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In this important podcast, Greg Lowry, the Walter J. Blenko, Sr. Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, discusses the importance of nanotechnology, environmental science nano impact factor, and how nanotechnology may be the key to plant sustainability.

Lowry is the esteemed deputy director of the NSF/EPA Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEINT). He worked toward his B.S. in chemical engineering at the University of California at Davis (UC Davis), and he also earned a degree (M.S.) in civil and environmental engineering from University of Wisconsin in Madison. Lowry also holds a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from Stanford.

Lowry’s interest lies in the sciences, specifically geochemistry, nanochemistry, and environmental nanotechnology. Lowry talks about his team’s goal to make agriculture more sustainable. Lowry explains how current agriculture practices are extremely inefficient, and as global population is on the rise, sustainability—making plants more efficient and resilient to climate change, etc.—will be critically important. Lowry discusses some of the work they’ve done on specific types of plants, such as the wheat, corn, and tomato plants. Lowry explains how they engineer nano materials to deliver nutrients to plants in a more efficient way, which benefits plant growth, especially when the plants may
be facing problematic climate or soil conditions.

Lowry provides a detailed overview of how they designed and produced coatings for nano particles that can allow them to penetrate the plant and thereby successfully provide nutrients while avoiding any negative effects to the plant’s health.

In this podcast:

  • Nanoparticles: why so important?
  • How will increasing populations force a change in how we grow food?
  • The importance of plant sustainability
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