Nanotube anti-radiation pill

Tomas Martin @ 01-02-2008

Fallout was one of the games that inspired John Joseph Adams to edit the recent anthology ‘Wastelands’After work by Stanford University found that carbon nanotubes don’t seem to have any detrimental effect inside the bodies of mice, researchers are looking for more ways of utilising the growing technology in medicine. DARPA has awarded a grant to Rice university to study whether a carbon nanotube based pill would be a good way of treating radiation sickness. Radiation in the body deforms cells and molecules, releasing terribly damaging free radicals which then cause more damage to the body.

“More than half of those who suffer acute radiation injury die within 30 days, not from the initial radioactive particles themselves but from the devastation they cause in the immune system, the gastrointestinal tract and other parts of the body. Ideally, we’d like to develop a drug that can be administered within 12 hours of exposure and prevent deaths from what are currently fatal exposure doses of ionizing radiation,” said James Tour, Rice University’s Chao Professor of Chemistry and director of Rice’s Carbon Nanotechnology Laboratory.

The Carbon pills would absorb large quanties of the radiation within the body, as well as the free radicals, which could dramatically cut down on the post-exposure spread of damaged cells. As DailyTech mention in their article about the discovery, video game Fallout had carbon-based anti-radiation pills way back in 1997. The third Fallout game is being released this year by the makers of Oblivion, Bethesda, for your post-apocalyptic gaming pleasure.

[story and Fallout 3 teaser poster via DailyTech]