Nanotechnology Now





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Nanoscience poses solutions, problems for environmental ills

Jeff Morris (Left) and Franz Geiger (Center) talk to audience members Tuesday night after a town hall meeting on nanotechnology. Courtesy Thomas Forrest/MEDILL.
Jeff Morris (Left) and Franz Geiger (Center) talk to audience members Tuesday night after a town hall meeting on nanotechnology. Courtesy Thomas Forrest/MEDILL.

Abstract:
Story by Thomas Forrest

Imagine a cloud blocking out the sun's light, engulfing the world in darkness as people lived their fossil fueled dominated lives. This was the proposal of some scientists on Tuesday night in Northwestern University. Franz Geiger, associate professor of physical chemistry at Northwestern University, explained the potential benefits and ethical dilemma of such a situation at the third annual Nanotechnology Town Hall Meeting at Abbot Auditorium.

Nanoscience poses solutions, problems for environmental ills

Evanston, IL | Posted on January 14th, 2010

He explained that one way to combat climate change without altering the way people live their lives was by shooting aerosols into space that could act as a reflector and deflect sunlight from earth. He presented a serene picture of the ash from a volcanic eruption preventing the light from the sun.

"The problem is that it will look at noon in July like this," he said.

Geiger acknowledged the psychological effects and moral hazards of such an occurrence. He said that he did not know what reflecting the sunlight from earth would do to the emotional well-being of people. "We know what happens in Iceland, which has a very high suicide rate," he said.

He said the alternative would be to actually have a reflector in orbit. He continued that nanoparticles would act as a giant reflector and cost roughly $10 billion dollars a year worldwide. "The temperature on the planet doesn't increase as quickly as it does without the reflectors, we can continue burning fossil fuels and driving one person per car, and life is good," he continued.

He said that controlling fossil fuel emissions was one way to combat climate control, but this was a costly and difficult proposition because the economy was based on fossil fuels.

Laurie Zoloth, director of the Center for Bioethics, Science and Society, discussed Northwestern University's commitment to nanotechnology and research, and she informed the audience of Northwestern University's Science in Society blog. She said the blog attempts to educate the community about the research efforts from Northwestern University and around the world and the ethical implications of that research.

"We've only been at this for about four or five years," said Jeff Morris, national program director for nanotechnology for the Environmental Protection Agency. He continued that there was still a lot that needed to be discovered about nanotechnology and how it affected health.

He said that a few studies suggesting toxicity did not necessarily equal risk, and researchers don't know if it represented real exposure. Morris said it took about 15 years before a researcher could really get to understand any types of depth within their studies.

"I'm not sure we can wait that long," Morris added.

He said that some of the challenges of research include being flexible and recognizing the limits of science. He added that the EPA has increased research on targeted effects, screening tools and an emphasis on green nanotechnology to discover what information was most needed to best inform decisions on nanotechnology.

"Nanoscale materials show promise for improving the environment," Morris said.

He said that little was known about nanomaterial toxicity and exposure. He said that a few studies suggesting toxicity did not necessarily equal risk, and researchers don't know if it represented real exposure.

Laura Hodson, the industrial hygienist for the Nanotechnology Research Center at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, addressed the safety of nanotechnology. She said that researchers could always manage risk and control materials that may be hazardous.

"Fire can kill us, but we all have fire in our house. We cook with it every day, so we manage the risk," Hodson said. She said that researchers could always manage risk and control materials that may be hazardous.

"Nanomaterials are purposely engineered for their unique size dependent properties and behavior," she said.

She spoke about the beneficial applications of nanotechnology to the environment such as decreasing dependency on fuel, the ability to make fuel cells, batteries and pollution control.

"We have a second chance at new science, and indeed a second chance at a kind of industrial re-revolution named nanotechnology," Zoloth said.

####

About Northwestern University
Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment that transcends traditional academic boundaries. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth in a setting enhanced by the richness of Chicago.

For more information, please click here

Copyright © Northwestern University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Nanostructures Increase Corrosion Resistance in Metallic Body Implants May 24th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Use Magnetic Field to Transfer Anticancer Drug to Tumor Tissue May 24th, 2015

Basel physicists develop efficient method of signal transmission from nanocomponents May 23rd, 2015

This Slinky lookalike 'hyperlens' helps us see tiny objects: The photonics advancement could improve early cancer detection, nanoelectronics manufacturing and scientists' ability to observe single molecules May 23rd, 2015

Ethics

PETA science consortium to present at Society for Risk Analysis meeting December 10th, 2014

PETA science consortium experts to present at international nanotechology workshop: PETA International Science Consortium, Ltd., Is a Sponsor of Nano Risk Analysis II September 12th, 2014

PETA science consortium to present hazard testing strategy at nanotoxicology meeting: High tech field ripe for use of sophisticated non-animal testing strategies April 22nd, 2014

Scientists disagree on responsible research April 8th, 2014

Preparing for Nano

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

Technical Seminar at ANFoS 2012 August 22nd, 2012

Nanotechnology shows we can innovate without economic growth April 12th, 2012

Thailand to host NanoThailand 2012 December 18th, 2011

Possible Futures

Simulations predict flat liquid May 21st, 2015

Nature inspires first artificial molecular pump: Simple design mimics pumping mechanism of life-sustaining proteins found in living cells May 19th, 2015

NNCO and Museum of Science Fiction to Collaborate on Nanotechnology and 3D Printing Panels at Awesome Con May 19th, 2015

Quantum 'gruyères' for spintronics of the future: Topological insulators become a little less 'elusive' May 12th, 2015

Announcements

Nanostructures Increase Corrosion Resistance in Metallic Body Implants May 24th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Use Magnetic Field to Transfer Anticancer Drug to Tumor Tissue May 24th, 2015

Basel physicists develop efficient method of signal transmission from nanocomponents May 23rd, 2015

This Slinky lookalike 'hyperlens' helps us see tiny objects: The photonics advancement could improve early cancer detection, nanoelectronics manufacturing and scientists' ability to observe single molecules May 23rd, 2015

Environment

Conversion of Greenhouse Gases to Syngas in Presence of Nanocatalysts in Iran May 22nd, 2015

Directa Plus in Barcelona to present the innovative project GEnIuS for oil spills clean-up activities: The company has created a graphene-based product for the remediation of water contaminated by oil and hydrocarbons May 21st, 2015

Nano-policing pollution May 13th, 2015

Chemists strike nano-gold: 4 new atomic structures for gold nanoparticle clusters: Research builds upon work by Nobel Prize-winning team from Stanford University April 28th, 2015

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Statement by QD Vision regarding European Parliament’s Vote on Cadmium-Based Quantum Dots May 20th, 2015

SUNY Poly CNSE and NIOSH Launch Federal Nano Health and Safety Consortium: May 20th, 2015

Cotton fibres instead of carbon nanotubes May 9th, 2015

Nanoparticles in consumer products can significantly alter normal gut microbiome May 4th, 2015

Events/Classes

Haydale Named Lead Sponsor for Cambridge Graphene Festival May 22nd, 2015

Aspen Aerogels to Present at the Cowen and Company Technology, Media & Telecom Conference May 21st, 2015

Directa Plus in Barcelona to present the innovative project GEnIuS for oil spills clean-up activities: The company has created a graphene-based product for the remediation of water contaminated by oil and hydrocarbons May 21st, 2015

Nanometrics Announces Live Webcast of Upcoming Investor and Analyst Day May 20th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




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










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project