Nanotechnology is the art and science of manipulating matter at the nanoscale (down to 1/100,000 the width of a human hair) to create new and unique materials and products.
Nanotechnology has enormous potential to change society. An estimated global research and development investment of nearly $9 billion per year is anticipated to lead to new medical treatments and tools; more efficient energy production, storage and transmission; better access to clean water; more effective pollution reduction and prevention; and stronger, lighter materials. And these are just a few of the more significant ways in which people are discussing using the technology. Learn more about nanotechnology with our introduction, or click on one of the articles below to begin exploring the subject in detail.
Recent News, Events and Publications
- news/archive March 2, 2011 A new video podcast on nanotechnology safety from the ASME Nanotechnology Institute The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) have just posted a new video on the safe development of nanotechnology, featuring former PEN Science Advisor Andrew Maynard, as part of their series of nano educational podcasts. video
- news/archive November 10, 2009 findNano App Puts Nanotech in Your Pocket The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies has developed findNano, an application for Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch that lets users discover and determine whether consumer products are nanotechnology-enabled.
- news/archive October 13, 2009 Nanotechnologies Roundtable with Dr. Andrew Maynard A roundtable discussion with Andrew Maynard, Chief Science Advisor, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. Discussion topics include Dr. Maynard’s experience and current role; ‘nanotechnology’ basics and definitions; manufacturing process and opportunities; regulatory status; potential environmental and health concerns; and more. video
- news/archive September 29, 2009 Nanotechnology and Synthetic Biology: What does the American public think? Nanotechnology and synthetic biology continue to develop as two of the most exciting areas of scientific discovery, but research has shown that the public is almost completely unaware of the science and its applications. A groundbreaking poll of 1,001 U.S. adults conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates and the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) found 90 percent of Americans think that the public should be better informed about the development of cutting-edge technologies. video
- news/archive August 18, 2009 Putting Nanotechnology on the Map The “Nano Metro” landscape is growing. An updated interactive map highlights companies, universities, government laboratories, and other organizations that are involved in nanotechnology research, development, and commercialization.
- news/archive July 29, 2009 5 years on - a beacon or just a landmark? A new report from The Responsible Nano Forum marks the 5 year anniversary of the release of the seminal report from the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties.
- events/archive April 28, 2009 Oversight of Next Generation Nanotechnology When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was founded, automobiles ran on leaded gasoline without catalytic converters. A landmark report by J. Clarence Davies, Oversight of Next Generation Nanotechnology, describes how existing health and safety agencies are unable to cope with the risk assessment, standard setting and oversight challenges of 21st century technology. video
- news/archive February 4, 2009 Nanotechnology and the Consumer What is nanotechnology? How will it affect our lives? And, why should we care? These are just a few of the questions addressed in Talking Nano, a wide-ranging 6-DVD series released by the Boston Museum of Science. The set that includes presentations by noted researchers with a consumer products lecture by Project director David Rejeski. video
- news/archive January 28, 2009 World’s First Mandatory National Nanotech Requirement Pending Canada is reportedly planning in February to become the first nation in the world to require companies to detail their use of engineered nanomaterials. The information gathered under the requirement will be used to evaluate the risks of engineered nanomaterials and will help to develop appropriate safety measures to protect human health and the environment.
- publications/archive January 27, 2009 PEN 16 - Nanotechnology: The Social and Ethical Issues “It is crucial to address social and ethical issues now as we consider both the substantial potential risks of nanotechnology and its possible significant contributions to our well-being and environmental sustainability,” says report author Ronald Sandler. PEN 16 emphasizes ways in which these issues intersect with governmental functions and responsibilities, including science and technology policy, as well as research funding, regulation and work on public engagement.
- news/archive January 27, 2009 Ethical Evaluations of Nanotechnology Recent action in Congress to reauthorize the U.S. federal nanotechnology research program offers the chance to address the social and ethical issues concerning the emerging scientific field, experts say. “It is crucial to address social and ethical issues now as we consider both the substantial potential risks of nanotechnology and its possible significant contributions to our well-being and environmental sustainability,” says Ronald Sandler, Northeastern University philosophy professor and author of a new report released today by the Project.
- publications/archive January 14, 2009 PEN 17 - A Hard Pill to Swallow Historically, the regulation of dietary supplements has been a significant challenge for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the fact that some of these products are now being manufactured using nanotechnology creates an additional layer of complexity. Is FDA equipped to meet the emerging regulatory challenge of dietary supplements that use engineered nanomaterials?
- events/archive January 14, 2009 Nanotech and Your Daily Vitamins Historically, the regulation of dietary supplements has been a significant challenge for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the fact that some of these products are now being manufactured using nanotechnology creates an additional layer of complexity. Is FDA equipped to meet the emerging regulatory challenge of dietary supplements that use engineered nanomaterials? video
- news/archive January 14, 2009 Getting Your Daily Dose of Nano? The ability of the FDA to regulate the safety of dietary supplements using nanomaterials is severely limited by lack of information, lack of resources and the agency’s lack of statutory authority in certain critical areas, according to: A Hard Pill To Swallow: Barriers to Effective FDA Regulation of Nanotechnology-Based Dietary Supplements, a new report by former FDA officials William B. Schultz and Lisa Barclay.
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