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Down the microscope

Nanorobots could carry drugs into the body without affecting healthy cells. Image: Shutterstock/Christian Darkin
Nanorobots could carry drugs into the body without affecting healthy cells. Image: Shutterstock/Christian Darkin

Horizon looks at the big implications of the science of the very small, from the promise of microscopic machines that kill damaged cells, to the search for ways to make sure that nanomaterials are safe.

Nanotechnology involves examining and developing structures so tiny that they are only a fraction of the width of a human hair. When materials get this minuscule, their properties change dramatically – in new and sometimes unexpected ways.

Horizon looks at how nanorobots could carry drugs into the body without affecting healthy cells, and sees how these tiny particles and structures are already in products we use every day – like cosmetics, sun cream, and even parts of your TV.

We also hear from Professor Kai Savolainen, director of the Nanosafety Research Centre at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in Helsinki, who talks about research into the risks of nanomaterials, and, also, their benefits to society.