While applications of nanotechnology in medicine have great potential to improve healthcare by earlier and better diagnosis there are possible risks to our health, Dr Hermann Stamm of the Joint Research Centre, European Commission, will today tell the Euroscience Open Forum 2008 in Barcelona.
“Nanotechnology must be applied in a safe and secure way, in order to fully develop the exciting opportunities for application in life science and other fields,” said Stamm.
“Discussion around Nanotechnology and any possible health risks linked to its application is just one field where the challenges of communicating them to the public and stressing the need for informed decisions must be based on sound science,” said ESOF2008 Co-Chair and Euroscience President Enric Banda. “One of the goals of ESOF2008 is to communicate to the general public the impacts of science on their daily lives,” concluded Banda.
Nanotechnology and health: promises and risks
“In general our regulatory frameworks for nanomaterials seem sufficiently broad and flexible to handle most developments”, reassures Hermann Stamm. “But the most prominent risk to health arises from the unknown toxicity of engineered nanomaterials, for example in the use of nanoparticles transported in the body’s tissue which allow for the development of novel pharmaceuticals. These raise concerns of adverse health effects which arise from greater toxicity than expected from the elemental composition” said Stamm.
‘Mars and Venus’ – how Europeans and Americans view and use science
“Is greater and closer collaboration between the US and Europe the key to overall success for science in the face of global competition?” is the question that Alan Leshner will pose in the ‘Mars and Venus’ Session at the Euroscience Open Forum 2008 in Barcelona. “Both the US and Europe face new challenges on how science is viewed and used – from stem cells to climate change. But there continues to be tension between scientific information and political direction. With stakeholders from big business to the media pitching different views, citizens are left wondering who they can really trust?” said Leshner.
"The European Union and the United States of America form a unique relationship as international partners in science,” Roland Schenkel, Director General, DG Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission, will tell delegates. “Our approaches to scientific research and development can be different but we share common interests and goals. We are also faced by the same evolving global challenges. It is vital that we learn from each other in facing them together”, said Schenkel.
Maths – art or science?
“Is mathematics a creative art or useful science?” will be the question posed by the leading mathematician and gifted public communicator Marcus Du Sautoy, a Plenary speaker at Euroscience Open Forum 2008. He will explore the role of maths as the key to many of the greatest scientific and technological advances made throughout the ages. Du Sautoy will also look at how maths underpins many of the steps that artists exploit in their creative processes, taking the mathematical structures hiding behind such great works like the Alhambra and Bach’s Goldberg Variations as examples.
Smart energy homes
‘Will people be prepared to pay more to live in a Smart Energy Home which is self sufficient, or even a net positive, energy generator not requiring an external energy source and not emitting CO2?’ is one of the key questions Sean McWhinnie, an expert on smart energy homes, will raise at the Euroscience Open Forum 2008. “Our session will show that science and technology can be used in such a way as to persuade people to want to live in smart energy homes”, said McWhinnie.
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An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
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