Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > News > Nanotechnology risks - the real issues

April 15th, 2007

Nanotechnology risks - the real issues

Nano-this and nano-that. These days it seems you need the prefix "nano" for products or applications if you want to be either very trendy or incredibly scary. This "nanotrend" has assumed "mega" proportions: Patent offices around the world are swamped with nanotechnology-related applications; investment advisors compile nanotechnology stock indices and predict a coming boom in nanotechnology stocks with misleading estimates floating around of a trillion-dollar industry within 10 years; pundits promise a new world with radically different medical procedures, manufacturing technologies and solutions to environmental problems; nano conferences and trade shows are thriving all over the world; scientific journals are awash in articles dealing with nanoscience discoveries and nano technologies breakthroughs. Nanotechnology has been plagued by a lot of hype, but cynicism and criticism have not been far behind. Science fiction writers exploit fears of nanorobots turning into killers; the media can run amok when news about potential health problems with nanoproducts surface (as happened last year with a product recall for a bathroom cleaner in Germany). Some see doomsday scenarios of molecular self-assembly turning the world into "grey goo." The emerging polarization of opinions on nanotechnology is reminiscent of controversies about genetically modified plants or nuclear energy. Vague promises of a better life are met by equally vague, generalized fears about a worse future. These debates have some aspects in common: the subject is complex and not easy to explain; there is no consensus on risks and benefits; scientists and corporations seem able to proceed unchecked, and it is unclear who is in control.


Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Preparing for Nano

Searching for a nanotech self-organizing principle May 1st, 2016

Nanotechnology is changing everything from medicine to self-healing buildings: Nanotechnology is so small it's measured in billionths of metres, and it is revolutionising every aspect of our lives April 2nd, 2016

Durnham University's DEEPEN project comes to a close September 26th, 2012

Technical Seminar at ANFoS 2012 August 22nd, 2012


Unusual quantum liquid on crystal surface could inspire future electronics October 22nd, 2016

Nanoparticle vaccinates mice against dengue fever October 21st, 2016

New perovskite solar cell design could outperform existing commercial technologies: Stanford, Oxford team creates high-efficiency tandem cells October 21st, 2016

Study explains strength gap between graphene, carbon fiber: Rice University researchers simulate defects in popular fiber, suggest ways to improve it October 19th, 2016

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Nanoantenna lighting-rod effect produces fast optical switches October 24th, 2016

New nanomedicine approach aims to improve HIV drug therapies October 24th, 2016

New method increases energy density in lithium batteries: Novel technique may lead to longer battery life in portable electronics and electrical vehicles October 24th, 2016

Unusual quantum liquid on crystal surface could inspire future electronics October 22nd, 2016

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Exploding smartphones: What's the silent danger lurking in our rechargeable devices? New research identifies toxic emissions released by lithium-ion batteries October 21st, 2016

Study finds surface texture of gallium nitride affects cell behavior October 17th, 2016

Silver nanoparticle concentration too low to be harmful in water supply, paper finds October 14th, 2016

10 years of SAFENANO at the IOM October 10th, 2016

Human Interest/Art

Weizmann Institute of Science Presents: Weizmann Wonder Wander - 4G - is Online June 21st, 2016

Call for NanoArt and Art-Science-Technology Papers June 9th, 2016

Scientists propose non-animal tools for assessing the toxicity of nanomaterials: Particle and Fibre Toxicology publishes recommendations from expert group meeting April 26th, 2016

Are humans the new supercomputer?Today, people of all backgrounds can contribute to solving serious scientific problems by playing computer games. A Danish research group has extended the limits of quantum physics calculations and simultaneously blurred the boundaries between mac April 14th, 2016

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project