Nanoparticles may damage plant DNA

Nanoparticle influence on plantsResearchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) have provided the first evidence that engineered nanoparticles are able to accumulate within plants and damage their DNA. In a recent paper, the team led by NIST chemist Bryant C. Nelson showed that under laboratory conditions, cupric oxide nanoparticles have the capacity to enter plant root cells and generate many mutagenic DNA base lesions.

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Neonicotinoid insecticides again linked to honeybee CCD

New research has linked springtime die-offs of honeybees critical for pollinating food crops — part of the mysterious malady called colony collapse disorder (CCD) — with technology for planting corn coated with insecticides. The study, published in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology, appears on the eve of spring planting seasons in some parts of Europe where farmers use the technology and widespread deaths of honeybees have occurred in the past.

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Carbon nanotubes have unexpected negative impact on environment

Carbon nanotubes are stronger than steel, harder than diamond, light as plastic and conduct electricity better than copper. It is no wonder they can be found in an increasing range of products, ranging from tennis rackets to solar cells and … Continue reading

Does cyclone modification geoengineering make sense?

Is what a group of engineering policy researchers and atmospheric scientists from Carnegie Mellon and MIT asked themselves. Considering increasing hurricane damage around the Gulf of Mexico – and technological options – they get to a ‘maybe’.