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Sonia Contera: How will nanotechnology revolutionise medicine? © Getty Images

Sonia Contera: How will nanotechnology revolutionise medicine?

Published: 11th June, 2020 at 20:13
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One of the world’s leading nanotech pioneers explains how it could help us target cancer cells, deliver drugs and fight antibiotic resistance.

This week we talk to one of the world’s leading pioneers in the field of nanotechnology, Sonia Contera.


Nanotechnology is the application of science at a truly nano scale. To put that in perspective, if a nanometre were the size of a cup of tea, a meter would cover the diameter of the whole Earth.

Being able to control the world at such an intricate level has the potential to revolutionise medicine - enabling us to target cancer cells, deliver drugs and fight antibiotic resistance – but how do we create technology to that size?

Sonia talks to our editorial assistant Amy Barret about how her work in nanotechnology began, building proteins unknown to nature, and why going nano is nothing like in the movies.

Her book Nano Comes To Life (£22, Princeton University Press), is out now.

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Amy BarrettEditorial Assistant, BBC Science Focus

Amy is the Editorial Assistant at BBC Science Focus. Her BA degree specialised in science publishing and she has been working as a journalist since graduating in 2018. In 2020, Amy was named Editorial Assistant of the Year by the British Society of Magazine Editors. She looks after all things books, culture and media. Her interests range from natural history and wildlife, to women in STEM and accessibility tech.


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