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Using Single-Particle Fluorescence to Detect Bioaerosols

Yong-Le Pan, Richard K. Chang, Steven C. Hill and Ron G. Pinnick

Using single-particle fluorescence spectroscopy, scientists are conducting widespread, real-time monitoring of bioaerosols that will deepen their understanding of the effects of airborne particles on human health and climate change.

 

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Sometimes the biggest threats come in the smallest packages. Aerosols, for example—which are minute suspensions of solid or liquid particles in the air—have significant and far-reaching effects on human health, the Earth’s climate and the chemistry of our atmosphere. Whether human-made or natural, aerosols have been correlated with lung cancer, asthma and cardiopulmonary illnesses, and they are major routes of transmission for infectious disease. Pollution aerosols have also played a well-known role in climate change by depleting the Earth’s protective ozone layer. (Research is also being done to quantify the role of aerosols in reflecting and absorbing incoming sunlight because of the potential for aerosol scattering to partially offset climate warming induced by greenhouse gases.)

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Publish Date: 01 September 2008


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