Project Press Releases
- November 14, 2008pdfSynthetic Biology: Coming up Fast!Synthetic biology is being touted by scientists and venture capitalists as “the next big thing.” Researchers claim to be on the brink of creating artificial life in a laboratory and making the world’s first synthetic microbes. But will the promises and pitfalls of synthetic biology catch governments, ethicists, biosafety and biosecurity experts, and the public by surprise?
- October 14, 2008pdfThe Frontiers of NanotechnologyThe future of how the world communicates, and how we power our lives, will likely come from the same source: nanotechnology. According to the latest NanoFrontiers newsletter and Trips to the Nanofrontier podcast, nanotechnology will be central to developing and using new electronics and energy technologies in the 21st Century.
- September 30, 2008pdfNanotech and Synbio: Americans Don’t Know What’s ComingA groundbreaking poll has found that almost half of U.S. adults have heard nothing about nanotechnology, and nearly nine in 10 Americans say they have heard just a little or nothing at all about the emerging field of synthetic biology. This new insight into limited public awareness of emerging technologies comes on the cusp of a major leadership change in the nation’s capital.
- September 9, 2008pdfNanoscale Silver: No Silver Lining?Widespread use of nanoscale silver will challenge regulatory agencies to balance important potential benefits against the possibility of significant environmental risk, highlighting the need to identify research priorities concerning this emerging technology, according to a new report by Dr. Samuel Luoma. Existing information about the impact of silver on the environment offers a starting point for some assessments of nanosilver, the report argues.
- September 8, 2008pdfNanotechnology and the FDA: Size Matters!In July 2007 the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued its Nanotechnology Task Force Report. This report acknowledged that nanoscale materials potentially could be used in most product types regulated by the agency and that those materials present challenges complicated by the fact that properties relevant to product safety and effectiveness may change as size varies within the nanoscale.
- August 21, 2008pdfConsumer Product Safety Commission Not Ready For NanotechThe inability of the Consumer Product Safety Commission to carry out its mandate with respect to simple, low-tech products such as children’s jewelry and toy trains bodes poorly for its ability to oversee the safety of complex, high-tech products made using nanotechnology, according to a new report written by consumer product expert and Harvard lecturer E. Marla Felcher.
- July 28, 2008pdfLocal Officials Move Toward Monitoring NanotechnologiesState and local officials have taken steps to begin monitoring the manufacture and storage of nanomaterials, a major step for a cutting-edge technology that has yet to be regulated by the federal government. Today, the Cambridge, MA Public Health Department recommended that the city take several steps to gain a better understanding of the nature and extent of local nanotechnology-related activities.
- July 23, 2008pdfNanotechnology and Oversight: An Agenda for the New AdministrationFew domestic policy areas that the new administration must address will have greater long-range consequences than nanotechnology — a new technology that has been compared with the industrial revolution in terms of its impact on society. If the right decisions are made, nanotechnology will bring vast improvements to almost every area of daily living. If the wrong decisions are made, the American economy, human health and the environment will suffer.
- July 23, 2008pdfNanotech: A Regulatory Blueprint for the Next AdministrationNanotechnology will significantly change virtually every facet of the way we live. The next president has the opportunity to shape these changes and to ensure that nanotechnology’s benefits will be maximized and its risks identified and controlled. A new report by former EPA official J. Clarence (Terry) Davies lays out a clear roadmap for the next presidential administration and describes the immediate and longer term steps necessary to deal with the current shortcomings of nanotechnology oversight.