A buckyball is a single molecule of buckminsterfullerene, a form of fullerene that contains sixty carbon atoms arranged like a football. Now, scientists have discovered a way to convert buckyballs into deadly buckybombs and use them to take out entire armies of nasty viruses and bacteria.
Vitaly Chaban of the University of Southern Denmark in Odense and his colleagues have long suspected that adding common explosive ingredients like nitrates to buckyballs could turn them into lethal buckybombs, reports New Scientist. So they did.
They simulated a buckyball with 12 nitrate molecules added to its surface. These molecules steal electrons from the carbon atoms that buckyball is made out of. This provides just the right amount of energy needed to ignite the fuse.
The result? A grand explosion on a molecular scale within your body that reaches nearly 4000 degrees Celsius in a billionth of a second — and blows all the bacterial nasties to smithereens. [New Scientist]