Tag Archives: nanotechnology

Nanotechnology Education Act put to U.S. Congress

An interesting news update courtesy of Nanowerk News – House representative David Wu has introduced a Nanotechnology Education Act to US Congress that seeks to encourage U.S. students into the field of nanotechnology research and engineering.  The document begins by recognising that:

(1) The rapidly growing field of nanotechnology is generating scientific and technological breakthroughs that will benefit society by improving the way many things are designed and made.0

(2) Nanotechnology is likely to have a significant, positive impact on the security, economic well-being, and health of Americans as fields related to nanotechnology expand.

(3) In order to maximize the benefits of nanotechnology to individuals in the United States, the United States must maintain world leadership in the field, including nanoscience and microtechnology, in the face of determined competition from other nations.

(4) According to the National Science Foundation, foreign students on temporary visas earned 33 percent of all science and engineering doctorates awarded in the United States in 2007, the last year for which data are available. Foreign students earned 63 percent of the engineering doctorates.

(5) To maintain world leadership in nanotechnology, the United States must make a long-term investment in educating United States students in secondary schools and institutions of higher education, so that the students are able to conduct nanoscience research and develop and commercialize nanotechnology applications.

(6) Preparing United States students for careers in nanotechnology, including nanoscience, requires that the students have access to the necessary scientific tools, including scanning electron microscopes designed for teaching, and requires training to enable teachers and professors to use those tools in the classroom and the laboratory.

You can see the whole document here.  It’s a good sign, and shows an appropriate sense of foresight on behalf of the representative involved in creating the document.  Nanotechnology is an industry that has application in almost every aspect of our modern lives, and there are areas where we can’t even begin to comprehend how much impact nanotechnology will have in the future.

The U.S. will, of course, want to ensure that they are an active and essential part of that industry; and initiatives such as the ones proposed in this document are an important step in making sure that the U.S. does not fall behind in this area.  Interestingly, at the same time that this was being introduced, there were reports of recent research being done at Rice University in Houston, Texas.  The researchers were using nanoparticles to help fight cancer cells.

Say what you will about the incessant push for U.S. dominance in all areas, but there are some real world-changing advancements to be discovered in the field of nanotechnology.  Any extra funding or focus that can be placed onto the industry, both in the form of research but also regulatory standards and guidelines, should be welcomed with great enthusiasm.

There are some important issues to be discussed, to be sure, but the widespread implementation of nanotechnology is going to initiate a true paradigm shift in the way society functions and moves forwards.

What do you think about current research and advancements in nanotechnology?  Are we doing enough to ensure that ethical and safety boundaries are not crossed, even unintentionally?

10 sectors to watch over the next decade

To mark the end of 2009 and the beginning of the new upcoming decade, I wanted to bring you a series of posts that will look at the sectors of knowledge, technology and human progress that are going to see some astounding changes throughout the upcoming years. These sectors will be at the forefront of what will be seen as progress, and will more than likely change our lives so drastically that we will have difficulty reconciling the new existence with the one that we are currently living within.Continue Reading

Friday Link Roundup (on Monday): Scientific Advancement

As our Site of the Week last week was the Scientific American website, the link roundup will be focusing upon recent scientific advancements and progress. Rather than pointing to articles that are very conceptual or too hypothetical, I wanted to highlight some recent studies and events that point to solid findings or breakthroughs.Continue Reading

Report: Nanoparticles found in most cosmetic brands

Friends of the Earth in Australia have claimed that the majority of major cosmetic brands in the country are using nanoparticles in their products without adequate labeling or testing.Continue Reading

Centre for Nano Safety opens today in Edinburgh

Today marks the official launch of the Centre for Nano Safety based at Edinburgh Napier University. Given the discussions that have already taken place here about the need for tighter regulation and safety protocols in regards to the commercial use of nanotechnology and nanomaterials, this is a fantastic step in the right direction.Continue Reading

EU consumer organisations launch nanotechnology inventory

The European Consumers’ Organisation (BEUC) and the European consumer voice in standardisation (ANEC) have just published a list of products sold in the EU that contain nanomaterials. The move comes as a reaction to what they perceive as a lack of safety regulation and precautions in what is still a field with unknown impacts on consumers.Continue Reading