Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Picture of the day

1x1um Polymer nano-spheres

Pacific Nanotechnology, 1x1um Polymer nano-spheres

Pacific Nanotechnology provides products and services that facilitate advances in nanoparticle technology and research. Our products are optimized for research, development, and process control applications when visualization, modification, and measurement of nanoparticle or nanopowder is critical. (click to see larger version)

To learn more about and to see more of these images, check out the following pages:

Pacific Nanotechnology Nanoparticle Image Gallery AFM images of nanoparticles, AFM data of nanopowders, AFM images of thermoplasitc elastomer, carbon nanotubes, polysterene particles, polymer particles, quantum dots, QD, latex spheres, drug powder, drug crystallines, polished quartz,blood cells, CNT, DNA, sol-gel, inclusions, triblock co-polymer, colloids, colloidal gold, colloidal gold spheres, carbon black, polypeptides, calcium phosphate, CaP, etc.

Pacific Nanotechnology Nanoparticle Technology

I will post the others in this series over time. To see the entire series now, visit the Nanotechnology Now Gallery.

Quote of the day

"Much as we feel a sense of privacy in the openness of a restaurant, so might a transparent society provide a sense, and the reality, of privacy much better than one in which surveillance is hidden but nevertheless there. Much depends on how humans decide to behave...in a society already reasonably tolerant we might reach a point when the private matters of everyone are both readily accessible and simply uninteresting. Rather than vainly attempting to save privacy, we should strive to create a society that is ever more transparent, ever more exposed."

~David Brin, From: The Transparent Society

NanoEthics today

My friend and colleague Patrick Lin is the Research Director for The Nanoethics Group. Quoting from their website:

"The Nanoethics Group is a non-partisan and independent organization that studies the ethical and societal implications of nanotechnology. We also engage the public as well as collaborate with nanotech ventures and research institutes on related issues that will impact the industry. By proactively opening a dialogue about the possible misuses and unintended consequences of nanotechnology, the industry can avoid the mistakes that others have made repeatedly in business, most recently in the biotech sector - ignoring the issues, reacting too late and losing the critical battle of public opinion."

From my point of view, Patrick is an intelligent, articulate and knowledgeable speaker for his cause; one which I fully support. So it was a great pleasure to hear that TNG has recently spoken at the Cal/EPA Nanotechnology Symposium, where Patrick presented "Understanding the Debate: A Critical Look at Reasons For and Against More Regulation in Nanotechnology."

And now quoting from their press release regarding (1) the symposium:

"Dr. Lin will explain the overarching argument for stricter laws and regulations in nanotechnology as well as evaluate its initial plausibility. He will then provide analysis for five main objections to the argument, with a focus on the two strongest objections: 1) the Self-Regulation objection that it is better for the nano-industry to regulate itself, rather than have new rules imposed by government agencies less familiar with the industry or nanotech; and 2) the Other Harms objection that new rules would stunt the growth of a nascent nano-industry, causing economic damage and other harms."

As a follow-up to the symposium, TNG produced a PDF (2) covering Patrick’s slide show. You will get a nice overview of TNG’s positions regarding the crucial issues surrounding nanotechnology. One of the points that I take away from the PDF is their statement that "We’re not activists, advocates or watchdogs," which I find to be both factual and a policy that makes them a bit more credible than those with an ax to grind.

I encourage you to read through the material provided by TNG (links below). Once you have read it, you will be a great deal more informed regarding why we need to pay attention to nanotechnologies. You will also be better able to take part in the debate; a debate that all stakeholders (anyone who has a vested interest in a goal; that’s you and I and everyone else who lives on Planet Earth) need to pay attention to.

(1) http://www.nanoethics.org/rls022007.html
(2) http://www.nanoethics.org/slides.pdf