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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2023
  2. Nano-porous aerogels are an advantageous approach to produce low-density materials with high surface area, particularly when using biobased materials. Frequently, most biobased aerogels are synthesized through a bottom-up approach, which requires high energy inputs to break and rebuild the raw materials, and for elimination of water. To curb this, this work focused on generating aerogels by a top-down approach through the delignification of a wood substrate while eliminating water by solvent exchange. To diversify the surface chemistry for use in water treatment, the delignified wood–nanowood-was coated with a chitosan–cyclodextrin co-polymer and tested in the capture of microcystin-LR. The generated nanowood structure had 75% porosity after coating, with up to 339% water swelling and an adsorption capacity of 0.12 mg g −1 of the microcystin. This top-down technique enables the generation of low-cost aerogels by reducing steps, using a biobased self-assembled coating with hydrophobic active sites, and avoiding costly energetic input.
  3. Cyanobacterial metabolites are increasingly studied, in regards to their biosynthesis, ecological role, toxicity, and potential biomedical applications. However, the history of cyanotoxins prior to the last few decades is virtually unknown. Only a few paleolimnological studies have been undertaken to date, and these have focused exclusively on microcystins and cylindrospermopsins, both successfully identified in lake sediments up to 200 and 4700 years old, respectively. In this paper, we review direct extraction, quantification, and application of cyanotoxins in sediment cores, and put forward future research prospects in this field. Cyanobacterial toxin research is also compared to other paleo-cyanobacteria tools, such as sedimentary pigments, akinetes, and ancient DNA isolation, to identify the role of each tool in reproducing the history of cyanobacteria. Such investigations may also be beneficial for further elucidation of the biological role of cyanotoxins, particularly if coupled with analyses of other abiotic and biotic sedimentary features. In addition, we identify current limitations as well as future directions for applications in the field of paleolimnological studies on cyanotoxins.