In this week’s video we will be learning about silver nanoparticles and how they affect the bacteria in wastewater treatment plants, and how new technologies/methods can be applied to protect public health and improve wastewater treatment plants.
Silver has been widely used because of its antibacterial properties. Silver affects bacterial membrane proteins and accumulates in the membrane, affecting its permeability. It then enters the cell, generates Reacting Oxygen Species (ROS), releases Silver ions and affects bacterial DNA; then the bacteria dies. Silver has been used for things like keeping the surface of a door knob clean and/or household appliance. However, silver has other implication when it comes to human health and the environment. In humans, when high concentrations of silver are present they can suffer a condition known as argyria, which causes skin discoloration. Silver on animals, such as fish, can cause genetic changes on embryos and/or bioaccumulate, and affects growth rates on phytoplankton. Furthermore, the inputs of silver nanoparticles from industry, medical fields and domestic use end-up in wastewaters and it can affect the bacteria “working” on the secondary treatment of these wastewater treatment plants.
Predictive models have been widely applied on research aiming hydrology and bathing water quality. In this week’s video we will learn more about Artificial Neural Networks and how those can be applied to predict bathing water quality and improve wastewater treatment plants. These models are useful because they are based on machine learning, which means that they are capable of “learning” from past scenarios and predict what could happen on future scenarios.
Check out this week’s video to learn more about this. We will have Dr. Andrew P. Duncan and Emma Clarke, both from University of Exeter, talking about these predictive models and silver nanoparticles, respectively.
- How do you think we could decrease the inputs of silver (nanoparticles)? Have you ever thought of what your “silver footprint” is?
- How do you think developing countries could benefit from modelling approaches such as Neural Networks? What would be the best approach to promote these models and convince people on the accuracy of these to improve wastewater treatment plants and create early warning systems for bathing water quality?
- How can this video be improved?
Links – Background information
Contributors to blogpost: Abdiel E. Laureano-Rosario