31 Aug '13, 11pm
#Graphene Said to Pose Health Hazard
PORTLAND, Ore. — A team of researchers at Brown University has concluded that graphene -- the darling material of semiconductor futurists -- disrupts functions of living cells. If the results of the Brown toxicity study are confirmed by others, graphene could end up in the same hazardous-material category as its cylindrical relatives, carbon nanotubes. "Graphene is easier to produce than carbon nanotubes and can replace them in many applications," Agnes Kane, a professor at Brown, told me: Graphene has many unique features, but most important is that it is often manufactured from graphite -- a naturally occurring mineral -- by chemical or mechanical exfoliation, which separates the carbon layers, resulting in dry powders with the potential for inhalation exposure. As a pathologist, we have studied nanotubes and other related carbon materials, but this is the first two-dime...