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Futuristic 'Smart' Yarns from Carbon Nanotubes

Hemos posted more than 9 years ago | from the the-warmest-sweaters-ever dept.

Science 216

neutron_p writes "Scientists at The UTD NanoTech Institute achieved a major technological breakthrough by spinning multi-walled carbon nanotube yarns that are strong, tough and extremely flexible, and are both electrically and thermally conducting. Among other things, the futuristic yarns could result in 'smart' clothing that stores electricity, provides ballistic protection and adjusts temperature and porosity to provide greater comfort. The breakthrough, made possible by, in effect, downsizing ancient technology used for wool and cotton spinning to the nanoscale, resulted from an unusual collaboration involving nanotechnologists and experts in wool spinning."

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216 comments

Knitting (5, Funny)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889350)

Does this mean that grandma can now knit me a bullet proof vest?

Re:Knitting (5, Funny)

oexeo (816786) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889422)

> Does this mean that grandma can now knit me a bullet proof vest?

If your grandma is a scientist working in Nano technology, yes.

Re:Knitting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10889615)

Well, as a matter of fact, she is!

Re:Knitting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10889564)

Maybe if it's a few cm thick...

Re:Knitting (2, Insightful)

Tkaos (112433) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889609)

I'd imagine only if she's got some serious time on her hands. How long would it take to knit a vest with nanothread?

Re:Knitting (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10889968)

> Does this mean that grandma can now knit me a bullet proof
> vest?

Yes, and if it saves your life from bullets then you have to look forwards to a slow and painful death from all the numerous detrimental and very dangerous effects from exposure to carbon nanotubes.

This is not safe stuff to just be casting around ideas of using in clothing. It's as irresponsible as the asbestos-impregnated children's clothing from the 1930s and 1940s.

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10889351)

frosty for UTD

I just upgraded my loom last month ... (5, Funny)

93,000 (150453) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889359)

and now they come out with this. I knew I should have waited.

Re:I just upgraded my loom last month ... (1)

zx75 (304335) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889449)

Don't worry, I think you're safe. It doesn't seem that they're in any hurry to weave a microscopic carpet yet.

Re:I just upgraded my loom last month ... (3, Interesting)

Scutter (18425) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889633)

It doesn't seem that they're in any hurry to weave a microscopic carpet yet.

Can you imagine a self-cleaning carpet? You drop crumbs on it and the fibers work it cilia-like toward a vaccuum duct in the wall? Sweeeeet....

Finally... (4, Interesting)

tokenhillbilly (311564) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889360)

Now we can get to work on spinning the belt for the space elevator.

Re:Finally... (4, Insightful)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889735)

It's been established that single-walled carbon nanotube structures are the only viable candidate for making a tether with a sufficient strength/mass ratio.

This spinning process seems to only apply to multi-walled nanotubes, at least according to what the submitter wrote.

In other words, not quite.

Insertion: (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10889373)

Insert romantic notions of nanotechnologists and wool clothiers bartering their skills in the art. At an SCA meeting.

See? I can spin a pretty good one.

Futuristic 'Smart' Yarns (3, Funny)

sw149 (570618) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889382)

Lets see it will be silver, one piece and one size fits all.

WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF TOMORROW

Re:Futuristic 'Smart' Yarns (1)

ilyanep (823855) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889687)

But seriously, sweaters that are one-size-fits-all. That'd be awesome! The only reason I get suits at Sears instead of Marshall Field's is because I know it'll be too small for me in a year or so. Ahh...sweet puberty.

Re:Futuristic 'Smart' Yarns (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889946)

You're obviously a 45 year old man pretending to be a teen, for whatever reason we don't know. A real teen would NEVER utter the words "sweet puberty".

First application likely to be... (4, Funny)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889387)

the chastity thong, a secure impenetrable and fashionable undergarment for young ladies concerned about fashion, and fathers concerned about young men.

Re:First application likely to be... (1, Redundant)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889427)

Yes but security is only as good as its weakest link, in this case the daughther.

Re:First application likely to be... (4, Funny)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889588)

the chastity thong

Ya know, you don't have to remove a thong for sex, right?

Re:First application likely to be... (5, Funny)

Surt (22457) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889706)

You do if it's an electricity storing smart thong that shocks to death anyone other than the daughter who touches it.

Yes, but... (3, Funny)

elid (672471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889392)

...does it repel stains?

Re:Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10889702)

Who cares about repelling stains? Does it attract women!?

Re:Yes, but... (1)

bigtangringo (800328) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889862)

Doesn't have to, it conducts electrictiy. Just plug it into the wall and shock the everliving hell out of your Mithril garb... same principle as cleaning an oven but cooler.

Not only clothing (3, Interesting)

kusanagi374 (776658) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889396)

This kind of technology is not only useful in helping you wear your computer, which seems to be today's fetiche of every geek. Although that is, indeed, attractive, let us think for a while about the advantages of being able to have such small conductors. For example, we can have super computers that are roughly the same size of today's desktops.

Imagine a beowulf cluster of nanocomputers inside your ATX case, and then you'll see what's a really good fetiche. It might even run Longhorn with Doom 3 and Duke Nukem Forever on dual monitors!

Re:Not only clothing (2, Insightful)

irokie (697424) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889465)

such small conductors

Surely you mean semi-conductors...?
explain to me how you'd make a computer out of conductors only

i'm not being facetious, i'm genuinely interested...

Re:Not only clothing (1)

kusanagi374 (776658) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889495)

Surely you mean semi-conductors...?

Yes, indeed. My bad. But still, this tech is one step forward to what I described on my parent post.

Re:Not only clothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10889953)

If you honestly beleive this is even possible, you are in for some serious dissapointment. Duke Nukem Forver won't even be close to done by the time this technology develops that far.

Arthur C. Clarke's Fountain of Paradise (5, Interesting)

MasterC (70492) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889406)

Am I the only one who thought of Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke when reading this?

For those that don't know, Foutains of Paradise [amazon.com] is where ACC first coined the idea of building an elevator into space which he later used in 3001: A Final Odyssey [amazon.com] (The 3rd sequal to 2001: A Space Odyssey). To build the elevator a super-strength carbon string was bundled into three bundles and then attached to a giant mass in space to keep the tethers taught. At least if memory serves me correctly that's how it was done. If you're an ACC fan and haven't read Fountains of Paradise, I recommend it.

Re:Arthur C. Clarke's Fountain of Paradise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10889441)

Slashdot.
Carbon Nanotubes.

No, you are not the first person who thought of a space elevator.

Re:Arthur C. Clarke's Fountain of Paradise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10889491)

s/first/only/

Its an old idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10889798)

Heinlein used it in 'Friday' and maybe other old novels. Remember the 'beanstalk' ?

I think in Friday it was actually a tether all the way from Earth to the Moon. lol.

CARBON Nanotubes (1, Insightful)

freeze128 (544774) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889408)

But wouldn't the sweater cause all this black ugly carbon to rub off on you?

Re:CARBON Nanotubes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10889599)

Expect the fibers to be coated... not simply bare to the elements, or your skin.

Re:CARBON Nanotubes (2, Funny)

drew (2081) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889614)

yeah, cause i know my wife has to be careful not to get any nasty black stuff on her from her diamond ring....

Re:CARBON Nanotubes (2, Insightful)

UWC (664779) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889616)

You could ask the same question of diamond. It's all about the structure. If I remember a little piece from high school chemistry correctly, graphite's molecular structure is one of weakly bonded layers (I want to say that the layers are a hexagonal lattice, but I don't recall exactly) that are essentiallly scraped off in applications such as pencils.

And I guess you were trying to be funny, which you were, but sometimes sarcastic tone doesn't travel well through text. Ah, well. Gave me a chance to flaunt my high school education.

Pressure tanks (5, Insightful)

Tap-Sa (644107) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889418)

Screw smart clothes... Hopefully this stuff can be made into next generation pressurised (200-300 atm) rocket fuel tanks. No turbopumps, reliable pressure fed engines without weight penalty in bulky tanks and cheap RLV is one important step closer to reality.

Re:Pressure tanks (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889867)

Interesting idea, but how does this stuff react with LOX or LH? Cryogenic propellents do some funky things to materials. 200-300 atmospheres is a LOT of pressure to hold, you can't have the slightest flaw in the vessel. That would need to be some incredible tight knitting! Get a research grant from NASA and see if you can make your idea work!

Due to my Font (4, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889442)

I first read this as "Futuristic Smart Yams from Carbon Nanotubes." If ever any overlords ever needed welcoming, it'd be Smart Yam overlords. I wouldn't have to be the one to explain about Thanksgivings past. Hopefully they wouldn't demand to eat one human for every yam ever consumed...

Ob. Back To The Future II (1)

datastalker (775227) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889455)

Jacket: Your jacket is drying... ::Air being blown in McFly's face::

Jacket: Beep. Your jacket is dry.

Re:Ob. Back To The Future II (1)

fracai (796392) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889783)

I suppose I'll soon be seen as normal for wearing my pants inside out?

What will we do with all the sheep? (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889475)

Come up with your best punchline to this and win a g-mail invite! (No, not really)

Re:What will we do with all the sheep? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10889644)

Use them for wool.

Re:What will we do with all the sheep? (1)

greywar (640908) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889767)

The question almost answers itself. Oh wait....why are you all looking at me like that? Why yes I DO have a perverted mind. What do you mean YOU would have never thought of that?

Re:What will we do with all the sheep? (1)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889938)

Since they're microscopic (they have to be, in order to produce nanotube wool), perhaps they could be trained like circus fleas and sea monkeys.

Just in Time for WTO textile liberalization (3, Interesting)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889476)

That's just in time (or just a bit too late?) to save many a developed country's ass - if I'm not mistaken in 2005 WTO members must abolish textile quotas and Chinese and Indian manufacturers are poised to make a killing.

Products based on this technology will command premium prices (and have great features - I might finally become interested in shopping!).

Re:Just in Time for WTO textile liberalization (1)

drlake (733308) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889866)

About time they abolished those quotas. Given the dominance of imported textiles in the US already, it won't have that big an impact. If the remaining domestic producers want to stay viable, they can always shift to more boutique-style production touting the domestic nature of the product, and they'll still find buyers. Of course, it's easier to just bitch about foreign producers...

Ballistic protection (4, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889477)

In Ontario, Canada the guvmnt wants to declare bullet proof vests against the law, just like weapons. Will clothes that provide ballistic protection as well as a range of other great features be against the law? I want my bullet-proof underwear, god-damnit!

Re:Ballistic protection (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10889585)

> I want my bullet-proof underwear, god-damnit!

I see, so you don't have any now?

*Kicks roman_mir in the groin*

Re:Ballistic protection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10889691)

If the cloth can change porosity depending on the heat, it might be developed to change whether or not it's bullet-proof. Then the government could have access to make them bullet proof or not via a wireless security code built into the tag. Peaceful consumers would have bullet proof clothing, and the government could turn the protection off if they wanted to shoot someone. Everybody wins!

Re:Ballistic protection (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889754)

What a wonderful IDEA, how about transparency, will that change on the fly? In fact, if the government decides that you are a criminal, why, it could just send a signal to your clothes to electrecute you. If they decide you are dangerous the electric charge could somehow mystically be raised by a few billion volts, just blame it on the bad weather.

I don't even want to know what script-kiddies will do if they get their hands on everyone's clothes.

Re:Ballistic protection (1)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889771)

If bullet-proof underwear is against the law, only criminals will have bullet-proof underwear.

Re:Ballistic protection (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889799)

Banning bulletproof vests because of potential criminal use seems to be kind of silly. Would they be allowing exceptions for those who have recieved death threats? Will only politicians and law enforcement be allowed to use them?

If you can guess my name... (1)

johnashby (819655) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889484)

Well, all we have to do now is find a way to keep the old troll from taking our firstborn sons. If you need to ask, you were deprived as a child.

Re:If you can guess my name... (1)

UWC (664779) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889690)

Mxyzptlk! Or do i need to say it backwards? Kltpzyxm!

Wrong story? Crap.

The killer app (4, Interesting)

Control Group (105494) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889492)

This is clearly cool. Temperature-sensitive clothing that adjusts to keep me comfortable over a range of conditions would be spectacular. Bullet resistance is a cool bonus. The potential exoskeletal applications are downright neat. And, personally, I would love to see this in wearable computing applications.

But all that being said, what I want to see most is clothing that you can change the appearance of (color, pattern, even cut, if possible) at will. Not because I particularly want it, mind you, but because I'm quite certain that that's the feature that will drive adoption of this in the consumer space, which is what will cause all the actually cool applications to be available.

Viva fashion, and whatnot.

Re:The killer app (2, Funny)

HisMother (413313) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889708)

I can see it now: you could walk up to any woman you see, clap twice, and turn her sweater into a bikini top.

Re:The killer app (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889730)

But all that being said, what I want to see most is clothing that you can change the appearance of (color, pattern, even cut, if possible) at will.

Came and went as far back as the '80s, as clothing fashion is wont to do.
A little biofeedback practice and you could make your hypercolor t-shirt change color from among 3 or more different colors (like, blue, pink and white).

Progress got run over by Grandma. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10889502)

"The breakthrough, made possible by, in effect, downsizing ancient technology used for wool and cotton spinning to the nanoscale, resulted from an unusual collaboration involving nanotechnologists and experts in wool spinning."

Now just think what the car makers can learn from the buggy whip people?

No nanotube sweaters for Christmas this year (5, Informative)

jackelfish (831732) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889548)

I would not get my hopes up for getting a carbon nanotube sweater for Christmas this year or next year or the year after that... In the foreseeable future these nanotube yarns would be used to replace metal wires in applications where increased flexibility and pliability are required they could also be used for such things as capacitors or batteries. The authors of the article (Mei Zhang, Ken R. Atkinson and Ray H. Baughman, Science, 306, 5700, p1358-1361, 19 November 2004) state that the small yarn diameters (about 20 micrometers for the four ply yarn), could eliminate the uncomfortable rigidity sometimes found for metal wire-containing conducting textiles that provide radio or microwave absorption, electrostatic discharge protection, textile heating, or wiring for electronic devices. Although a bulletproof, electrically conductive vest that could withstand temperature extremes from +450C to -196C does sound quite appealing.

After cyberpunk, biopunk and nanopunk... (5, Funny)

quamaretto (666270) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889559)

Comes textile-punk, to be featured in Neal Stephenson's upcoming book, Sweater Crash. Meanwhile, the Wachowski brothers have a new movie in the making about about a futuristic society where all of humanity is entrapped in a large, controlling single piece of nano-fabric. Of course, this was all done 50 years ago in an Asimov book.

The article (4, Informative)

grungebox (578982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889590)

The link is kind of crappy. It's sort of hype-ish without real science, which coincidentally is the name of the journal whose latest issue is mentioned in the link as containing the paper describing the breakthrough. What a sentence that was...anyways, here you go [sciencemag.org]. You should be able to read it even if you aren't at a subscribing institution since it's the latest issue.

It's worth noting that UTD has only been hard at work in CNT research for a few years. I was there in 2002 when the NanoTech institute was still being built. They had a bunch of Dells sitting outside the building with no one watching...but I guess they didn't worry. I mean, who steals a Dell?

Other good links, mostly culled from the above Science article:
Baughman's summary of nanotube work [sciencemag.org]
Smalley (the Nobel prize winner) and his CNT work: [rice.edu]: He invented the HiPCO process for large-scale development of CNT's...from what I gather, fiber-spinning like the UTD method is a direct competitor.
A really good (and 46 page!) discussion of nanotube work [rice.edu]
Strong Bad [homestarrunner.com], in case you get tired of science.

Canvas cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10889595)

You'd just need high-strength steel or aluminium, and then stretch this stuff around the frame. Might be a little loud, but I'd bet the weight difference would make people give serious consideration to the designs. Same thing with airplanes and tents. Likely houses, as well.

All kinds of uses. We just need people with the cash to get jiggy with it.

Evaluation of Technology (3, Insightful)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889596)

<soapbox>

Now, as can be demonstrated by many of my previous posts, I'm all for pure and applied science. However, lately, I've been thinking quite a lot on the question "what good is technology?". Yes, building a space elevator would be cool. Yes, having light bulletproof vests would be cool. But how does this science help mankind? Does it improve agriculture? Does it help provide things people need? Does it help the environment? Does it help people get along better?

I know these are questions that don't have easy answers always, and I know that if people thought about these things in a literal sense then we probably would not have a lot of the technology we currently have.

My question is more of this: what research is being done into pure sciences and technology that does work for agriculture, health, the environment, and those types of things directly. Some technology simply supports those things indirectly by providing jobs, new materials, etc.

What is lacking in a lot of science, though, and much of life in general, is a lack of focus. Even in the pure sciences, what's the goal of a particular project? Sometimes it's "to see how things work". Sometimes it's "we would like a better way to do X". There is no overarching goal for a lot of modern technology though - mostly it's just "we want a profit!" (Reminds me of the line from Star Trek: First Contact where Zefram Cochrane says he wasn't in it for science but for profit!)

I am by most measures a successful person, but I've had to ask myself: what good is it? Not from a depressed standpoint, but a "shouldn't I be doing more?" standpoint. Carbon nanotubes are great, but what do they really give us? The list goes on - what do Linux desktops give us? MP3 players (without DRM, of course!)? Wi-Fi? These are all neat things - but do we have a purpose behind our technical passions?

</soapbox>

Re:Evaluation of Technology (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889712)

It will help people to get alone better, especially if everyone know that the clothes are bulletproof. Bang. For a while I guess. Then we'll just make a better bullet.

Re:Evaluation of Technology (5, Insightful)

grungebox (578982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889764)

Comparing Carbon nanotubes to MP3 players is like comparing the transistor to a Radio Flyer wagon.

CNTs are like lasers. When the laser was invented in 1955 or so (someone correct me), it was billed as a "solution looking for a problem." No one knew what the hell to do with it. Naturally, it being the Cold War, most research money was pumped into Star Wars-style blasters...but now look at all the work done with lasers. Surgery, trace gas detection for pollution controls, CD players, DVD players, spectroscopy for materials science, the list goes on. The point is that CNT research is very early. Hell, nanotubes weren't known to exist until 1990 or so. This is one breakthrough out of about a billion or so possible with Carbon Nanotubes. Don't judge the technology based on the premise of "fancy clothing." Hell, the point of the link isn't the clothing part; it's the fact that a new fabrication method was invented that would improve production (and thus, deployment) of nanotubes by orders of magnitude. It's like finding a new way to make lasers on a broad scale instead of slowly making them by hand like in 1960. What you do with the plethora of nanotubes or lasers or what have you is up to you.

Re:Evaluation of Technology (1)

HarveyBirdman (627248) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889791)

I think you need to read some other web sites, or something. ;-)

Plenty of work being done in agriculture, for example, but it's being demonized by the Luddites. And health? Companies doing health and medical research have their own index on the stock market.

Also, a society that works hard has earned the right to play, thus our MP3 players and Playstations serve a purpose. Complete selflessness can be wearying, especially when the recipients of that selflessness can be somewhat less than appreciative. It's human nature to need a break and some "me" time now and then. It allows the mind to run its cron scripts.

And don't quote Star Trek characters. It diminishes your arguments. ;-)

OK, I'll bite (2, Interesting)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889919)

  • [...] But how does this science help mankind? Does it improve agriculture? Does it help provide things people need? Does it help the environment? Does it help people get along better? [...]

Eventually, we'll need thread for nanosurgical sutures.

Farmers everywhere would appreciate weatherproof, pest-proof grain bins that breathe, but don't ever explode.

If you can't get along with someone when you're both in bullet-proof underwear, you each deserve what you get. (Not sure I believe that, but it's worth thinking about anyway)

Thin, strong twine could make for improved saws. A razor-thin ultrastrong wire with handles or a bow could slice through anything from a steel bar to a loaf of bread. The trick will be figuring out to make a band-saw shaped one.

Then again, consider how easy a thread of this stuff would be to smuggle into prison.

Re:Evaluation of Technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10889963)

Look up the words pure, science, and technology. Your questions are tautological.

You're asking "What's the usefulness of useful information? What's the application of a non-application driven investigation?"

Ob. Soviet Russia. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10889597)

In soviet russia, the yarn spins you.

Body armor, and other thoughts (4, Funny)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889640)

I hope it comes with a grounding strap.

I wonder if this would be a good material for microsurgical sutures.

And now, we can construct the world's smallest violin for Ron Artest [yahoo.com].

Missing the most important detail (2, Insightful)

Have Blue (616) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889717)

How long is it? Lots of nanotube work has been done before, but at microscopic lengths. Nanotubes won't be practical for anything until they can be made at a useful size.

Health concernes.. (5, Interesting)

lordsilence (682367) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889787)

This may be a really stupid question. Related to a recent study concerning the replacements for asbestos. Back in the 80:ies when it was discovered that asbestos would cause lung-cancer or worse after repeated exposion to it, they replaced asbestos rather swiftly with materials like cheramic fibres. Now, recently they discovered that replacements like heat-resistant cheramics could also cause lung-cancer this. Perhaps just as dangerous as asbestos. The reason found, was because of the micro-fragments (dust) which would gather in the lungs and it's air-sacks (alveoli) and make them to swell abnormally and then risk causing cancer.
Even building insolation materials have also been questioned.
Now to my concern regarding carbon fibre.. has there been any studies on carbon tubes's affects on the human body? Carbon-fibre is an artificial material such as many insolations questioned. That is why I ask.
Ten years, twenty years or more from now, will we notice the dangerious side-affects of materials we push out on the market?

Re:Health concernes.. (1)

drlake (733308) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889916)

Ten years, twenty years or more from now, will we notice the dangerious side-affects of materials we push out on the market?

Yes.

Re:Health concerns.. (2, Informative)

andrewzx1 (832134) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889928)

Carbon nanotubules have not been rigourously studied for health affects on humans. However, the same chemical attributes that make asbestos so toxic are not found in CNT's. In fact the affect of breathing in CNT's would be most like breathing in carbon soot. In fact, buckey balls and carbon fullerenes do exist naturally in soot. In short, CNT's are not thought to have especially toxic properties, but more studies are being performed.

Re:Health concernes.. (1)

lordsilence (682367) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889947)

A little googling and I got this, some studies on asbestos and it's replacement. (Oh and I noticed I misspelled ceramics as cheramics.) http://agency.osha.eu.int/publications/magazine/6/ en/index_14.htm

Photoelectric? (2, Interesting)

mogrify (828588) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889793)

Maybe you could use this to create overlapping grids of nanoscale photoelectric cells and LEDs or similar, and create the effect of light being passed through your body to the other side... if not making you completely invisible, at least sort of ghostly or insubstantial-seeming. Or, alternately, an effect of reflecting all light that hits you, or any number of visual effects. Sort of like a walking Photoshop.
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  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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