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nanoparticles Particles of very small size that are being exploited increasingly in medicine as in other sciences. Nanoparticles have recently been developed as delivery vehicles for drugs and for gene therapy. One unexpected finding emerging from this research is that nanoparticles of cerium oxide only 5 nanometres in diameter inserted into nerve cells in culture appear to increase the three week life of these cells to about six months. It is speculated that they are having a useful effect in mopping up damaging FREE RADICALS.