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New University of Wisconsin-led NSF Center for Chemical Innovation taps PNNL expertise

EMSL scientist Galya Orr to help Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology investigate nanoparticles inside organisms

October 17, 2012 Share This!

  • Within cells that line lungs, tiny nanoparticles (red dots) can occasionally be seen sitting very near sacs (green) that transport proteins within the cell.

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RICHLAND, Wash. – Nanoparticles hundreds times smaller than the width of a hair are more and more a part of people's daily lives. Used in everything from car coatings to clothes to cosmetics, little is known about their safety in the environment.

Chemist Robert Hamers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is leading a multi-institutional effort to gain new understanding about nanomaterials, especially how they get into cells and tiny organisms such as those found in freshwater lakes.

A Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientist, Galya Orr has been using and improving high resolution microscopy at EMSL, DOE's Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at PNNL. She will be applying the expertise she's gained from studying how nanoparticles enter lung cells found lining our airways.

Orr is also a member of PNNL's NIEHS Center for Nanotoxicology, one of five NIH-funded groups nationally that seeks to understand how manmade nanomaterials interact with biological tissues.

Read more about the $1.75 million project here.

Tags: Fundamental Science, Nanoscience

EMSL, the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, is a national scientific user facility sponsored by the Department of Energy's Office of Science.  Located at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., EMSL offers an open, collaborative environment for scientific discovery to researchers around the world. Its integrated computational and experimental resources enable researchers to realize important scientific insights and create new technologies. Follow EMSL on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,300 staff and has an annual budget of more than $1 billion. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information on PNNL, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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