Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Golden Story: Novel Nanotoxicology Research Gets its Day in the Sun

ARTICLE:  “Quest for gold:  Researchers study element as nanoparticle, effect on female reproductive tract.”  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel [Milwaukee] 19 July 2011, E1-2.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE:   Earning the trust of a scientist is foremost the job of a science writer.  Make your intentions and your motivations explicit. 


Principal Investigator
1)     Describe nanoparticles and gold nanoparticles, in particular, and the properties that you find most interesting about these molecules.  Give me a brief description of their history as well as their possible applications in industry, medicine, drug delivery, gene therapy etc.?

2)     Can you help me understand just how small these particles are?  Average molecular weight?  What biological molecules can they be compared to in terms of size? 

3)   Briefly describe the primary aims of your present studies.  What do you hope these studies elucidate?

4)      Describe the types of studies you do and how they address the aims of this research.  (In vitro, ex vivo, in vivo).

5)      How did you decide to pursue research in gold nanoparticles and their distribution in the ovary?

6)      What are the promises and pitfalls of gold nanoparticles and nanoparticles in  general?  What are the possible implications of this research whether or not gold nanoparticles prove to be toxic?

7)      What is the funding climate for the type of research you do?  Is the NIEHS yet  recognizing nanoparticle research as relevant in the field of toxicology?

8)       What is the most challenging aspect of this research?

 Outside Source Interview
I am looking for a brief comment—a few sentences at most-- on the state of nanotoxicology research, or how the field is progressing, or the importance of research and risk assessment with respect to nanoparticles.