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

who is also the Director of the UC led-Campus Nanotoxicology Research and Training Program at UCLA.

"The CEIN's development of a comprehensive computational risk ranking will allow powerful risk predictions to be made by and for the academic community, industry, the public, and regulating agencies."

At Duke University, "a distinctive element will be the synthesis of information about nanoparticles into a rigorous risk assessment framework, the results of which will be transferred to policy-makers and society at large," said Duke CEIN director Mark Wiesner, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering. Wiesner specializes in nanoparticle movement and transformation in the environment.

The Duke research team brings together internationally recognized leaders in environmental toxicology and ecosystem biology; nanomaterial transport, transformation and fate in the environment; biogeochemistry of nanomaterials and incidental airborne particulates; nanomaterial chemistry and fabrication; and environmental risk assessment, modeling and decision sciences.

A major effort for the research team over the coming year is to develop 32 tightly instrumented ecosystems in the Duke Forest in Durham, N.C. Known as mesocosms, these living laboratories provide areas where researchers can add nanoparticles and study the resulting interactions and effects on plants, fish, bacteria and other elements.

"This mesocosm facility will be the nano-environment equivalent of the space station--a unique resource with tremendous potential that will be tapped by researchers throughout the center and beyond," said Wiesner.

"This research will address the influence of nanomaterials on processes ranging from the subcellular to whole ecosystems."

While UCLA serves as the lead campus for the UC CEIN, researchers from a range of other institutions and organizations are involved in UCLA CEIN research, i
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Contact: Cheryl Dybas
cdybas@nsf.gov
703-292-7734
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

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