New portable measuring tool enables accurate determination of airborne nanoparticle size and distribution

Companies cannot protect workers from nanoparticle exposure unless first they can determine there is a potential problem. To date, the size and cost of existing nanoparticle size measurement instrumentation has been an impediment to routine industrial measurements.

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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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Nano-copper and nano-gold combine to form effective CO2 converter

nanoparticles

Researchers have combined gold nanoparticles (in light red) with copper nanoparticles (in light green) to form hybrid nanoparticles (dark red), which they turned into powder (foreground) to catalyze carbon dioxide reduction (credit Zhichuan Xu)

Copper — the stuff of pennies and tea kettles — is also one of the few metals that can turn carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon fuels with relatively little energy. When fashioned into an electrode and stimulated with voltage, copper acts as a strong catalyst, setting off an electrochemical reaction with carbon dioxide that reduces the greenhouse gas to methane or methanol.

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Silver nanoparticles in our environment may damage testicles and decrease male fertility

Silver nanoparticles cause more damage to testicular cells than titanium dioxide nanoparticles, according to a recent study by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. However, the use of both types may affect testicular cells with possible consequences for fertility.

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Nanotech helps make plastics without oil

Nearly all chemical products ranging from antifreeze and medicine to plastics and paint are currently made from petroleum. But since it became apparent that the petroleum supply was not as reliable and unending as many had hoped, several techniques have … Continue reading

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

A new hope for hydrogen energy: nanoparticle driven and solar powered

Hydrogen would be an excellent clean energy source, were it not for the fact that it costs a tremendous amount of energy to produce and is thus quite expensive. Researchers have been looking for ways to cheaply and sustainably produce … Continue reading