Topic, "Cleaning Up the Mess: Using Chemistry to Degrade Persistent Pollutants in the Environment"

Hi. This month we will have a fascinating discussion at our Cafe Sci at 7PM on Wednesday 2 March, at Taste, in College Park.

The chemical industry's discovery and production of new compounds have led to great improvements in many areas of our lives. However, the effects of these substances on the environment were poorly understood, and they were often assumed to be harmless. Time and much research have shown that not only do some of these chemicals persist in nature but they can also be toxic to many forms of life. Dr Geiger's presentation will describe the extent of contamination by some of these chemicals and the processes that a team of researchers have used to develop "green" technologies for environmental clean-up.

Dr. Cherie Geiger is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at UCF, and past president of the Florida Academy of Sciences. Among her areas of current research are new catalyst systems for removing and destroying PCBs from painted surfaces, soils, and sediments; catalysts for removing heavy metals from fresh-water and marine soils and sediments; and synthesis of new screening aerosols that don't harm the environment. She has won several awards in the past two years including: The Federal laboratory Consortium Commercialization Award, NASA Invention of the Year Award, Government Commercialization of the Year Award, Induction into the Space Act Hall of Fame, and Induction as one of the 2007 Intel Environmental Laureates in the Tech Museum of Innovation.

Dr Geiger spoke at Café Scientifique in late 2008.


717 W. Smith Street
Orlando, United States

Taste is near the corner of Princeton Street (really Smith Street after the fork) and Edgewater Drive, so about 2 minutes from I-4 to parking. One can park on the street or in the parking lot behind Taste.

From I-4, drive a few blocks to Edgewater Drive. At the intersection, you should see a orange building ahead of you, labeled "Taste". Park on the street or behind Taste.

Fish evolve in only 60 years to survive PCB pollution

Tomcod in the Hudson River have evolved to be resistant to pollution, according to a study published earlier this month. PCBs dumped by General Electric for thirty years have a strong impact on many fish, but were especially perilous to bottom-feeding fish like these cod. Selective pressure has changed the population to drop six base-pair of DNA, AHR2, which makes them less succeptable to damage from the toxin. The mutation that is normally in about 10% of the population spread nearly completely in a surprisingly brief period.