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ds - good point (no pun intended). However, only the tip would slide in, the rest of the tip would have to be bigger than one atom to support this needle surely?
That's why I suggested it to be purely hypothetical........How many atoms would be needed to make a viable needle?
The closest we have, and probably an indication of how close we will get, is carbon nanotube, in the order of a nanometre wide. At present, these can be up to a few millimetre long (the can be joined in composite structures, but these will not be as stiff), but I see no reason why in theory at least one could not extend a single nanotube without a clear limit.
So, a nanometre (1/millionth metre?) across. What would its effect be when pushed into the skin? Would it be felt?
I suspect you would not feel a thing - although one problem with structures that small, they can actually pierce a cell wall, and enter a cell. Very useful if you are trying to do GM, as it is an alternative to using viruses as a means of having foreign genes enter a cell, but potentially carcinogenic if used without care.
ok, thanks. I've just had thought about mosquitos - I don't think that they inject any sort of anaesthetic when they "bite", and I only notice the bite when it starts itching. So, how wide are their probosciss (plural spelling?). Probosci? Where does the threshhold of feeling the injection commence?
When the mosquitoes sword like mouth pierces our skin we rarely feel pain. The mosquito uses an anesthetic in its saliva that is injected in the tissue. This can cause a local reaction usually of redness, and a wheel with intense itching.Rarely do mosquito bite reactions occur in children less than 1 year old due to their levels of antibodies. The bite itself is our bodies response to antibody complexes and histamine. The bite will go away in a few days. In rare situations it may last for a couple of months.