Like werewolves, silver nanoparticles kill indiscriminately

Will wonders never cease?: A hypochondriac surfer...
Will wonders never cease?: A hypochondriac surfer...Courtesy Rickydavid
Ironic, isn’t it? Silver kills werewolves, werewolves hate silver…and yet these ancient enemies are more alike than they ever knew.

As we all know, materials start to get a little crazy when they approach the nano scale. Try as I might to crush bacteria to death with my silverware (beats washing it), silver on the flatware scale is not a very effective antimicrobial material.

When you get down to the nano scale, however, where silver particles are just a few billionths of a meter, it’s no longer like chasing down flagellates with a spoon. Really, nothing is quite like chasing down flagellates with a spoon, but all comparison is lost in the case of nano-silver.

It has been known for years now that nanoparticles of silver are able destroy harmful bacteria. The nanoparticles generate unique chemicals, known as “highly reactive oxygen species,” which inhibit the growth of bacteria. This is great, because we all hate those harmful bacteria. Nano-silver, for instance, is already found in certain fabrics to destroy odor-causing bacteria, and some high-tech washing machines generate tiny particles of silver for essentially the same reason.

Unfortunately, it’s becoming clear that these glittery little assassins may be the enemy of all bacteria, harmful and helpful.

It’s like this: we’d all love werewolves if they just spent their days tearing apart mummies, because mummies are gross and dangerous. But when werewolves start ripping into other more beneficial monsters, like Frankensteins, well, then they tend to lose favor. Frankensteins may be gross, but they have good hearts.

These tiny silver particles, according to researchers at the University of Missouri, have been ripping into Frankensteins. It’s been observed that nano-silver kills off beneficial, benign bacteria, like that used for wastewater treatment. As consumer use of nano-incorporating products increases, so to will the amount of artificial nano particles in the waste stream. Eventually this could kill off vital microbial species in rivers, streams, and lakes, as well as those used in wastewater treatment. There may be indirect consequences as well—for instance, the “sludge” byproduct of wastewater treatment is frequently used as land-application fertilizer. If silver nanoparticles accumulate in high enough levels in this sludge, they could end up seriously damaging the soil we use to grow our food crops.

This isn’t to say that we should necessarily halt our use of nano products, but it’s a reminder of how little we still know about nanotechnology. While we’ve had hundreds of years to learn to learn the ins and outs of deal with werewolves, nanotechnology is still pretty mysterious.

The University of Missouri will soon be launching a second study to determine the levels at which silver nanoparticles become toxic, and to exactly what extent they harm microbes in wastewater.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Candice_318's picture
Candice_318 says:

I love silver it's the best, but really what does werewovles have to do with some silver bro... IDK..

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posted on Thu, 05/01/2008 - 7:36am
koallainfestation37's picture
koallainfestation37 says:

ya werewolves are cool

posted on Thu, 05/01/2008 - 8:57am
MrBig621188's picture
MrBig621188 says:

i like the analogy and i thought vampire were the ones that dealt with silver not werewolves or is it both?

posted on Thu, 05/01/2008 - 8:59am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

It's werewolves. Trust me.
Silver bullets etc.

posted on Thu, 05/01/2008 - 12:25pm
Jefflemus00's picture
Jefflemus00 says:

Werewolfs afraid of silver? I just dont get it...

posted on Thu, 05/01/2008 - 9:08am
Tyga's picture
Tyga says:

Werewolfs afraid of silver? I just dont get it...:RE werewolves who touch silver revet to there human form and become highly vournarable so thats why they are afraid

posted on Thu, 01/28/2010 - 10:06am
MrBig621188's picture
MrBig621188 says:

yeah nick says its both and i trust him

posted on Thu, 05/01/2008 - 9:12am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Don't trust Nick!
Here are vampire vulnerabilities. Garlic, holy water, crucifixes, dismemberment. Nick had better get this stuff straight, or he's going to be up Brown Creek when they come for him.

posted on Thu, 05/01/2008 - 12:27pm
tiffany_88's picture
tiffany_88 says:

Well is fantastic I never hear something like. The werewolves are great.

posted on Fri, 05/02/2008 - 8:28am
bert123's picture
bert123 says:

now who said that a wherewolf can be only killed by silver? thats just nonsence
IBI Call it what you want IBI

posted on Fri, 05/02/2008 - 8:39am
zephyr's picture
zephyr says:

what are you guys thinking....god have you guys seen the movie silver bullet they die from a silver bullet!

posted on Fri, 05/02/2008 - 8:39am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Ugh... Thank you zephyr. These people wouldn't know a monster if it was tearing them in half. Silver for werewolves! Everyone should know that. Read up. Or watch Monster Squad.

posted on Fri, 05/02/2008 - 9:04am
Andy Korman's picture
Andy Korman says:

I agree they is not that smart! who ever said that didnt know that werewolves would die by silver bullets. so yeah losers lol just kidding. lol

posted on Fri, 05/02/2008 - 10:47am
flinch619's picture
flinch619 says:

......werewolves arent real


posted on Thu, 05/08/2008 - 9:22am
zohre's picture
zohre says:

I want to find about safty and harmful of silver nanoparticle
please help me
thanks alot

posted on Wed, 06/17/2009 - 8:31am
kallyptus's picture
kallyptus says:

are they affraid of the moon

posted on Thu, 07/09/2009 - 9:50am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Good question, kallyptus. I'm not sure if you're referring to silver nanoparticles or werewolves, but both are valuable lines of inquiry.

It would be good if we could denature silver nanoparticles with moonlight once they had done their useful work, but unfortunately, there's no indication that they hold any fear of the moon.

Werewolves are another story. Some positively love the moon; it's widely accepted that the moon is the trigger of the werewolf's supernatural state and heightened strength. But then you've got your self-hating werewolf, living in terror of waking up one yet again surrounded by the remains of a mutilated dachshund. The moon doesn't do anything good for its anxiety.

Does that help?

posted on Thu, 07/09/2009 - 10:48am
Tyga's picture
Tyga says:

no the moon makes them go crazy so they will try to transform on full moons

posted on Thu, 01/28/2010 - 10:10am
Katlin's picture
Katlin says:

I can see why werewolves would be subject to allergy to silver now. The level of the nano silver kills off beneficial, benign bacteria. If the whole point of becoming a werewolf. Like legend says. Is to be infected with its "said" Curse. This would certainly kick some werewolves pretty hard. But would it have to hit the blood stream to make an affect? Or is it prone to damage by the touch like legend says?
Since most likely the alien cells are a bacteria form.
This would also point out why vampires in legend have had issues with silver as well.
Its all a biological war.

Great article.

posted on Sun, 08/23/2009 - 10:24pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

I guess I was asking for it, but, really folks, the point of the article wasn't werewolves.

That said, I like the connection you're making here, Katlin. I think nanosilver's affects are mostly limited to single cell organisms, and as far as I know werewolves are multi-cellular. But without anything else to go on, I say we start testing this hypothesis. (I'm leaving it up to you—I know very few "out" werewolves.)

posted on Mon, 08/24/2009 - 10:15am
Tyga's picture
Tyga says:

they dont die from being touched by silver it weakings them if a silver weapon hit them then they have a high chance of dieing

posted on Thu, 01/28/2010 - 10:13am
Tyga's picture
Tyga says:

silver does not kill werewolves it only makes them revert to human and have all the weaknesses of humans thats why in many stories werewolves die from silver bullets because humans have a weakness to bullets

posted on Thu, 01/28/2010 - 10:02am

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