Environmental Implications of Nanomaterials: Microbial Interactions
This is the first of two complimentary sessions pertaining to the environmental impacts of nanomaterials. The focus of this "Part I" session is microbial toxicity studies. The general scope of both sessions is as follows: Engineered nano-scale materials have the potential to transform medical diagnostics, high-performance materials, and to dramatically increase the performance and energy efficiency of sensors, consumer electronics, and energy conversion and storage devices. However, before the full potential of nanotechnology can be realized, potential adverse interactions between novel materials and the natural environment must be better understood. The goal of this session is to highlight the latest research on the interactions of nanomaterials and the natural environment. Emphasis will be placed on engineered materials with a clear potential to reach the environment in large quantities, such as nano-Au, nano-Fe, and TiO2, or on materials with demonstrated toxicity including quantum dots, carbon nanotubes, and fullerenes. Specific areas of research may include (i) nanomaterial substance flow accounting; (ii) environmental fate and transport nanomaterials, including approaches to measure nanomaterials in natural systems, and environmental transformations of nanomaterials; and (iii) toxicity of nanomaterials to environmentally-relevant test organisms, including nanomaterial bioavailability, and biological uptake, distribution, transformation, accumulation, and trophic transfer.
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