Images of the week

AOP Framework

Created by: James Ede
Nanotechnology ; Created: 08 Jul 2020; Latest updated: 09 Jul 2020

This review outlines the current status and next steps for the development and use of the AOP framework in decision making regarding the safety of MNs. Opportunities and challenges toward the advancement and adoption of AOPs as part of an integrated approach to testing and assessment (IATA) of MNs are identified and specific actions proposed to advance the development, use and acceptance of the AOP framework and associated testing strategies for MN risk assessment and decision making. The intent of this review is to reflect the views of a diversity of stakeholders including experts, researchers, policymakers, regulators, risk assessors and industry representatives on the current status, needs and requirements to facilitate future use of AOPs in MN risk assessment. It incorporates the views and feedback of experts that participated in two workshops hosted as part of an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN) project titled, “Advancing AOP Development for Nanomaterial Risk Assessment and Categorization” as well as the position of several EU-funded nanosafety research consortia.

Nanotechnology Application

Nanotechnology ; Created: 08 Jul 2020; Latest updated: 09 Jul 2020

The application of nanotechnology, molecular biotechnologies, and nano-sciences for medical purposes has been termed nanomedicine, a promising growing area of medical research. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of and discuss nanotechnology applications in the early epochs of life, from transplacental transfer to neonatal/pediatric conditions. Diagnostic and therapeutic applications, mainly related to the respiratory tract, the neurosensory system, and infections, are explored and discussed. Preclinical studies show promising results for a variety of conditions, including for the treatment of pregnancy complications and fetal, neonatal, and pediatric diseases. However, given the complexity of the functions and interactions between the placenta and the fetus, and the complex and incompletely understood determinants of tissue growth and differentiation during early life, there is a need for much more data to confirm the safety and efficacy of nanotechnology in this field.

Bed Bugs

Entomology ; Created: 30 Jun 2020; Latest updated: 02 Jul 2020

The bed bugs (Cimex lectularius and C. hemipterus) have undergone a significant resurgence worldwide since the 1990s. Herein, we discuss on the main evolutionary events, from fossil evidence, dating from 11,000 years ago, until the present that has led to the current worldwide expansion of Cimicid species. We present the hypotheses on the possible dispersion pathways of bed bugs in light of the major historical and evolutionary events. A detailed classification of the Cimicidae family and finally, an illustrative map displaying the current distribution of known Cimex species in each geographical ecozone of Asia, Europe, Africa, the Americas, and Australia are presented.

Micronutrients and Human Health

Created by: Munmun Chattopadhyay
Nutrition ; Created: 01 Jul 2020; Latest updated: 02 Jul 2020

Minerals and trace elements are micronutrients that are essential to the human body but present only in traceable amounts. Nonetheless, they exhibit well-defined biochemical functions. Deficiencies in these micronutrients are related to widespread human health problems such as diabetes, insulin resistance, improper immune function, bone health and brain development. The levels of trace elements may vary considerably among different populations, contingent on the composition of the diet and location. Local differences in selenium, zinc, copper, iron, chromium and iodine in the diet can affect physiological functions leading to malnourishment. Inadequate supply of a number of minerals and trace elements including iodine, selenium, zinc, calcium, chromium, cobalt, iron, boron and magnesium and in a few cases, excess of essential trace elements may lead to imbalances in glucose homeostasis and insulin resistance. Changes in these micronutrient levels in the serum and urine of subjects may signal towards metabolic changes, oxidative stress and other disease-related complications. Adequate supplement of the micronutrients may eliminate or protect against certain diseases such as heart disease.

Non-Mechanical Hybrid Hydrogen Compression

Mechanical Engineering ; Created: 25 Jun 2020; Latest updated: 29 Jun 2020

Non-mechanical hybrid hydrogen compressors consists of a first electrochemical compression stage followed by a second one based on the adsorption-desorption of hydrogen on microporous materials. They allow compressing hydrogen up to 70 MPa. Non-mechanical hybrid hydrogen compressors can be a valid alternative to the mechanical compressors.