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Nanotech latest: self-cleaning clothing

Any tech that promises to remove (or at least ease) the weekly grind of having to do the laundry is always worth looking into. The latest news is that a bunch of Australian researchers are using nanotechnology to create ’self-cleaning’ wool and silk fabrics.

Wool fabrics were prepared “with and without a nanoparticle coating composed of anatase titanium dioxide, a substance that is known to destroy stains, dirt, and harmful microorganisms upon exposure to sunlight”.

In one experiment, the researchers poured red wine over pristine and nanotechnology-coated wool. After 20 hours, the coated fabric "showed almost no signs of the red stain, whereas the untreated fabric remained deeply stained".

Dot Cotton out of a job

In other nanotech-related news, a recent study conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison claims that two-thirds of American think nanotechnology is "morally unacceptable". That's compared to 72 per cent of French respondents, 54 per cent of the UK residents and 62 per cent of the Germans polled who thought nanotech was morally okay.

Presumably many of the American respondents weren’t aware of the wonders of self-cleaning jumpers, otherwise they might not have been so morally appalled by the laundry-killing possibilities of nanotech.