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Scientists have developed tiny, light-activated nanomachines that can drill into cancer cells and kill them within minutes.

Last year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to three scientists who discovered how to build these nanomachines out of a chain of atoms. For a study published in the journal Nature, scientists built several of these nanomachines. When activated by light, the nanomachines targeted specific cells and broke through the membrane, rapidly killing them.

The machines are so tiny that 50,000 of them together is still about the width of a single strand of human hair. Each machine is engineered to be sensitive to a protein located on a specific type of cell, which helped them find their target. Once you add light, they…

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