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'Nanosponges' Sop Up Bloodstream Toxins

 Scientists have created tiny, spherical particles -- called nanosponges -- that can soak up harmful toxins found in some venoms and bacteria.

The nanosponges can sop up a particular variety of toxins that injure red blood cells, researchers from the University of California, San Diego reported earlier this month in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Nanosponges target toxins that "can essentially organize themselves to poke a hole inside [red blood] cell membranes," said Jack Che-Ming Hu, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of California, San Diego and the lead author on the study. "That leads to cell damage and cell death."

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