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September 7th, 2007
Just what is nanoethics, and why does it matter?
That's a question posed in the Spring 2007 issue of The New Atlantis. Adam Keiper, the journal's editor, wrote a long article titled "Nanoethics as a Discipline?"
I'd like to share some of Adam's piece with you and respond to it.
" Nanoethics is first and foremost plagued by a persistent confusion about what exactly nanotechnology is—a confusion that researchers themselves sometimes exacerbate. The term "nanotechnology" is used nowadays as a catch-all to describe a wide range of research efforts that involve understanding and manipulating matter at the molecular level. The great bulk of this research seeks to find new uses for nanoscale particles or to engineer new materials, some of which have been incorporated into consumer products you can buy today, such as cosmetics, stain-resistant clothing, and antibacterial food containers. This type of nanotechnology is essentially a branch of materials science, and in the years ahead it is expected to yield powerful medical diagnostic tools, ultra-efficient water-filtration systems, strong and lightweight materials for military armor, and numerous breakthroughs in energy, computing, and medicine."
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