Sep 27, 2015

This week in Nano: Week 39 (Sept 21st-27th)

Like the new Risk Bites video on Microbeads and after the publication of the article 'Scientific Evidence Supports a Ban on Microbeads' in the journal of Environmental Science and Technology it is a great start to begin to understand why micorbeads are a cause for concern.

The Volkswagen scandal hit the press this week with the car manufacturing company admitting that software was used to lower emissions results during laboratory tests of some of its diesel vehicles.
This BBC article 'The science behind the Volkswagen emissions scandal' gives a good run down on why controlling the levels of Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in our atmosphere is important. Briefly NO2 is one of a group of highly reactive gasses and it is used as an indicator for the larger group of nitrogen oxides.  Nitrous oxides form when fuel is burned at high temperatures, and comes principally from the exhaust of transport vehicles power plants, electric utilities and industrial boilers.  It contributes to the formation of ozone, and fine particle pollution and has been linked with many adverse effects on the respiratory system.
Image taken from

This report from the RIVM 'Grouping nanomaterials: A strategy towards grouping and read-across' addresses the inherent problem of nanomaterial tox testing (that individual physico-chemical parameters and (eco)toxicity endpoint analysis incurs huge costs/ require animal testing and time). This report looked at a way to develop a method of extrapolate test results from one nanomaterial to another in order to address these concerns. As the summary concludes the strategy 'has proven useful in two hypothetical case studies (nanosilver and nanotitanium dioxide). Nevertheless, it was concluded that improvement is needed for the documentation of the information from the laboratory testing of nanomaterials to support read-across. Particularly relevant physico-chemical properties of the nanomaterials and test conditions need more detailed descriptions. Furthermore, the scientific community needs to continue developing test methods that can characterize certain behaviours of nanomaterials to support read-across.' So the same take home message to researchers working on nanomaterials - characterisation characterisation and characterisation! The report can be found here. 

Sep 20, 2015

This week in Nano: Week 38 (14th Sept-20th Sept)


Given that nano in consumer products is always a topic of interest online and in the press here is a nice study from the RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment - in the Netherlands) on nanomaterials in consumer products

One interesting point from the report notes that of the already identified 143 products (2007) 53 of those products no longer were on the market - this shows the fast pace this nano worlds moves at! The report goes on to suggest that 858 consumer products with a nano claim are currently available on the market. Given that this was published in 2010 it can be assumed there has been some changes in the intervening 5 years.

The report can be found here.

Sep 13, 2015

Sep 6, 2015

This week in Nano Week 36 (Aug 31st-Sept 6th)

Fundamentals of Nanoelectronics: Basic Concepts

Professor Supriyo Datta’s new course Fundamentals of Nanoelectronics, Part B, Quantum Transport is a new eight week course beginning October 8, 2015 and will include:
Introduction to Tight-binding Method
Introduction to Non-Equilibrium Green Function (NEGF) Method
Application of NEGF to Problems in Quantum Transport
Introduction to Spin Transport

Part A of this course the basic concepts can still be found on edX as an archived course or as a self-paced offering on nanoHUB-U.

For a list of nano related courses available online check my blog post here.

For more reading about the nanoworld this week here are a few studies/reports worth checking out: