Home > News > The Future of Health Care in the United States
April 3rd, 2007
The Future of Health Care in the United States
Nanomaterials (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter) for commercial use, such as sunscreens, clothing, computer chips, and cosmetics, already have been produced. Disposable imaging capsules that can be swallowed may soon be coursing through human blood vessels to produce detailed images noninvasively. Nanometers and other tiny microscopic-size devices built from DNA molecules that travel through the body in search of pathogens to eliminate may become as common as IV bottles.
As noted by the National Research Council, however, nanomaterials have unusual and useful properties, but their unique attributes make them a doubleedged sword. They can be tailored to yield specific benefits, but also can have unknown and possibly negative impacts such as unexpected toxicological and environmental effects. The environmental, health, and safety implications of nanotechnology are of significant concern to and a topic of serious discussion by government agencies and commissions, nongovernmental organizations, the research community, industry, insurers, the media, and the public.
Gold and other substances that are inactive in bulk form become highly reactive at the nanoscale level. As particle size decreases, more atoms are found on the surface compared with those in the interior. Increased relative surface area can lead to a change in chemical properties, raising the possibility that nanoparticles can pose a threat as a new form of pollution. Health concerns revolve around dangers in the workplace, waste streams from industry and laboratories, skin surface contact with cosmetics, ingestion of food and beverages containing nanoparticles, injection of medicinal products, and excretion of medical particles that are not biodegraded.
Arrowhead to Present at BioCentury's NewsMakers in the Biotech Industry Conference September 19th, 2014
The Pocket Project will develop a low-cost and accurate point-of-care test to diagnose Tuberculosis: ICN2 holds a follow-up meeting of the Project on September 18th - 19th September 18th, 2014
New non-invasive technique could revolutionize the imaging of metastatic cancer September 17th, 2014
Recruiting bacteria to be technology innovation partners: September 17th, 2014
Iranian Scientists Separate Zinc Ion at Low Concentrations September 20th, 2014
Iranian Researchers Synthesize Stable Ceramic Nanopowders at Room Temperature September 20th, 2014
Toward optical chips: A promising light source for optoelectronic chips can be tuned to different frequencies September 19th, 2014
New research points to graphene as a flexible, low-cost touchscreen solution September 19th, 2014
Engineers develop new sensor to detect tiny individual nanoparticles September 2nd, 2014
Sunblock poses potential hazard to sea life August 20th, 2014
Analytical solutions from Malvern Instruments support University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researchers in understanding environmental effects of nanomaterials July 30th, 2014
NNCO Announces an Interactive Webinar: Progress Review on the Coordinated Implementation of the National Nanotechnology Initiative 2011 Environmental, Health, and Safety Research Strategy July 23rd, 2014