Accidental nanoparticles in the environment: the nanoplastic pollution problem

When you hear the term “plastic pollution,” what do you think of? If you’re like me, you might picture a pile of garbage on a beach, or microplastic beads inside a fish. Most of us are aware that plastic pollution can be found everywhere. But you might be surprised to learn that "everywhere" in this …

Protein folding, artificial intelligence, and impacts on sustainable nanotechnology

computer-generated image of ribbon-like protein shapes

Back in 2016 you might have read about a computer called AlphaGo that beat some of the best Go players in the world (I even wrote a blog post about it). At the end of 2020, DeepMind (the same company that developed AlphaGo), made news again. This time, their latest version of an artificial intelligence …

Authentic Research Experiences Amid The Pandemic

On a lovely spring day, as I was lying on the Skinner Green and soaking up the sun, my phone buzzed. It was an email from the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology (CSN) regarding my application for their Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program. My heart dropped a beat when I glimpsed the content of the email and …

How is a shopping cart like a nanoparticle? What coarse-grained molecular models can show us about nano-bio interactions

Imagine you work at a grocery store and you need to figure out how many shopping carts will fit in a certain space. You know that each shopping cart is 33 inches long, but you might decide to round that up to 36 inches (3 feet) for your estimation: That rounding is just one example …

A Holiday Sustainable Nano Riddle: How does a polymer wrap around a nanoparticle? Like a ball of yarn, or like a bow on a gift box?

Holiday nanoparticle

The title of this post presents a riddle similar to the one that I solved along with my advisor, Professor Rigoberto Hernandez, in a recent article published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C.1 Nanoparticles are often made of a core (for example gold, silver, quantum dots, etc.) coated with molecules called ligands or polymers …

A Quick Peek Into Computational Chemistry

When talking about chemists, what image comes to your mind? Labs, tubes, beakers, colorful solutions, turning dirt into gold... Yes, yes, those images represent some parts of chemistry in a general way, but did you know that there exists a group of chemists whose main task is to code? (For example, check out this video.) …

How do nanomaterials from e-waste transform in water? Computational chemistry helps find the answer

e-waste

The development of nanotechnology has been an exciting route to chemical innovation that has changed the way that we live. Fields as diverse as medicine, water treatment, and energy storage have all used nanoscale devices and nano-sized architectures to improve technologies related to human health, communications, and transportation. Nano is big business and projected to …

Podcast Ep 21. Quantifying Effects of Gender Bias: There’s an App for That

Does gender bias matter? You can see for yourself thanks to an interactive app created by software engineer Penelope Hill at doesgenderbiasmatter.com. In this episode, we interview Penelope about what prompted her to create the app, some of the research behind it, and a few of the ways people in science and technology fields are …