Science Questions

How are newly created molecules tested in terms of safety?

Sun, 14th Aug 2011

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Question

Nish Nayar via Facebook asked:

How are newly created molecules tested in terms of safety?

Answer

Graeme -  I guess this depends on what we’re going to make the molecule for.  We do a lot of our work on pharmaceutical molecules.  Obviously, those go through quite a lot of very strict clinical testing to make sure they're safe for people. Other molecules could be dangerous in other ways, like exploding, so chemical stability...

Chris -  There is this whole question about nanohazard, isn't there?  Are people worried particularly and what they're doing to make sure that when we generate tiny things like carbon nanotubes and thing they are not going to be the next asbestos.

Graeme -  I guess that's true so you'd need again, if this is going to be something which people are going to be around then they need to be biologically tested to make sure they don't interact in nasty ways with people.

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