ISSUE NINETEEN AUGUST 2010

THE MAGAZINE FOR SMALL SCIENCE

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ISSN 1757-2517

Featuring extracts from NANO Magazine Issue 19:
Nanotechnology for Sustainability across the board
Ethics and Nanotechnology
How society determines the way it adopts technology

The Editorial Find out about the exciting range of articles in Issue 19 Events Calendar The best upcoming nanotechnology conferences and events News The latest research news from the nanotech world
Issue 19 also features:

Nanomaterials for Architects and Architecture
Architects need to learn more about nano to design sustainably

Discovering Nanotech’s Potential
One architectural practice is developing their own nanoproducts

Biomimetics – Turning Nature’s Successes into Gold
After 3.8 billion years, Mother Nature can teach us a thing or two

Interview: George Whitesides, Professor of Chemistry at Harvard
Elder statesman of nanotechnology is turning his attention to healthcare for the world’s poor

Country Profile: Brazil
Pursuing industrial innovation through nanotechnology

Nano – Maintaining Independence for an Ageing Population
Offering a route to less intense intervention by healthcare professionals

PLUS: THE NANOYOU PROJECT: REACHING OUT TO SCHOOLS AND INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION

.. nanofibres and graphene are becoming increasingly important in many transport applications including aerospace. USA and the EU.. not the few.. marine and rail..and more . Prizewinning nanoparticlebased ‘sharkskin’ for aeroplanes..co.nanomagazine.Read our favourite articles FREE at www.FREE! ...FREE at www.nanomagazine.uk Carbon Nanomaterials for Transport Read how carbon nanotubes.uk to read these articles . automotive.an oxymoron.uk Clean coal . Designing Your Meal. ships and wind energy plants. Read articles from Issue 17 .nanomagazine.FREE at www.co. PLUS. 002 Visit www. or a nanoreality? Read about how the whole field of clean coal technologies has become a national research and development priority in Australia. Interview with Peter Singer Why nanotechnology should be for the benefit of the many. China.nanomagazine. PLUS. PLUS.FREE ONLINE Cantilever nanosensors – a breakthrough in the fight against drug-resistant infectious diseases Read what’s driving the development of new Technologies to combat hospital ‘superbugs’.co.uk Take a closer look at magazine nano Read articles from Issue 16 . One Atom at a Time! If only you knew what was involved in the making of your next meal! Read articles from Issue 18 .co.

027 Multifaceted scientific genius............uk Marketing: Jana Perlet jana................ NANO accepts no responsibility for inaccuracies that may arise...........uk Sales Liaison Manager: Scott McMillan scott... ©2010 ION Publishing Ltd 6 The Alpha Centre...... MEDICINE Nanotechnology – Cost and Efficiency Benefits for an Ageing Population 040 Ottilia Saxl looks at what the ageing population needs...... José d'Albuquerque e Castro............ INTERVIEW George Whitesides..................025 José d’Albuquerque e Castro writes how Brazil is accelerating its pursuit of innovation through nanotechnology.....co.012 Nano-aware architects are needed to design the sustainable buildings of the future....differentvoice...... OPINION ...... In this month's full issue of NANO 013 FEATURES Nanomaterials for Architects and Architecture ............ University of Delhi..................haag@nanomagazine.uk Assistant Editor: Fraser Shand fraser..mcmillan@nanomagazine....... Amarnath Maitra... Stirling University Innovation Park Stirling FK9 4NF Scotland UK Article contributions to NANO magazine come from a range of sources and while we always strive to ensure accuracy in reporting...........arnold@nanomagazine... The views of contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of NANO magazine or IoN Publishing Ltd...... Bharat Bhusan.. 016 EDUCATION NANOYOU ..uk Subscriptions: scott.......uk Contributors Sylvia Leydecker...................043 COUNTRY PROFILE Brazil ... Martina Decker and Peter Yeadon......mcmillan@nanomagazine....... Biomimetics – Turning Nature’s Successes into Gold .......shand@nanomagazine......nano Issue 19...co...co. Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.... Yoel Rothschild and Dov Kipperman.........co.uk Sales: Chris Arnold chris......034 Amarnath Maitra argues that nanomedicine belongs to cell biology as nanotechnology deals only with entities dominated by surface atoms..032 The leaders of an EU-project describe how to inspire the next generation through games...... What are the ethical questions we really should be asking? 034 Does Nanomedicine Really Belong to the Field of Nanotechnology? ... NANO Magazine........ entrepreneur.. Professor of Chemistry at Harvard ...... Marc Pavlopoulos..............008 Nanoart....perlet@nanomagazine..... 100% interior......uk Contact Print and Online Advertising: chris.........004 Events .......co.....co......8 billion years in perfecting its products? Bharat Bhusan shows that Mother Nature provides the best solutions............036 Marc Pavlopoulos sheds light on the sometimes surprising ways we adopt new technologies...saxl@nanomagazine.............uk Website design: Tobias Haag tobias...arnold@nanomagazine............co...........co..............006 What’s new in nano ....... Ottilia Saxl. Finding Nanotech’s Potential for architecture .................. role playing and multimedia..... REGULARS Editorial....... Ohio State University... 020 ETHICS Clarifying the Ethical Questions on Nanotechnology ..uk Design: Different Voice www....... August 2010 Managing Director: Ottilia Saxl ottilia..... is turning his attention to almost zero cost healthcare for the world’s poor...020 3....... ORT Israel.co... and one of nanotechnology’s elder statesmen................ Decker Yeadon.... CEA-Larsim...........016 The Decker Yeadon agency isn’t waiting for new nanotechnology products – they are developing their own. and how nanotechnology can deliver independence for longer...........

while reducing the costs borne by the State. the Decker Yeadon agency in New York has come up with new concepts based on nanotechnology that could shape the future of homes and offices. One architecture practice is already so committed to nanotechnology. She states that innovation-driven materials and products are critical in achieving green construction. including low power smart devices that would help control ambient temperatures. Director. What ethical questions should we really be asking. nanotechnology has great potential for architecture. Nano risk and toxicology are favourite media subjects. NANOYOU. . As a basic principle. For example. As half of all energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the U. It is argued that if architects are better informed about Ottilia Saxl. which is yet to be realised. it is hoped that this new material will reduce cooling-costs and green house gas emissions in hot climates. a new material which has an electrically conductive coating of multiwalled nanotubes. how society perceives the benefits of nanotechnology will be critical to influencing its acceptance. and are these are different for nanotechnology.S. Nanotechnology can offer ways to help older people retain the use of their faculties. which is now at the forefront of much architectural debate. In this issue of NANO magazine. Ms Leydecker believes that nanomaterials have a huge potential in this area. informing the general public is the key to acceptance of a technology. However. They are so convinced by its benefits that they have just invested in making Buckypaper. for longer. can be attributed to buildings. and many lessons can be learned. we look at many applications of nanotechnology to our everyday lives. NANO Magazine nanotechnology and prepared to design-in innovative materials to make buildings more sustainable. as opposed to any new technology? A problem that affects us all is the growing costs of providing for an ageing population. the partners are even developing their own nanomaterials. Finally.AL RI TO DI E Nanotechnology – making sustainability possible? Nanotechnology is no longer a technology-in-waiting. to suit specific architectural applications. and the nanocommunity has not succeeded very well in this sphere. is reaching out to schools across Europe. planners and project developers to learn and understand the possibilities offered by nanotech. Other nano-based ideas for sustainable buildings are discussed. but for the world’s poor. and more importantly. but perhaps more importantly. what works for the poor also works in favour of the rich. if they are to meaningfully address sustainability in their work. she call for architects. the next one will be! Nanotechnology in architecture is addressed compellingly by Sylvia Leydecker in this issue. a far-sighted EUfunded project. as architects have not yet engaged fully with what is available. is also a theme uppermost in the mind of George Whitesides. their independence. It is already ubiquitous in its reach and effect. if this generation isn’t particularly well-informed. and its promise for the future. subject of the interview this month. Another theme this issue is inspiration from nature. so. Following on from a plea that architects become more acquainted with nanotechnology. and several exciting possibilities are explored in an article by a world expert in the field of biomimetics. Healthcare. Interestingly. Smart companies and researchers are looking at the natural world for a treasure trove of ideas that can form the basis of innovative new products and processes. and it is recognised that buildings are a major contributor to global warming. this will have an immediate and beneficial effect. and providing teachers and pupils with exciting teaching materials.

but is also named on over 50 patents. and unexpected outcomes.5 billion over 2005-2008. Mother Nature has evolved an answer to many problems over the 3. And once given the ‘tools’ that meet this definition. The ethical debate on nanotechnology is an exciting one. but investment and strong policies linking science and industry are reaping the benefits. The subject of this month’s interview is Harvard Professor George Whitesides. Nanotechnologists are often criticised for their lack of interest or inability to communicate the issues around nanotechnology to the general public. This month’s article on nanomedicine by Ottilia Saxl. many South American countries have sloughed off their old images of corruption and poverty.such as how we perceive nature. Nanoscience and nanotechnologies are widely seen as having huge potential to bring benefits to many areas of research and application. in terms of prolonging independence and quality of life for as long as possible. role playing and other interactions. explores the broader issues of how nanotechnology can provide important benefits to an ageing population. and the nature and extent of scientists’ responsibility for the consequences of technological innovations. NANOYOU (Nano for Youth) is a project funded by the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme that aims to achieve this through an appealing variety of media. legal and social aspects. The cost of supporting the needs of an ageing population is growing. In the last few decades. we can imitate nature to produce new and better materials. both from within University and Government. Professor Whitesides predicts “People will build stuff you cannot begin to imagine”. José d’Albuquerque e Castro who has been involved in nanotechnology in Brazil. Bharat Bhusan takes us on a whistle stop tour of the natural world and some of its attributes that are leading to new commercial products. A lifetime of knowledge and experience has led him to a profound understanding of what society needs from science. and even ourselves). which poses many complex questions . one of his interests focuses on the delivery of healthcare in the developing world. as opposed to artefact. and at low cost. the possible redefinition of the norms of health and disease. gives an all-round perspective on the state of the technology and where it is headed. Marc Pavlopoulos explores how we can ask the right questions. She discusses how nanotechnology research is leading to a range of medical interventions that can extend the use of faculties and senses for longer. regulatory or ethical domains that will require societal debate. These low cost solutions paradoxically also represent major opportunities in combating the spiralling and unsustainable costs of healthcare in the developed world. using nanofabrication techniques for commercial applications. Professor Whitesides is not only successful as an academic. The country profile this month is Brazil.8 billion years since life is estimated to have first appeared on earth. and also technological advances that can reduce dependency on expensive healthcare professionals. and annual sales and product diversity are expected to continue to increase dramatically. entrepreneurial culture and an increasingly fairer distribution of wealth and opportunity. while reducing costs. One way to improve understanding is by engaging young people in dialogue about its ethical. and discusses the surprising ways in which society adopts a new technology. His view is that. The emphasis on nanoscience and nanotechnology since the early 1990s has provided a significant impetus in mimicking nature. where science thrives on complexity. n For information on all the content of past issues visit bit. devices and processes. society needs simplicity allied to function. At the same time. games. questions such as the fair distribution of the benefits of nanotechnology. and are attracting rapidly increasing investments from Governments and from businesses in many parts of the world. it is recognized that their application may raise new challenges in the safety. the search for new and better nano-based products continues.◊nano In a world where nanotechnology products are becoming increasingly ubiquitous. At present. and replaced them with a go-ahead. at close to zero cost. with longer life expectancies.ly/nanobackissues . the likelihood of Transhumanism (which forecasts that nanotechnology will radically transform our world. By gaining an understanding of how the natural world works. Brazil may have been a little later in getting to grips with the potential of nanotechnology. It is estimated that the 100 most important products based on biomimetics have generated about US $1.

In this manner ASON is conceived to flexibly adjust to encompass the most recent advances and developments in these rapidly evolving disciplines. USA COMS brings together leaders from all over the world and every sector of industry. www. UK With 30% of sales revenue being spent on innovation within the motorsport industry and a list of potential applications for nano scale techniques and products within the motorsport sector continuing to grow. Tehran.org September 12-15 3rd International conference on Advanced Nano Materials (ANM 2010). medical engineering and sports and consumer goods. regional development and government agencies. market researchers. www.org/activities/esf-conferences/details/2010/ confdetail329. research laboratories and academia to address state-of-the-art developments in all aspects of Nanotechnology. and medical materials and devices. Baarlo. investment and consulting groups. This is a powerful environment focused on accelerating commercialization activity among established and emerging micro and nano businesses.imc-17. Iran The goals of the Iran Nano conference include: discovering research and industrial potentials in the field of nanotechnology and introducing them to the market. Beyond that. Albuquerque.guildford@cemmnt.uk/news. This event is FREE to attend. To facilitate this teamwork we feel that it is essential to start networking between students as early as possible. learning and creating partnerships in an open interactive setting. Morocco The aim of the conference is to bring together worldwide leading experts of nano technology for the exchange of ideas. including related characterisation techniques and applications. Sant Feliu de Guixols. advances on Nanotechnologies and applications. Venice. primarily PhD students working in the nanosciences. perspectives and needs in Italy. providing nanotechnology companies with the opportunity to participate in international markets and raising public knowledge on nanotechnology.nano. The sophisticated visitor and exhibitor structure has had a great share in implementing innovative technology solutions within core industries like automotive. www. ESF-UB Conference. www. festival. Dubrovnic. Munich. scientists and engineers from industry. through all forms of microscopy. and much more.com September 21 Nanotechnology Innovations For High Performance Motorsport.nano2010.it/cms September 19-23 Adriatic School on Nanoscience. fostering research-industry linkages and collaborations in the field of nanotechnology. national labs. www.php/ high-performance-motorsport-event October 20-22 NanotechItaly 2010.esf. Environmental protection. applications and governance.and nanotechnology. Medicine and health. Present the latest developments and trends at world level about research.html?conf=329&year=2010 October 25-29 Iran Nano. biosensing.co. www. It will foster the exchange of ideas.materialica.rathanea. experiments and applications in this exciting and rapidly developing field. A criterion for European innovation in the field of nanotechnology in the future will without a doubt be teamwork between European Universities. the conference will provide a unique forum convening researchers. hosted by CEMMNT. will explore the challenges and benefits of applying the innovations in nanotechnology to this highly competitive and highly innovative sector. www.ir Keep up-to-date on the latest and best nano-events at bit.com October 23-28 Nanomedicine: Reality Now and Soon. diagnostics.eu August 29 – September 2 Commercialization of Micro-Nano Systems Conference (COMS 2010). Germany Europe’s top event for material-driven and provider-oriented product innovations focussing on important sectors of engineering and materials such as composites.nanoac. Cranfield University.Product Engineering in Motion.inascon.mlib. Foster a debate amongst representatives of industry.uk www. From high tech companies. bringing together. this exclusive event.org September 13-17 X International Conference on Nanostructured Materials (NANO2010). ACADEMICS AND POLICY MAKERS CONVENE. Novel nano-based materials appear in drug delivery systems.anm2010. Rome. techniques. Brazil The event for an update on the challenges at the frontiers of applied scientific research. This conference aims to provide detailed understanding and discuss the clinical utility of those areas of nanomedicine which are close to application or already clinically applied/on the market. aerospace.cnr. it is intended to establish ASON as an international forum for the growing community of young scientists and engineers working in the fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology. educators and students. Croatia The aim of the first School is to provide young scientists. The Netherlands The aim of the conference is to focus on the students in contrast to most conferences where it is the more established researches that are focused upon. high performance and functional ceramics and surface.mancef-coms2010.it October 19-21 MATERIALICA 2010. Contact George Guildford at george. imaging. Spain The application of nanotechnology will have a major influence in many fields of medicine. Italy The aim of the conference is to give a comprehensive picture of nanotechnology activity. Therefore. New Mexico.nanotechitaly. Rio de Janeiro. experiences and knowledge.co. public research. all sharing. the financial community and governmental bodies to promote the development of nanotechnologies and cooperation.TS EN EV Events Calendar EVERY MONTH WE HIGHLIGHT THE LEADING CONFERENCES AND SUMMITS WHERE INDUSTRY EXPERTS.ly/nanoevents . August 20 – August 22 International Nanoscience Conference (INASCON 2010).hr/ason-1 September 19 – 24 International Microscopy Congress (IMC17). www. lightweight metal design. with a systematic overview of modern nanoscience through selected contributions from the field's most relevant experts. engineering. Italy The X international Conference on nanostructured Materials (NANO) is the highest level international Conference designed to bring together the international communitity of scientists and engineers interested in recent developments on nanostructured materials in many different fields. www.cemmnt. Energy conversion.

London. researchers. India This conference is aimed at pulling together industry leaders.mcmillan@nanomagazine. manufacturers. please contact: scott.nanotechindia. Connect with innovators. www. Toxicology and Environmental impact. Grenoble. Detection and Monitoring.org November 19-21 International Conference on Nanotechnology (Nanotech India 2010).technologyworld. Characterization. Nanomaterials life cycle. It is no wonder then that this conference has emerged as the premier nanotechnology research and business event in India. www. scientists and service providers and take advantage of the unique business partnering opportunities. France The objectives of the conference will be to make available the major progresses and future trends in the domain of the safe production and use of nanomaterials. Topics include Exposure assessment.uk.php December 8-9 Technology World in partnership with UK NanoForum.in/nano210.nanosafe. UK Technology World and UK NanoForum have joined together for 2010 to bring you the only event where UK science and technology excellence meets face to face with senior international business professionals.com To advertise your event here. Kerala.◊nano November 16-18 NANOSAFE 2010. entrepreneurs and investors to create a platform for discussion on the issues and opportunities that are vital in commercializing Nanotech innovations. www.co. This joint event will showcase over 200 industry and academic exhibitors and host around 2000 senior business decision makers from over 25 countries.uk .

Nano-films containing alphaMSH also increased the number of these cells. nanosized film – only 1/50. and beverages containing water. They noted that the isotope pattern in beverages tends to vary from city to city in ways that give cities in different regions characteristic “iso-signatures. The proportions of those isotopes vary in a predictable way geographically. T The findings. Soda. appears in ACS' bi-weekly Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (“Links between Purchase Location and Stable Isotope Ratios of Bottled Water. n Drinks leave a trail of crumbs that could be used to track people’s movement he bottled water. for instance. and incorporates them into proteins. a new study suggests. When you consume these beverage you may leave a chemical imprint in your hair that could be used to track your travels over time.000th the thickness of a human hair containing a substance that could help regenerate dental pulp. S Regenerative endodontics. Previous studies show that the substance. The finding may help trace the origin of drinks or help criminal investigators identify the geographic travels of crime suspects and other individuals through analysis of hair strands.ly/nanorss . and beer from 33 cities and found that patterns in the beverages generally matched those already known for the tap water. isotope patterns in hair could serve as a chemical “fingerprint” to pinpoint the geographic region where a person has been. the soft tissue inside the diseased or injured tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels.◊nano Nanotechnology means dentists could bring teeth back to life cientists are reporting an advance toward the next big treatment revolution in dentistry – the era in which root canal therapy brings diseased teeth back to life. Lesley Chesson and colleagues explain that the body removes hydrogen and oxygen atoms from water (H2O). Des Moines. Fibroblasts are the main type of cell found in dental pulp. The scientists are reporting development of a multilayered. soda pop. the study suggests. has antiinflammatory properties. called alpha melanocyte stimulating hormone. Hydrogen and oxygen exist in different forms. for instance. they describe a first-of-itskind. believed to be the first concerted effort to describe the use of beverages as a potential tool to investigate the geographic location of people. soda pop. nano-sized dental film that shows early promise for achieving this longsought goal (“Nanostructured Assemblies for Dental Application”). consumes a different isotope signature than a person in Las Cruces. has the potential to provide a revolutionary alternative to pulp removal. Las Vegas. and lower values elsewhere. or alpha-MSH. a dentist removes the painful. Denver or 30 other American cities contains a natural chemical imprint related to geographic location. Dallas. or isotopes. This could help revitalize damaged teeth and reduce the need for a root canal procedure. inflamed pulp. low-elevation. or Laramie. produced a material that fights inflammation in dental pulp fibroblasts. During the procedure. or Dallas. and Beer in the United States”). The scientists showed in laboratory tests alpha-MSH combined with a widely-used polymer Nadia Benkirane-Jessel and colleagues note that root canal procedures help prevent tooth loss in millions of people each year. rather than leaving a “non-vital” or dead tooth in the mouth. n Source: American Chemical Society Get the latest nano news straight to your RSS reader at bit. with higher values in lowlatitude. Since manufacturers usually use local or regional water sources in producing beverages. including the protein in hair.” A person who drinks a beer or soda in Denver. the development and delivery of tissues to replace diseased or damaged dental pulp. or micro brew-beer that you drank in Pittsburgh. In a report in the monthly journal ACS Nano. the scientists suggest. The scientists analyzed isotope patterns in bottled water. or coastal regions.

and it is unclear whether these questions are specific to nanotechnology or common to other emerging technologies. A CURE FOR CANCER SEEMS MORE AND MORE WITHIN OUR REACH. nanoICTinduced modifications in all aspects of communication. the validity of human dignity in relation to technological development. These could include issues such as our concept of nature. the likelihood of future prophesies such as Transhumanism (which forecasts that nanotechnology will radically transform our world. Take the intuitive difference we tend to make between natural and artificial. the question of a fair distribution of the benefits of nanotechnology. as opposed to artefact. and it very difficult to sort the right questions out from bogus and superficial ones. the ethical debate on nanotechnology poses a vast array of questions.RE TU A FE A Guide to Clarifying Ethical Questions on Nanotechnology Marc Pavlopoulos. CEA-Larsim and ObservatoryNano ONE AREA OF NANOTECHNOLOGY WHERE ETHICAL CONCERNS SEEM OUT OF PLACE IS NANOMEDICINE. HOW CAN SUCH PROSPECTS BE ETHICALLY QUESTIONED? hile discussions and media coverage often focus exclusively on toxicology and risk assessment. W Is Nanotechnology Doomed because it Artificializes Everything? The first step is to dispel bogus questions. and the nature and extent of the responsibility of scientists for the consequences of technological innovations. the possible redefinition of our norms of health and disease. Most of us . and even ourselves). This is a large and complex debate.

The very idea of something natural. while artificial products are likely to be dangerous. if the latter (which is more likely in liberal societies such as ours) then health and disease as such will tend to become a matter of individual beliefs and definitions. programmed from the outside. Rather. developing by itself and autonomously. genuine and good for us. What does this talk of nature and Aristotle have to do with the debate on nanotechnology? Nanotechnology may blur the distinction between nature and artefact. and then trying to orient and influence these changes for the better. then every thing is natural . obey the laws of physics.uk . as the character of what moves by itself. Will Nanomedicine change Health? The ethics of technology are not about approving or regretting the development of a technology: the technology is with us anyway. regardless of whether the new tools and methods of nanomedicine are beneficial to us. and medicine will increasingly become a science of probabilities. hazardous and generally suspicious. nanomedicine will make it easier and easier to diagnose disease before the symptoms even occur. But. back to Aristotle’s notion of the natural. We need concepts other than “natural” and “artificial” to appraise and assess this development. This change asks new questions. such as: how early will the probable development of a disease need to be diagnosed in order to trigger preventive treatment? Should the decision to initiate treatment be left to doctors? Or should each patient be able to make her/his own choice? If the former. and that she still has 60% chance not to develop the disease: so she decides to do nothing. One area of nanotechnology where ethical concerns seem out of place is nanomedicine. too. and is therefore unsettling.◊nano believe that what is natural is wholesome. is doomed by the development of nanotechnology. the ethics is about understanding how the introduction of a new technology changes us. How can such prospects be ethically questioned? Again. But Judy is concerned. which is set into motion externally. according to the scientific picture of nature. nanomedicine may lead to a return to a paternalistic type of medicine. Rather. Imagine that Jane and Judy independently learn that they each have a 40% chance of developing breast cancer within the next 5 years. as opposed to artefact. cheap pharmaceuticals which could be of great help for developing countries. A cure for cancer seems more and more within our reach. At first Jane becomes quite panicked.co. we should look at the changes these tools and methods will induce in our behaviour and thinking about our health. as individuals as well as a society. the point of the ethics of technology is not to dispute that curing cancer and providing cheap pharmaceuticals to poor countries are good. nanomedicine also promises new. or by the “natural” functioning of the body itself. to the point where it may becomes impossible to differentiate behaviour at the macroscopic scale. and ethics takes this as fact.even artefacts! For artefacts. We sometimes want to apply our old concepts to realities that do not support them anymore. according to whether it is caused by the artificial devices. Nanotechnology-enabled devices can enter the bodies of living creatures. Thanks to bio-sensors and lab-on-a-chip. then she reflects that breast cancer treatment has recently considerably progressed. as opposed to artificial. this contrast does not make sense: if Nature is whatever follows the laws of physics. one has to go deep into history and philosophy. reflects that a long-lasting disease within the next 5 years will be For more articles on ethics visit nanomagazine. and interact with their components at the nanoscale. If one really wants to understand the opposition between Nature and Artefact.

co. scientists do have their own. is historically professional ethics. since WWII.detrimental to her career. We feel powerless. Between 2002 and 2005. The of life. technology has always transformed organization. based in new core pathways of overcoming ageing. truth… all values quite antagonist to hype. The consequence should be an individualization of the norms of health. It is hard to find the right metaphor to see a century into the future. they consider. our Modern Magic? A recent European report on the public perception of nanotech has shown that even after being given information about nanotechnology. cognitive shortcomings. never seen before. What are the consequences of this use of hype for society and for the research community? On the other hand. that she is still attractive to men but doesn’t plan to seduce anyone but her husband. which states “Humanity stands to be profoundly accomplishment. Nanoprophecies and Hype predicting a new golden age: The case of nanomedicine illustrates that nanotechnology is likely to transform our ways “Technological convergence could become the framework for human convergence. exchanges and technological progress has brought about a communication with one another. Traditionally. most of us don’t know how technological devices work. This is no novelty! objectivity. and financed accordingly? There are several points of conflict between the needs of industrial development and those of science. It is likely that nanomedicine will lead to an explosion in preventive medicine and to the conflation of the norm of organic well-functioning with that of personal well-being. In their 2002 report from the US National Science Foundation. but when Jane and Judy deliberate about going or not going for treatment. Contrary to a certain image of science as The claim of a “radical” change. generate a new species.uk and search for medicine . and our confinement to dreams but they were instrumental in planet Earth”. and evolution to a higher level of compassion and the prophecy upheld by Transhumanism. hype. by overemphasizing toxicological risks) to get attention or to attract funding to their research. at a time when research is more and more oriented towards industrial applications. will nanotechnology. There are many such examples. but affected by science and technology in the it may be that humanity would become like a future. but their future wellbeing as a whole. can the scientist repel hype altogether. For the human species as a convincing the US government and whole. have very real effects. The use of visionary language both Man and the world around him. and was these scientific ethics are modesty. [Transhumanism] envisions the single. beliefs and norms.” Such statements seem to be sheer involuntary suffering. but what we are. way we live and think. but we don’t have a faintest clue as to what happens inside the device between input and output. This is universal prosperity. ignore it or try to Transhumanist visions do not only fire our refute it? On one hand. whether right or wrong. which have been based on a quite negative vision of health as the “absence of disease”. Such little stories are likely to multiply in the foreseeable future. a change “morally neutral”. Tenets of change “never seen before”. such as Pandora’s box or the tale of the Sorcerer’s apprentice. health is conceive as a state of organic well-functioning. every person is likely to come up with a different answer to an identical objective diagnosis.g. and so to attract public attention is called hype. Why is the latest technology so often appraised through the prism of timeworn images. they tempted to use positive and negative hype strategies (e. These ethics guide unwarranted: each and every significant scientists in their work. laypeople tend to react by invoking ancient narratives and myths. How then should the scientist reply to However. pressing such-and-such a button) and we expect a given output (taking a photograph or making a phone call). the NNI budget more than doubled – a quite unusual What should we think of such radical and increase for a publicly funded research marvellous forecasts? Since the invention of the wheel. not simply their organic functioning. The attitude towards hype is one of them. More interested in nanomedicine? Just visit nanomagazine. Some even venture that nanotechnology will transform not only the twenty-first century could end in world peace. Roco and Bainbridge listed the benefits to be expected from nanotechnology. this will have momentous consequences for European public health insurances. distributed and interconnected possibility of broadening human potential by “brain”. tales and sayings? Unless they fall within our professional area of expertise. transhumanists support human Congress to further fund the National enhancement as a way to progressively Nanotechnology Initiative at its inception. Needless to say. researchers are imagination about nanotechnology. This is no surprise. should he support it. As well-being is a very subjective notion. Technology. We approach them as if they were black boxes: we know the input we feed into them (say. society. and so decides to go for immediate surgery. honesty. largely unpredictable.

laypeople tend to have a lot of things to say about it. Why is Prometheus still with us? Because the myth does well illustrate the ambiguous relationship of our societies to technology: a mixture of trust and fear.ly/nanosubs . we endow them with will (“My computer just won’t work”). Every night his liver would grow back. a critical analysis of myths and narratives reveals that magic is not always irrational. on here? Since we don’t know how the Through fire. Man becomes the keeper of himself. Magic To see our subscription options visit bit. NANOTECHNOLOGY IS LOADED WITH SYMBOLIC EXPECTATIONS AND IMAGINARY POWERS sometimes even annoyed. Prometheus makes them a divine gift. What is going fire from the Gods of Mount Olympus. This is the root reason why. dancers invoking a god to make water pour “Prometheus” means “with forethought”. or to the worse. Such a projection appears purely irrational because enlightenment. This was to be his punishment for all of eternity. this has nothing to do with the technology nor with the science. a research team based in Saclay (France) and a partner in ObservatoryNano. or a film finally finally overrun by them. for instance? The answer is that. who wanted to keep way we can come into contact with their the power of fire to themselves. was chained to a rock to have his liver eaten out every day by an eagle. whether or not sociologists might have foreseen this consequence. we are ignorant of the Prometheus was the wisest of all the Titans – functioning of our environment. It is often said that technological change induces social change. Who would have guessed that the invention of nanoelectronics would induce a redefinition of private and public spheres. nanotechnology is loaded with symbolic expectations and imaginary powers. Although they typically know nothing about the scientific content of nanotechnology. Still. concepts and values shape the way a society uses a new technology. anthropomorphic features onto it. The Promethean project may therefore lead to the better. many of us tend to deal with machines as if they were intelligent or sentient beings: we pray or curse them. cameras. in our societies. Technology is at the same time the only path to progress and human liberation.observatorynano. But one should also note the ambivalent beginning. The only way to dispel magical and eschatological visions of nanotechnology is through education. these time-worn narratives paradoxically provide good training for prospective analysis: by plunging back to the imaginary world and values created by societies and individuals so remote from us in the past. The June 2010 version of the Toolkit can be downloaded at http://www. What is the most striking in this myth is certainly its end. For acting against humans. Men used to be provided with all we are fully aware that machines aren’t like they needed by the Gods. n CEA-Larsim. AND PAVES THE WAY TO IMAGINATION AND HOPE. but at the same time it is the only the decree of the Gods. and paves the way to imagination and hope.FE AT UR E fills in the void of ignorance. But education always has to start with what students know and think. tales or sci-fi rather than to the reality of scientific laboratories. but the reverse influence seems even more important and true: social norms. Prometheus stole appear on the black screen. Conclusion The ethical debate on nanotechnology is surprisingly broad. Also. IN OUR SOCIETIES. TVs. THIS IS THE ROOT REASON WHY. but on the contrary framed by subtle and powerful reasoning. Men didn’t even have to work in order to survive. knowledge. etc. we may become more able to imagine the behaviours and norms of future societies. has just delivered a Toolkit for Ethical Reflection and Communication aiming at clarifying the picture. His fate is no more guaranteed by the Gods.eu/ project/catalogue/4ET/ MAGIC FILLS IN THE VOID OF IGNORANCE. no expert on nanoelectronics would have. when our computers. from the sky. it’s a bit grumpy today”) or cognitive capacities (“Stupid machine!”). We appeal those wonderful and mighty beings who to a soul in the machine as if it could make reigned before the Olympian Gods are were the phone call go through.. Before they had fire. break down: we cannot say what went wrong inside. mankind craftsmanship. emotions and moods (“My cell phone is slow. Like rain Take the Greek myth of Prometheus. we project human. This attitude is a typical of magic. Prometheus’ punishment. Prometheus internal structure and functioning. and a constant source of anxiety. This Toolkit aims at providing the reader with the means to frame his / her own vision of the debate and to sharpen the ethical awareness of those involved in the development of nanosciences and nanotechnology. At the same time. It comes without surprise that they frequently refer to the wonderful world of myths. but also work. society determines the way it adopts technology. In such cases. By giving technology to Men. The morale is clear: as he receives technology. for before technology. nor by Nature. In essence. he seems to give them a curse. he is credited with bringing device works inside. It is no surprise either that people resist scientific explanation and cling to their time-worn narratives and images: it is always painful to dispel magic and faith in mighty powers. they were provided with all they needed by the Gods.

” explains Dr. entries are open until August 29. And images taken with electron and Ion microscopes frequently provide unique insights into the specimens and lead to new scientific-technical knowledge. . With this competition. Peter Fruhstorfer.NanoArt The Carl Zeiss Image contest C arl Zeiss is running its first Nano Image Contest and are inviting users of all Zeiss electron and ion microscopes to submit their work. Here’s just a small selection of the images which have been sent into the contest so far. we want to give users of our systems an innovative platform to present their images and the underlying work to the public. Member of the Management Board of the Nano Technology Systems Division at Carl Zeiss. Visit bit. “Fascinating electron microscope images are sitting around in numerous archives without an opportunity for recognition. At the same time.ly/d5ggmy for more details on how to enter and vote. these images often feature outstanding aesthetic properties. 2010. A picture says more than a thousand words.

nanomagazine.co.IN TE RV ◊nano IE W AN INTERVIEW WITH… GEORGE WHITESIDES IN SEARCH OF ZERO-COST HEALTHCARE FOR SOCIETY’S POOR. GEORGE WHITESIDES’ WORK HAS SOME PROFOUND AND SURPRISING IMPLICATIONS FOR THE WEALTHIER ECONOMIES .GIVEN THE ESCALATING AND UNSUSTAINABLE COSTS OF MEDICAL TREATMENTS TODAY.uk to subscribe and read this insight from one of the leading lights in nanotechnology . Visit www.

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