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

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