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Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences
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Impact of Silver Nanoparticles on Biological Wastewater Treatment

Impact of Silver Nanoparticles on Biological Wastewater Treatment | iBB | Scoop.it
The use of engineered nanoparticles (NPs) in the textile and other industrial sectors has been rapidly increasing and their occurrence in wastewater is expected to rise accordingly. However, the fate of NPs during biological wastewater treatment is largely unknown. A recent study led by Nídia Lourenço from BERG-iBB highlighted the potential application of nuclear microscopy to characterize the interaction of silver-NPs (AgNPs) with biological wastewater treatment systems based on aerobic granular sludge (AGS). Elemental maps of AGS samples revealed that the AgNPs were preferentially associated to extracellular polymeric substances, which represents an important step forward regarding their effective removal from textile wastewater.
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Biomarkers of Metal Pollution Vulnerability

Biomarkers of Metal Pollution Vulnerability | iBB | Scoop.it

The metal imbalance in fish caused by water pollution is thought to play a critical role in neurodegeneration and neuronal dysfunctions. In a recent publication in Metallomics, Teresa Pinheiro from BSRG-iBB, together with researchers from IPMA, CESAM and CIMAR have examined the elemental distributions in brains of wild Liza aurata a teleost fish captured in polluted and reference coastal systems in the vicinity of Lisbon. This study evaluates major and trace elemental contents, essential and toxic, and their compartmentalization in optic lobe structures providing insights into species physiological requirements and vulnerability to metal toxicity. This is the first multi-elemental mapping of neuronal tissue of teleost fish.

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Catching Breath: Monitoring Air Pollution Exposure Using Exhaled Breath Condensate

Catching Breath: Monitoring Air Pollution Exposure Using Exhaled Breath Condensate | iBB | Scoop.it

In a recent publication in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research, Teresa Pinheiro from BSRG-iBB together with researchers from C2TN/IST and from Hospital de Santa Maria in Lisbon, examined the capability of exhaled breath condensate (EBC) to provide biomarkers of exposure for the human respiratory system. Entirely non-invasive, this new method is easy to perform allowing for sampling from children and adults alike. In the reported study, three groups of workers exposed to different levels of fumes and particulate matter containing lead and other metals in their work environment were repeatedly assessed through time while performing their working activities.

EBC proved to be useful for occupational exposure assessment. In addition EBC may help estimating intake by inhalation and predicting temporal limits of exposure. Click on tilte to learn more.

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Metal Uptake in Marine Phytoplankton

Metal Uptake in Marine Phytoplankton | iBB | Scoop.it

In a recent paper IBB researchers led by Teresa Pinheiro and working in collaboration with IPMA and C2TN/IST, studied how diatoms were keen to metal uptake. By using nuclear microscopy techniques it was possible to map intracellular elemental distributions. Diatoms clearly respond to excess metal levels, by changing cytoplasm morphology, concentrating added metals, and altering Fe transport mechanisms. This work was selected as a “Hot article” in Metallomics journal.  Click on title to learn more.

 

Photo details: Nuclear microscopy image of calcium (blue, low concentration; red, high concentration) in diatom Coscinodiscus eccentricus, showing chloroplast distribution changes in cells exposed to metal overload.

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