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The carbon-sink anti-radiation pill was proposed in Tim Cain's 1997 computer game Fallout. The third official title in the series will debut later this year.  (Source: Bethesda)
Radiation sickness drug in the form of carbon nanotubes gets DARPA's attention

"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," explains James Tour, Rice University's Chao Professor of Chemistry and director of Rice's Carbon Nanotechnology Laboratory.

Tour and his colleagues have been awarded a $540,000 grant by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to do further research on a carbon nanotube (CNT) based drug for the treatment of radiation sickness.

Radiation sickness is so deadly because the ionizing affect of radiation alters the balance between protons and electrons in molecules. The process often creates free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules and in the case of radiation poisoning, cause disruption in living cells. The disruption often triggers a domino effect, propagating widespread damage throughout the organism's physiology.

Unlike Rensselaer Polytechnic's CNT-based cancer, disease and toxin treatment, which creates reactive oxygen to disable target proteins, Tour's group's Nanovector Trojan Horses (NTH) soaks up the harmful free radicals created by radiation poisoning. To make the simple drug, single walled CNTs are coated with two common food preservatives, butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene. Tour explains that the same properties that make the compounds good preservatives, their ability to soak up free radicals, also makes them ideal for the treatment of radiation exposure and sickness.

In the lab, the NTH treatment has been tested on mice and was shown to enhance protection when the mice were exposed to lethal doses of ionizing radiation when given the drug prior to exposure. Though the tests were not done as a treatment for exposure, DARPA took an interest in the technique and awarded the group with the grant, which specifies a very short nine-month study. "They are very interested in finding out whether this will work in a post-exposure delivery, and they don't want to waste any time," said Tour.

NTH shows great promise, preliminary testing showing the drug to be more than 5,000 times more effective at mitigating the effects of radiation injury than most available drugs. Tour's group is also looking into the possibility of NTH being useful in preventing the harmful side effects of radiation therapy for cancer patients.

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By KristopherKubicki on 1/29/2008 11:05:10 PM , Rating: 2
but meh. it's the way it is. the only way you'd stop this is if you'd stop journalism and capitalism interacting (by killing off either one)

Journalism and Capitalism have coexisted for hundreds of years. It's every generation's job to complain about the good olde days of journalism, failing to realize that things right now are better than they ever could have possibly been before.

And no, it isn't capitalism, or blogs, or evil newspaper conglomerates killing journalism. Journalists have dedicated people on the job, right now, doing that on their own.

By JonnyDough on 1/30/2008 10:17:01 AM , Rating: 1
I hope you're speaking purely about journalism when you say things are better than they've ever been before. Better how? For who? We're facing global weather changes of an unprecedented scale...there are less resources on earth than there ever was, there's more garbage in the air, in the upper atmosphere (space junk), in the water, and on the ground than ever before - and it's not going anywhere fast. We pay more taxes here in the U.S. than at the time of the Boston Tea Party when we started a war against our governing power. You say "things right now are better than they ever could have possibly been before." You're sadly mistaken, unless of course you're speaking wholly in terms of journalism. Thank God for great journalists.

By Etsp on 1/30/2008 11:43:51 AM , Rating: 3
"Global weather changes of an unprecedented scale"
Cause, that whole "Ice Age" thing wasn't really that significant, right?
there are less resources on earth than there ever was
By resources, do you mean fossil fuels? Yes, there is less of them. Are they gonna run out any time soon? Kinda doubtful. Do you mean metals like Iron? Pretty sure we won't be running out of that any time soon either...

On top of that, you really think that pollution is worse now than it was in the 1850's? or even the 1970's? I live in Ohio, near the Cuyahoga River. You know, that famous body of water that CAUGHT ON FIRE! Nowadays, you can actually fish there.

Also, IIRC what we were paying to England during the time of the Boston tea party was only a fraction of what the people living in England were paying in taxes, and the increases in taxes were claimed to be for paying back the debts that were incurred during the French and Indian War.

You completely missed the point of that protest, which was essentially, "no taxation without representation" they were NOT protesting high taxes, they were protesting that they were being taxed despite not having any representatives in Parliament.

By caboosemoose on 1/30/2008 12:15:56 PM , Rating: 2
Oh puh-lease. For anyone living in the West with the possible exception of those working agriculture, weather chnange has yet to have any significant impact on our lives, don't be such a drama queen - it may yet do, but it hasn't so far.

It's also worth noting that air quality in our cities is much much better than 25, 50 or 100 years ago, rivers are cleaner etc etc etc.

And finally, the US tax burden is very low compared to many developed nations. Take a look at the ghastly state of public health care and schooling in the US and ask yourself whether cutting investment in those areas is a good idea. I'm not suggesting that the US follow the likes of France and become oppressively statist. But it's hard to see how taxes can be cut in the US without pushing the nation even further from being a civilised society than it already is.

By Misty Dingos on 1/30/2008 12:29:53 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't going to say anything more about this article than what I have already have but JD you need an answer. And because I am a nice person I will help you out! How lucky your are!

First. Get some hand cream. Ringing your hands like you are you are going to need it. Get an industrial size too.

Global climate change is called the weather . The climate has never been stagnant. Never been static, like you have been spoon fed by the eco-nuts and Al Goreski. Get used to it. Use some hand cream now, we will wait for you.

Nope don't pay taxes like we did in the good old days. Oh and guess what we actually have representation now too! Wait a second there. What was the Boston Tea Party about not taxation, no taxation without representation. We fixed that if I remember right. If you don't like who represents you vote against them or run yourself. Some one please hand JD a hanky for him to cry in now.

So you are thinking that there is more pollution (in general). Well the truth is that the air is cleaner in the USA than it has been since the early 60's. The water is cleaner and the dirt is cleaner and the Bald Eagle isn’t endangered anymore either. There are so many deer in New Jersey that they have to hire guys to kill them! If you would have said in 1970 that one of New Jerseys big issues in 2008 would be whitetail over population people would have laughed in your face.

Yes let’s thank God for great journalists. Like Dan Rather, Mary Mapes, Mike Barnicle, Nada Behziz, Jayson Blair, Paul Bradley, Fox Butterfield oh I could go on and on but I won’t. Every one of these ‘journalists’ was caught out right lying or fabricating stories. Great examples of a free press. Yes freedom of speech is easily one of the most important of our freedoms. I will leave a link for those of you interested in this laundry list of miscreant journalists. My take on this is that with people like these as journalists it will not be long before the first amendment is amended with extreme restrictions. Just to reign in the run amuck journalism that we see today.

I can see now that JD has had enough truth for one day. Some one please tuck him into bed and the rest of us adults will just have to soldier on without him until he wakes up from his nap and has some juice and cookies.

By JonnyDough on 1/30/2008 4:23:02 PM , Rating: 2
When I said Thank God for journalists, I was being sarcastic. You must have missed that. You guys are quite right to try and correct me about taxation without representation.

However, let's not kid ourselves. They were angered about the rate which they were being taxed, which was more than England was being taxed at the time. You are quite right though that they weren't being represented in the decisions made in England that directly affected them (in fact their diplomats were thrown out of the courts I believe).

Some of the responses to my post were rather rude. Particularly yours Misty. I think that kind of incivility is unnecessary. Whether or not the weather is changing is not a question.

So I pose these questions to you:
Why do you not believe these scientists who study the melting polar caps? Are they not more educated in their field of study than you are?

They say that these caps are melting at a crazy fast rate, and that it's been a VERY long time since some of this melting ice has seen sunlight. Now explain to me how the average temperature can raise 6 degrees in under a century and possibly think it isn't a result of all the deforestation, burning fossil fuels, and polluting the oceans.

Will the earth survive global warming? Undoubtedly. Volcanoes used to rule the surface, and life prospered. The problem here is that since that time, we have become more numerous. I am telling you that YES, I believe we have a greater number of people and a greater ability to impact the earth than ever before.

There have been some great civilizations that have come and gone. I think about Rome and the Mayans, the Chinese Dynasties, and the Nile River Valley. But never before have we known so much about bacteria, viruses, balancing our diets, mass production of food and fuel, etc. than the last century.

We are in the technological age my friend. China is just now taking its turn in the industrial revolution. Technology has made us more abundant, and that's a problem. Maybe you need an industrialized breath mint for your morning breath. It's time to wake up.

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs
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