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July 21, 2020

NIEHS Grantees Construct New Database to Facilitate Nanomaterial Research

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The July 2020 issue of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Environmental Factor includes an item on a new database that facilitates nanomaterial research.  According to the article, NIEHS grantees constructed PubVINAS, “a large database of structure, chemical property, and activity information on 705 nanomaterials, covering 11 material types.”  The article states that the extensive data on each material “allows scientists to use the structures of new nanomaterials to predict their critical properties and potential toxicity.”  PubVINAS “draws upon thousands of scientific papers and contains 705 unique nanomaterials, 1,365 physicochemical properties of those materials, and 2,386 data points related to their bioactivity, including whether the nanomaterials can be taken up by cells and lead to cell death.  The nanostructures are stored as data files that can be downloaded by researchers worldwide.”  The NIEHS article cites a Nature Communications article, “Construction of a web-based nanomaterial database by big data curation and modeling friendly nanostructure annotations.”