Research News

June 28, 2010

Why Mercury is More Dangerous in Oceans

DURHAM, N.C. -- Even though freshwater concentrations of mercury are far greater than those found in seawater, it's the saltwater fish like tuna, mackerel and shark that end up posing a more serious health threat to humans who eat them. The answer, according to Duke University researchers, is in [...]

September 14, 2009

When Nano May Not Be Nano

DURHAM, N.C. -- The same properties of nanoparticles that make them so appealing to manufacturers may also have negative effects on the environment and human health. However, little is known which particles may be harmful. Part of the problem is determining exactly what a nanoparticle is. A new [...]

August 18, 2009

How Mercury Becomes Toxic in the Environment

DURHAM, N.C. – Naturally occurring organic matter in water and sediment appears to play a key role in helping microbes convert tiny particles of mercury in the environment into a form that is dangerous to most living creatures. This finding is important, say Duke University environmental engineers [...]

June 24, 2009

Monserrate Among Four Named Duke Trustees

DURHAM, N.C. -- Four new members and three new observers will join the Duke University Board of Trustees, the university announced Wednesday. Martha Monserrate E’81, G’82, of Rye, N.Y., Dr. Paul Farmer T’82, of Cambridge, Mass., Peter J. Kahn L’76 of Bethesda, Md., and Ralph Eads III T’81, of [...]

May 20, 2009

Novel Approach Estimates Nanoparticles in Environment

DURHAM, N.C. – Without knowing how much of an industrial chemical is being produced, it is almost impossible for scientists to determine if it poses any threat to the environment or human health. Civil engineers at Duke University believe they have come up with a novel way of estimating how much of [...]

March 05, 2009

Buckyballs Could Keep Water Systems Flowing

Microscopic particles of carbon known as buckyballs may be able to keep the nation's water pipes clear in the same way clot-busting drugs prevent arteries from clogging up. Engineers at Duke University have found that buckyballs hinder the ability of bacteria and other microorganisms to accumulate [...]

November 14, 2008

Taking the Andes Mountains into Account

Imagine something as massive and towering as the Andes Mountains not having an effect on its surroundings. When it comes to computer simulations that help predict the weather, traditional global models operate poorly represent the mountain chain, which is more than 4,000 miles long, 300 miles wide [...]

October 14, 2008

Raising Awareness of Ghanaian Farmers

It's not often that a group of eight women college students visits rural farming areas of Ghana. A simple act by a village queen the students met soon after their arrival helped erase any potentially awkward situations. Her gesture not only put the visiting Americans more at ease, but also provided [...]

September 17, 2008

Duke to Lead New NSF, EPA Funded Center to Study the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have awarded $14.4 million to create the Center for Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology (CEINT) to explore the potential ecological hazards of nanoparticles. Nanoparticles are as much as a million times [...]

September 09, 2008

Scientists form alliance to develop nanotoxicology protocols

A team of materials scientists and toxicologists announced the formation of a new international research alliance to establish protocols for reproducible toxicological testing of nanomaterials in both cultured cells and animals. Pratt's Mark Wiesner, James L. Meriam Professor of Civil and [...]