Interdisciplinary Nanotoxicity Center (Jackson State University)
An interdisciplinary team from the NSF Center of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) at Jackson State University, led by Jerzy Leszczynski, has developed a novel theoretical model that predicts the toxicity of nanomaterials.
Since assessment of nanomaterials' effects on the environment and humans is expensive and lengthy, thedevelopment of an efficient and inexpensive method of screening and evaluating their toxicity could be a crucial step in constructing computational tools to evaluate the environmental and health risk of nanomaterials.
The 21st century has witnessed dynamic growth of nanotechnology. While significant advances in nanoscience and nanotechnology promise to improve aspects of human life, concerns have arisen that the wide production and utilization of nanomaterials is rapidly overtaking efforts to evaluate their toxicity to humans and the environment.
The miniscule dimensions of nanomaterials may create significant health hazards. Nanomaterials could easily diffuse through environmental and biological barriers and interact directly with vital components of cells or DNA fragments. To date, very few studies have focused on the impact of nanomaterials on human health. Limited toxicological data, however, indicate that nanomaterial exposure poses a potential risk to biological systems. As their industrial production increases, the products containing nanomaterials will continue to build up in the environment.
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