Big troubles may lurk in super-tiny tech/Nanotechnology experts say legal, ethical issues loomhttp://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/10/31/MNG28FGMVJ1.DTLRichard E. Smalley, 62, Dies; Chemistry Nobel Winnerhttp://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/29/science/29smalley.htmlNational Nanotechnology Initiative [pdf]http://www.nano.gov/Nanotubes and Buckyballshttp://www.nanotech-now.com/nanotube-buckyball-sites.htmCenter for Responsible Nanotechnologyhttp://www.crnano.org/index.htmlNanotechnology has been around for several decades, but a number of recent findings have increased the general interest in this emergent combination of scientific knowledge and technological innovation. At the European Cancer Conference in Paris this past Tuesday, researchers from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology presented research findings that suggest that this emergent technology may be used to release cancer-killing drugs inside tumors within the body. The research was conducted on mice, and involved engineering nanoparticles which were embedded with a cancer drug. The initial results were promising, and Dr. David Kerr, a professor of clinical pharmacology at Oxford University commented that “This looks like a step forward.” After Kerr’s initial remarks, he also noted that “This is only one design step toward what ultimately must be a systemic treatment. As with many emergent technological advances throughout the ages, there remains a great concern about the potential ethical and moral dilemmas posed by the growth of nanotechnology. Not surprisingly, this was also a question under debate at the International Congress of Nanotechnology, which took place this week in San Francisco.The first link will take visitors to a news article about these recent scientific findings as reported by Emma Ross in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The second link leads to a well-written piece in the San Francisco Chronicle that explores some of the growing ethical concerns surrounding the growth of nanotechnology. The third link leads to the obituary of Richard E. Smalley, who shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1996, and who is also very closely associated with the exponential growth of interest in the field of nanotechnology. The fourth link leads to the homepage of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, which provides information about the federal government’s efforts to facilitate technology transfer in the field and to maintain a first-rate research and development program. The fifth link will take users to a very nice site that explains both the form and structure of nanotubes and buckyballs. Both of these forms of carbon are tremendously important to the field of nanotechnology, and the explanations offered here are concise and lucid. The final link leads to the homepage of the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology, which offers insights into the benefits and risks of nanotechnology, along with a rather intriguing weblog.


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