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April 12th, 2010
The International Symposium of Molecular Environmental Soil Science at the Interfaces in the Earth's Critical Zone (ISMESS 2009), which was IUPAC sponsored, was held on 10-14 October 2009 at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. Two hundred and sixty-six participants from 21 countries attended the conference.
This was the first time that an international symposium on the subject was held in China. The conference identified, and built on, the need to view and understand the critical zone at the molecular level. It provided a novel interface that facilitated the integration of contributions from traditionally separate disciplines. In addition, the symposium added a molecular and nanoparticle dimension to a field of endeavor that has traditionally been viewed on a different scale (dimension).
Two challenging areas were also identified: 1) How, and to what extent, are the interfacial reaction processes affected by environmental nanoparticles and by the soil microbes, especial at the molecular level? and 2) What are the physical, chemical, and biological interfacial interactions at the molecular level that define the fate of ions, chemicals, and microbes as they are transported through soil systems?
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