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Scientists reveal the impact of nanoparticles on ecosystems and organisms, as well as new uses for energy production, industry, and science.

Nanotechnology Research Activities

USGS is involved in various aspects of nanotechnology research. Scientists are examining the unique nanoparticles of exotic elements formed by bacteria with an eye towards industrial and scientific applications. Toxicological studies are also being conducted to examine the effects of nanoparticles at various levels of biological organization, from the molecular level to individual level. Scientists are also examining the properties of nanoparticles to better understand complex ecosystems/hydrological environments.

The rapidly emerging field of nanomaterials (products using particles ranging from 1-to-100 nanometers) for industrial production of diverse products--from medical therapeutics to ground-water remediation tools--has created the potential for broad distribution of nanomaterials across the landscape (USGS Science Strategy, p. 57). As part of its larger role in evaluating potential risks of stressors on trust resources, USGS is also studying the fate and effects of naturally occurring or engineered nanomaterials (ENM) in the environment.

Energy Sources
Selenium nanospheres formed by Bacillus selenitireducens Bacterial Formation of Nano-scaled Materials from Group 15 and 16 Elements, Production of Nanomaterials of Group 15 and 16 Elements
Environmental Toxicology
The pond snail (Lymnaea stagnalis)Engineered Nanomaterials (ENM)

Related Links and References

Gale, Robert  
Hinck, Jo Ellen Carbon nanotubes in the digestive tract and outer surface of an amphipod after a water-only exposure. Photo provided by Joseph Mwangi, University of Missouri
Ingersoll, Chris  
Luoma, Samuel N.  
Croteau, Marie-NoĆ«le  
Oremland, Ronald S. Selenium nanospheres formed by Bacillus selenitireducensTEM (whole mount) of nitrate-grown washed cells of B. selenitreducens that were fed selenite, showing a large number of external Se(0) spheres
Slowey, Aaron J.  
Tillitt, Donald  
Wang, Ning  

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*this list of USGS scientists involved in microbiology and nanotechnology is likely to be incomplete