Indigestion and Frustrated Phagocytosis

A Teeny Wafer Thin Nanotube Sir?

The big news while I was on my transglobal sabbatical was that Ken Donaldson and Andrew Seaton have finally proved that long nanotubes produce the same kind of indigestion (or frustrated phagocytosis) in macrophages as a seven course meal in a great restaurant such as Grenoble’s l’Escalier sometimes causes in me.

Richard Jones blogs it nicely here (and someone else has bloged L’Escaliers oddly delicious foie gras lollipops here) In the interests of science I submitted myself to a gastroscopy earlier in the year, so I can sympathise with the cells, although I did have the benefit of a sedative and had to satisfy my curiosity by watching the movie afterwards.

Of course it has been known for a long time that asbestos fibres cause frustrated phagocytosis leading to various diseases such as asbestosis, so the results are hardly surprising, but it does show just how long it can take for science to prove (and only in the case of mice and certain types of nanotubes) what we already intuitively know.

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