Nanotechnology has been touted as the next technology revolution, transforming everything from communications to medicine, water decontamination to homeland security. But scientific progress has been accompanied by fears over unknown consequences of nanotechnology, with one pressure group even calling for a moratorium on all research until more is known. More specific concerns have been voiced by various parties – including the UK Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering – about exposure to manufactured nano-sized particles and the possible harmful effects on human health.
The future success of nanotechnology will depend on rational and informed work to understand and minimize these potential adverse effects on health and the environment. This is where Andrew Maynard of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars steps in. He explains what is known about effects of nanoparticles on the body in the latest issue of Nano Today magazine.
“We need to understand both how harmful a substance is, and how much of it can get into the body, if risk is to be understood and managed,” says Maynard.
James Quinney | alfa
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Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
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Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
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Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
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Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
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The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.
Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...
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