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Setting Ground Rules For Nanotechnology Research

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This mesocosm used by Duke University's Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology is basically a self-contained ecosystem with embedded sensors that is used to study how nanoparticles interact with all aspects of a natural system.

Duke University researchers have produced two new studies to lay the groundwork for nanoinformatics.

Credit: Duke University News

U.S. researchers led by Duke University faculty have produced two new studies to lay the groundwork for the emerging discipline of nanoinformatics.

The first report concerns how to standardize nanotechnology data curation if multiple datasets are to be integrated, with an emphasis on researchers agreeing on what knowledge they must possess when curating the data. The paper is one of six that will investigate the meaning behind what people say when they talk about collecting data on nanomaterials in digital form. To ensure consistency, the researchers are seeking input from all stakeholders under the auspices of the National Cancer Informatics Nanotechnology Working Group's Nanomaterial Data Curation Initiative.

The second study proposes a new method for examining nanomaterials' attributes by employing functional assays to quantify nanomaterial behavior in actual systems. "If we're going to move the field forward, we have to be able to agree on what measurements are going to be useful, which systems they should be measured in, and what data gets reported, so that we can make comparisons," says Center for the Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology executive director Christine Hendren. The paper suggests what parameters to observe when studying a specific environmental system, and using functional assays to measure nanoparticles' attachment efficiency and dissolution rate.

From Duke University News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2015 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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