JAN 02, 2019 11:40 AM PST

A "Nu" Way to Study the Impact of Microplastics

Microplastics particles (MP), often in the forms of fibers, beads, and pellets, are fragments broken off plastic waste. With a size no more than 5.0 millimeter (or 0.2 inches) across, and the world-wide spread, MPs pose an immense threat to the safety of the global ecosystem, particularly organisms living in the ocean and freshwater.

Unlike visible, relatively intact debris, MPs may be mistaken for plankton and consumed by small marine animals, such as mussels, clams, and shrimps. Following the food chain, the particles can end up in the bodies of large marine mammals, and humans as well.  

Researchers at the IAEA Environment Laboratories located in Monaco uses nuclear and isotopic techniques such as radiotracers to track the accumulation route and the biodistribution of microplastics. 

They also use simulation to find out to what extent microplastics absorb other environmental pollutants, and how they can act as a vector for these contaminants to marine organisms and eventually to humans. 

The information generated from their research would be used to inform governments about the risk and enable evidence-based policies toward better waste management and seafood safety. 

Source: IAEA via Youtube 

About the Author
  • Graduated with a bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Science and a master degree in neuropharmacology, Daniel is a radiopharmaceutical and radiobiology expert based in Ottawa, Canada. With years of experience in biomedical R&D, Daniel is very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles. The recurring topics in his Chemistry & Physics trending news section include alternative energy, material science, theoretical physics, medical imaging, and green chemistry.
You May Also Like
NOV 06, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 06, 2019
Radioactive Spill? Self-propelled Microbots to the Rescue
Scientists have been looking for an effective method to clean up radioactive elements in industrial wastewater and accidental spill, to support and boost t...
DEC 16, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 16, 2019
Here's What Would Happen if the Earth Stopped Orbiting the Sun
The Earth orbits the Sun once every 365 days, or one full year. It does this while whizzing through the vacuum of space at break-neck speeds of up to 110,0...
JAN 08, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
JAN 08, 2020
Florence Nightingale: Nursing Pioneer, and Data Scientist?
Florence Nightingale, the pioneer in modern nursing care, served as a nurse manager in the Crimean War in the 1850s. Due to her wholeheartedly devotion to...
JAN 09, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
JAN 09, 2020
Accelerator on a Chip: Honey, I Shrunk the Particle Accelerator
When we talk about about particle accelerators, the idea of enormous machines with the size of a warehouse and located inside underground tunnels...
JAN 20, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
JAN 20, 2020
Using Modified Red Blood Cells As a Drug Delivery System
For a drug to be effective, it has to get to the right place to exert its impact....
FEB 21, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
FEB 21, 2020
Down the 50km Quantum Memory Lane: Scientists Push the Limit of Quantum Communication
Quantum communication is also known as the "unhackable" way of transmitting any information. Deeply rooted in quantum mechanics, the state-of-art...
Loading Comments...