The home of nanotechnology

Japan has had a long history of 'small technologies', and many of its industries have worked at the microscale for decades. So it is quite natural for its scientific and technological community to have gradually moved into the nanoscale. Indeed, it was a Japanese scientist, Taniguchi Nori, who in 1974 coined the word 'nanotechnology' for machining with a tolerance less than micrometre (one millionth of a metre). The Japanese people perhaps first became aware of the possibility of...

Lesson one substantial equivalence

In Canada, Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) share joint responsibility for regulating novel plants. Plants with novel traits (PNTs) are defined as P lant varieties genotypes that are not considered substantially equivalent, in terms of their specific use and safety both for environment and for human health, to plants of the same species in Canada, having regard to weediness potential, gene flow, plant pest potential, impact on non-target organisms and impact on...

References

Jr Ricca, A Merkle R. C. (1997) 'Chemical storage of data', Nanotechnology, vol 8, pp1-5 Cavalcanti, A. and Freitas, R. A. Jr (2002) 'Autonomous multi-robot sensor-based cooperation for nanomedicine', International Journal of Nonlinear Sciences and Numerical Simulation, vol 3, pp743-746, www.cs.uky.edu jzhang nsns.html Clinton, W. J. (2000) Presidential address at the California Institute of Technology, 21 January 2000, Drexler, K. E. (1981) 'Molecular engineering An...

Nanotechnology and Japans regional and international role

Japan has an important economic and political role in the whole East Asian region, almost all of which is investing heavily in nanotechnologies. South Korea has launched a ten year programme with around US 2 billion of public funding while Taiwan has committed over US 600 million of public funding over six years from 2002, and Thailand and Singapore are also interested. East Asian regional cooperation is generally weak, despite numerous forums, and one may only speculate whether nanotechnology...

Nanotechnology hopes doubts and fears

The Royal Society report defines nanoscience as 'the study of phenomena and manipulation of materials at atomic, molecular and macromolecular scales, where properties differ significantly from those at a larger scale.' Nanotechnol-ogies are 'the design, characterization, production and application of structures, devices and systems by controlling shape and size at nanometre scale'. In essence, nanotechnology is an emerging technology based on solid particles in the size range where their...

Lesson three precautionary principle

In recent years, the precautionary principle, also known as precautionary approach, has become a central feature of many national and international laws and treaties. Various articulations of this principle can be found in Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (United Nations 1992), Maastricht Treaty (European Union 1992), Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (United Nations 2000), and at least ten other environmental treaties. Principle 15 defines the precautionary...

Overconsumption or moderation

From an ethical point of view the continuation of consumerist over-consumption may be regarded as a human failure to resist taking advantage of, and submitting to, craving and greed. Here the virtues of self-understanding, self-discipline and altruism may come to mind, among others. Every world religion and moral outlook has a central place for acknowledging and subduing greed and promoting a sharing attitude. Yet there is perhaps an increasing perception that greed is no longer just an...

Preface and Acknowledgements

Until very recently most people associated nanotechnology with science fiction-based accounts that tended to focus on fantastical devices and applications. With recent developments in nanoscience (for example greater control over atomic structure due in part to the atomic force microscope), nanotechnology has entered the commercial realm, and has simultaneously begun the journey of finding its space within the social imaginary. This book represents a leg of this journey. By exploring the risks...

Some nanology principles CHISEL

I now propose to open a door on a possible nanology by exploring the grounds for my question in a wider conceptual context than fundamentality alone. What I propose, at this stage, is a sketch of the general programmatic framework for considering 'advanced technologies' such as nanotechnology, biotechnology genetic engineering and related technologies such as stem cell therapy. I shall begin with six principles criticality, holism, interaction, self-organization, emergence and long-termism. It...