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Better than pesticide: non-toxic, resistance-proof nano tech protects SA grain crops

Primary Industries

Researchers may have found a cheap and effective alternative to using pesticides to protect grain exports.

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PhD students and Professor Dusan Losic from The University of Adelaide’s School of Chemical Engineering have found that ‘nano-scale’ silica structures can be turned in to a non-toxic nanomaterial that dehydrates insects by disrupting their protective cuticle.

The silica comes from a novel place; it’s formed by the fossilised remains of single-celled algae, which are readily available as a byproduct of mining.

PhD student Sheena Chen will be presenting her findings at the Conference for Nanoscience and Microscopy, hosted at the Adelaide Convention Centre. PhD student John Hayles is also involved with the research.The 2014 Conference on Nanotechnology and MiscroscopyThe 2014 Conference Twitter

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