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Home > News > Nanotechnology and the Environment: An Interview with Jonathan Links

June 6th, 2007

Nanotechnology and the Environment: An Interview with Jonathan Links

Targeted delivery of drugs. Innovative ways to filter water. Stain-free slacks… The benefits of nanotechnology—the engineering of materials on a molecular scale—seem limited only by human imagination. Nanoparticles like titanium dioxide are already used in sunscreen lotions to filter out harmful ultraviolet light. Other nanoparticles are currently helping clinicians diagnose and treat disease by attaching themselves to cancer cells or other targets. In addition to such clinical goals, the emerging discipline of nanobiotechnology, a marriage of nanotechnology with biotechnology, seeks to limit the health risks of nano-based products. No one knows, for example, what will happen when nanomaterials used in tennis rackets and car bumpers—not to mention cosmetic products—inevitably find their way into the environment and our bodies. Jonathan Links, a co-founder of the Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology, met recently with Johns Hopkins Public Health editor Brian W. Simpson to discuss the public health aspects of this new technology. Links, PhD ‘83, is a professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the Bloomberg School.


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