ball-shaped nanoparticle, have the ability to block allergic response. Buckyballs, or fullerenes, are nanoparticles containing 60 carbon atoms.

    The team modified the buckyballs so that they were compatible with water. This allowed the fullerenes to interrupt the allergy/immune response by preventing mast cells from releasing histamine. The scientists found that the structure of the buckyball enables it to bind to free radicals better than any antioxidant currently available.

    The study appeared online in the June 19 issue of the Journal of Immunology and will appear in the July 1 print issue.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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