"The book is basic in the sense that it begins at the beginning and is entirely self-contained. It is also comprehensive and contains detailed descriptions of Nanotechnology in Agriculture and Food Science. The aim has been to make the subject matter broadly accessible to advanced students, whilst at the same time providing a reference text for graduate scholars and research scientists active in the field.
Humans are naturally exposed to nanoparticles on a daily basis and always have been. The process of digestion in our guts for example breaks food down into nanoscale particles so we can absorb nutrients from the food we eat. Naturally-occurring nanoparticles, or nanoparticles introduced during traditional food processing have been present in foods for many years. For example, some foods have a nanoscale structure that is invisible to the naked eye.
Researchers are working on pesticides encapsulated in nanoparticles; these only release pesticide in an insect’s stomach, which minimizes the contamination of plants themselves.
Another development being looked at is a network of nanosensors and dispensers throughout a food crop. The sensors recognize when a plant needs nutrients or water, before you could see any sign that the plant is deficient. The dispensers then release fertilizer, nutrients, or water as needed, optimizing the growth of each plant in the field one by one.
Diseases are one of the major factors limit¬ing crop productivity. The problem with the disease management lies with the detection of the exact stage of prevention. Most of the times pesticides are applied as a precaution¬ary manner leading to the residual toxicity and environmental hazards and, on the other hand, application of pesticides after the appearance of disease leads to some amount of crop losses. Among the different diseases, the viral diseases are the most difficult to control, as one has to stop the spread of the disease by the vectors. But, once it starts showing its symptoms, pesticide application would not be of much use.
Therefore, detection of exact stage such as stage of viral DNA replication or the production of initial viral protein is the key to the success of control of diseases particularly viral diseases. Nano-based viral diagnostics, including multiplexed diagnos¬tic kit development, have taken momentum in order to detect the exact strain of virus and stage of application of some therapeutic to stop the disease.
Detection and utilization of biomarkers that accurately indicate disease stages is also a new area of research. Measuring differential protein production in both healthy and dis¬eased states leads to the identification of the development of several proteins during the infection cycle. These Nano-based diagnostic kits not only increase the speed of detection but also increase the power of the detection."