Does Every Silver Lining Have a Cloud?

Pratt Nanoscience Research Featured in Video

A newly released educational video on nanoscience called "Does Every Silver Lining Have a Cloud?" features the Duke-led Center for the Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology (CEINT).

The video focuses on CEINT researchers discussing their integrated research initiatives that are designed to link fundamental physical and chemical properties of nano-scale materials with their observed biological and ecosystem effects.

The goal of the CEINT research is to predict where certain nanomaterials will go in the environment, how long they will stay there and what effect they will have long term.

"We're doing something that's very unique," said CEINT Director Mark Wiesner, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Duke. "We're looking at the implications of new technologies on the environment, and specifically we're looking for unintentional effects."

This video focuses on nanosilver, because silver is a remarkably ubiquitous chemical used in a wide range of technologies.

"We know that silver is toxic," said Wiesner. "It's been used as an antiseptic for centuries, and the question is whether there is anything different about nanosilver that is cause for concern."

Understanding the actual effect of nanomaterials in the environment will help policy-makers and scientists make decisions about whether or not to use those chemicals.

This video was produced by Brad Herring, director of Nanoscale Informal Science Education, Museum of Life and Science in Durham It will be included this year as a DVD in the 2012 NanoDays Kits sponsored by the National Science Foundations-funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net), the largest network of museums, informal science educators and researchers in the country, dedicated to fostering public awareness, engagement, and understanding of nanoscale science engineering, and technology.

Inclusion in the NanoDays Kits, a national public education initiative, will make this video available for use by museums and informal science educators across the U.S. to inform the interested public about the research missions and initiatives of CEINT.