Nanotechnology can be a double-edged sword. The same unique properties that enable the beneficial use of nanomaterials in novel applications also make their unintentional interactions difficult to anticipate. Increasing entry of engineered nanomaterials into the environment has resulted in growing environmental and health concerns as the field of nanotechnology continues to expand. Nanomaterials are not only found in our latest gadgets, they are also ubiquitous in the environment. Such natural nanomaterials influence important environmental processes such as the transport of contaminants. This seminar will explore a wide range of topics related to the applications and implications of natural and engineered nanomaterials. Students will learn about 1) what makes nanomaterials functional and safe/dangerous, 2) their potential human/ecosystem health effects, and 3) their beneficial use in various technologies.
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