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 December 10, 2008 Panel Blasts Federal Nanotech Risk Research Strategy A National Research Council committee today issued a highly critical report describing serious shortfalls in the Bush administration’s strategy to better understand the environment, health and safety risks of nanotechnology and to effectively manage those potential risks. The report calls for a significantly revamped national strategic plan that will minimize potential risks so that innovation will flourish and society will reap nanotechnology’s benefits.
- publications/archive December 9, 2008 Federal Government Nanotechnology Environment, Health and Safety Research Federal risk-research funding options for moving forward under the next administration
- news/archive October 14, 2008 The Frontiers of Nanotechnology The 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. audio
- publications/archive October 3, 2008 Nanotechnology: Energizing the Future Industry and government are searching for new technologies that will foster more efficient and less-polluting energy sources. From nano-enabled solar panels to long-lasting automobile batteries, nanotechnology will be a cornerstone of 21st Century energy sources.
- news/archive July 28, 2008 Local Officials Move Toward Monitoring Nanotechnologies State 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.
- publications/archive July 23, 2008 PEN 13 - Nanotechnology Oversight Few 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.
- events/archive July 23, 2008 Nanotechnology and Oversight: An Agenda for the New Administration Few 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.
- news/archive July 23, 2008 Nanotech: A Regulatory Blueprint for the Next Administration Nanotechnology 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. video
- news/archive May 28, 2008 Tuning in to Carbon Nanotube Safety For several days last week, newspapers across the country and around the world reported on a new research study recently published in Nature Nanotechnology with headlines like “Nanotechnology cancer risk found” and “Nanotubes as deadly as asbestos.” This week National Public Radio’s “Science Friday” and “The Kojo Nnamdi Show” interviewed the Project’s chief science advisor Dr. Andrew Maynard, enabling listeners to get behind the headlines and pose questions directly to one of the study’s authors. audio
- news/archive May 19, 2008 Carbon Nanotubes That Look Like Asbestos, Behave Like Asbestos A major study published today in Nature Nanotechnology suggests some forms of carbon nanotubes could be as harmful as asbestos if inhaled in sufficient quantities. The study used established methods to see if specific types of nanotubes have the potential to cause mesothelioma — a cancer of the lung lining that can take 30-40 years to appear following exposure. video audio
- events/archive April 2, 2008 New Nanotechnology Television Series Does “Sweat the Small Stuff” The Project and National Science Foundation will host the Washington, DC, premiere event for the television series “Nanotechnology: The Power of Small”. The series’ three programs explore critical questions about nanotechnology’s potential impact on privacy, the environment and human health and will include remarks by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, a co-chair of the Congressional Nanotechnology Caucus.
- news/archive February 11, 2008 Know Your Nano? Free iPods To Those With High “Nano IQ”! Five free iPod Nanos are up for grabs! To celebrate the launch of our redesigned website, the Project is sponsoring a “Nano-IQ” contest. Winners will be randomly selected from those who successfully complete the five-question quiz. - UPDATE: Winners Announced!
- news/archive February 6, 2008 European Commission Gives Grant To Investigate Transatlantic Oversight Of Nanotechnology Researchers at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Chatham House, Environmental Law Institute and the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, have been awarded a $587,000 European Commission grant to conduct an international research project on regulating nanotechnologies in the European Union and United States
- publications/archive January 4, 2008 Looking Back on the First Two Years This report reviews the Project’s major activities, key contributions, and most significant impacts over its first two years.
- publications/archive December 3, 2007 Feynman, Voltaire and Beckett on Nanotechnology This presentation examines flaws in the assertion by the U.S. government that the existing regulatory system is adequate to address risks from nanotechnologies and explores actions that need to be taken to help foster successful commercialization of nano products.
Want to know more about nanotechnology?
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