Monday, November 27, 2006

When nanotech 'industry' believes its own PR ...

The nanotech "industry" is again the victim of its own hype. It adopted a broad definition of nanotech to attract more investment. If it appears that nanotech is already big business and already incorporated into hundreds of products, then the illusion is created that it's not such a risky investment. Come on in, fellas, and bring your checkbooks.

As time goes on, though, we'll see the "industry" move to a less broad definition. But the damage has been done. It made the mistake of believing its own press releases. What's worse, anti-nanotech activists believed the hype, as well. If nanosize ingredients -- even in stink-free socks -- are something special and different, then they need to be treated as such, and tested.

There's an internal logic of its own here, yet I cannot help but ponder whether all the stink over nanosized ingredients in cleaning products will ultimately be good for real nanotechnology. After all, the custodians working at the labs where scientists are creating engineered molecules to cure diseases, make drinking water safe and end poverty need to clean the clean rooms and laboratory bathrooms with safe material. And all those scientists working late hours without changing their socks need some protective footwear for the sake of their coworkers.

How low can nano go?
'Super thick non-digestible' nano
'Crain's-ing' my neck to see the hype

Thursday, November 23, 2006

EPA decides to regulate what it already regulates

Just revving up the blogmobile to see if she'll start cold after sitting unused in the driveway for so long. I'll start with an easy one.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced it will regulate products that contain nanoscale bits of silver as anti-microbial agents (NPR story here).

Well, yes, of course it should regulate nanosilver, just as it regulates macroscale silver as anti-microbial agents in products such as pesticides. This falls under the category of "no new regulation needed for nanotech," since this regulation already exists.

The problem here is that silver, whether nanoscale or macroscale, is still clunky old technology that -- standing alone -- cannot be controlled very well since it kills good (or unintended) microbes as well as bad. To me, that ain't nanotech. That's nanoscale stuff being sprinkled into products.

There are, however, real efforts (random one here) being made to create polymers (nano and not) with safe antimicrobial properties. That's the spirit of nanotech. Engineer in the good and engineer out the bad, then let those little buggers loose.

Update: I wonder would I should do now with my SoleFresh NanoSocks? I have been told, in the past, that my footwear could be considered toxic waste, but now it appears that this otherwise subjective opinion could get me into trouble with the EPA.

Ex-FDA official concludes FDA needs more dough
Taking toxicity out of quantum dots
A bunch of nano characters

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Experienced editor and writer for hire

Please pardon the blogging break, but I am still looking for employment. I am an editor and writer with more than 20 years of experience as a journalist. My resume can be found here.

Friday, November 03, 2006

NanoBots for life

A few years ago, those who told fantastic tales of nanobots were accused by prominent scientists of perpetuating images that "have scared our children." Turns out, the evidence says the opposite is true.

Roxxi the Foxxi 'Bot has the cure
NanoBots are Needed
We all live in a nano submarine
Stop worrying and learn to love nanobots