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NSF and EPA establish 2 centers for environmental implications of nanotechnology
Date:9/17/2008

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have made awards to establish two Centers for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEIN).

The centers, led by UCLA and Duke University, will study how nanomaterials interact with the environment and with living systems, and will translate this knowledge into risk assessment and mitigation strategies useful in the development of nanotechnology.

"The new centers will provide national and international leadership in the emerging field of environmental nanoscience," said Arden L. Bement, Jr., NSF director. "This is an important addition to the National Nanotechnology Initiative, and builds on earlier discoveries on the environmental implications of nanotechnology made since 2001, when NSF's Center for Biological and Environmental Technologies was established. The new centers are aimed at strengthening our nation's commitment to research on the environmental, health and safety implications of nanomaterials."

The centers will work as a network, connected to other research organizations, industry and government agencies and will emphasize interdisciplinary research and education. Their challenge is to better integrate materials science and engineering with molecular, cellular, organismal and ecological biology and environmental science.

"The collaborative approach that these centers will use is key to quickly building the scientific foundation for understanding the health and environmental implications of nanomaterials," said George Gray, EPA assistant administrator for research and development. "This comprehensive research model promises to augment the knowledge we need to be good stewards of the environment."

Nanoparticles are as much as a million times smaller than the head of a pin, and have unusual properties compared with larger objects made from the same material. These unusual properties make nanomaterials attra
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Contact: Cheryl Dybas
cdybas@nsf.gov
703-292-7734
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

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