Archive for December, 2006|Monthly archive page


In nano on December 30, 2006 at 8:08 pm

….The most prevalent nanomaterial in consumer products is nanosilver, used as a germ-killer. Nanosilver is found in at least 47 products – nearly double the number from just eight months ago, according to the Wilson Center.

Samsung sells a washing machine that releases nanosilver ions during the wash and rinse cycles to kill germs. Sharper Image is marketing nanosilver-treated slippers, socks that reduce germs and odors, and nanosilver food storage containers that keep food fresher longer. And Motorola recently began marketing two “germ-free” cell phones coated in nanosilver.

Last month, the EPA announced that it plans to regulate only nanosilver products that claim to kill germs, ignoring those companies that couch their marketing claims in less obvious language. In a recent letter to the agency, the Natural Resources Defense Council urged the EPA to review all consumer products containing nanosilver and require manufacturers to register such products as a pesticide…..

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Nanotechnology and intellectual property issues

In nano on December 29, 2006 at 11:19 pm

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In nano on December 29, 2006 at 11:17 pm

A strategic plan and more resources for risk research are needed now in order to ensure safe nano-workplaces today and in the future. That is the conclusion of Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies Chief Science Advisor Andrew Maynard in a new article, “Nanotechnology and Safety” just released by Cleanroom Technology magazine. The article is available in the magazine’s December 2006 / January 2007 issue and is freely available online: http://www.cleanroom-technology.co.uk

PLoS One

In Uncategorized on December 26, 2006 at 7:20 pm

A new way of communicating peer-reviewed science and medicine.
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Robots of the Future

In Uncategorized on December 26, 2006 at 7:15 pm

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Wikipedia founder to create user-driven search engine (Ars Technica)

In Uncategorized on December 26, 2006 at 7:09 pm

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Nanowires Conduct Photocurrent

In nano on December 20, 2006 at 7:56 pm

Self-assembled nanotubes that conduct current when illuminated take us one step closer to cheap molecular photonic devices.
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‘Atom-chips’ research wins multi-million pound funding

In nano on December 20, 2006 at 5:58 pm

Physicists at The University of Nottingham are to use refrigerators made from light that can cool atoms to the lowest temperature in the Universe to develop the next generation of ultra-small electronic devices.
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blog~nano: Nanoscale Materials and Nanotechnology

In nano on December 20, 2006 at 5:53 pm

New blog on Nano

Bionic hand gives realistic grip

In Disabled People on December 20, 2006 at 5:51 pm

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Researchers Demonstrate Direct Brain Control Of Humanoid Robot

In Disabled People on December 17, 2006 at 2:43 am

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Smart Dust

In nano on December 16, 2006 at 3:01 am

new column by me is out



In Disabled People on December 14, 2006 at 12:54 am

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The General Assembly today adopted a landmark disability convention, the first human rights treaty of the twenty-first century and one that United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said represents the “dawn of a new era” for around 650 million people worldwide living with disabilities.

Mr. Annan, along with Assembly President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa and other UN officials, as well as members of civil society that lobbied for the pact, urged all 192 Member States to quickly ratify the convention, which covers rights to education, health, work and a raft of other protective measures for people with disabilities.

“Today promises to be the dawn of a new era – an era in which disabled people will no longer have to endure the discriminatory practices and attitudes that have been permitted to prevail for all too long. This Convention is a remarkable and forward-looking document,” Mr. Annan said in a speech read out by Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown.

The Assembly adopted the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities in a vote by consensus.

“In three short years, the Convention became a landmark several times over: it is the first human rights treaty to be adopted in the twenty-first century; the most rapidly negotiated human rights treaty in the history of international law; and the first to emerge from lobbying conducted extensively through the Internet… I urge all governments to start by ratifying, and then implementing it, without delay.”

Sheikha Haya echoed this call, adding that by adopting the Convention, Member States were sending a “clear message of solidarity” by reaffirming the dignity of all humankind and recognizing that “all societies stand to benefit from empowering this important community.”

“I look forward to the full implementation of the convention by Member States, with the involvement of all concerned parties. In particular, the NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and civil society groups whose energy, compassion and willingness to work in the spirit of cooperation greatly contributed to the final agreement.”

High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour added her voice to calls for ratification, with her office (OHCHR) noting that the agreement – which comprises 50 articles – fills a major gap in international human rights law.

“The convention… marks a historic step in ensuring that persons with disabilities enjoy full participation in society and can contribute to the community to their full potential. Speedy ratification… will end the protection vacuum that has, in practice, affected persons with disabilities,” Ms. Arbour said.

The convention provides that States which ratify it should enact laws and other measures to improve disability rights, and also abolish legislation, customs and practices that discriminate against persons with disabilities. It will be open for signature and ratification on 30 March 2007, and will enter into force after it has been ratified by 20 countries, the OHCHR said.

Speaking at a press conference after the Assembly session, Ambassador Don MacKay of New Zealand, chairman of the committee that negotiated the convention, described today’s adoption as “an historic event,” adding that those involved in the process “can I think be pleased with the convention that we have. It is in effect an extraordinarily far-reaching convention.”

Representatives from the International Disability Caucus (IDC) also welcomed the document, stressing its all-inclusive nature, while at the same time urging states to urgently ratify the deal and also raising several concerns.

“We… celebrate and welcome the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities… which recognizes that disability is a human rights issue,” Pamela Molina Toledo, one of the IDC leaders, told reporters, speaking in Spanish and also using sign language.

“This convention is an example of unity and cooperation…for the benefit of all,” she said, while urging its speedy ratification, a point also made by Tina Minkowitz, another of the IDC leaders.

“The International Disability Caucus urges governments to ratify and implement the convention within national legislation policies and legal structures and to change those legislation and policies when that is necessary,” she said, adding that a particular concern was the need for governments to recognize sign language and other alternative methods of communication in all situations of information, education and employment.
2006-12-13 00:00:00.000

Watch the General Assembly adopt the new Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on Wednesday, December 13th! 10:00am New York Time

In Disabled People on December 13, 2006 at 4:40 am

General Assembly Webcast link below
New York 10am
London 3pm
Bangkok 11pm
Melbourne 2am 14 December

Wednesday 13 December 2006
All Indicated times are New York time (GMT-5)
channel 1
10:00am General Assembly: Human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms: note by the Secretary-General transmitting the final report of the Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities.

Vibrating Odor Molecules? Rogue Theory May Help Explain Sense Of Smell

In nano on December 13, 2006 at 1:15 am

A controversial theory that explains the molecular mechanism which gives our sense of smell razor-sharp precision has been given a boost thanks to a study by a team of UCL researchers at the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN).
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Policy Implications of Technologies for Cognitive Enhancement

In Health on December 12, 2006 at 10:53 pm

Arizona State University workshop report
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Berkeley to be first city to regulate nanotechnology

In nano on December 12, 2006 at 1:31 am

SAN FRANCISCO – The use of subatomic materials as microscopic building blocks for thousands of consumer products has turned into a big business so quickly that few are monitoring the so-called nanotechnology’s effects on health and the environment.

So Berkeley intends to be the first city to step into the breach and attempt to regulate the nascent but fast-growing industry.

The City Council is expected Tuesday to amend its hazardous materials law to compel researchers and manufacturers to report what nanotechnology materials they are working with and how they are handling the tiny particles.
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Nanotechnology meets solar energy

In nano on December 12, 2006 at 1:29 am

(Nanowerk News) Two of the hot-button fields of scientific study — nanotechnology and solar energy — are being combined by a team of Arizona State University researchers in an effort to find a cheap source of household energy for the nation’s future.
The team headed by Stuart Lindsey, director of the Center for Single Molecule Biophysics at the Arizona Biodesign Institute; Rudy Diaz, associate professor of electrical engineering; and chemistry professor Devens Gust, have received a $1.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to explore creation of infinitesimal nanoscale devices on the molecular level that can convert sunlight into electric current.
The idea is to try to overcome the major problem of photovoltaic solar energy — its relative inefficiency, which makes the cost of electricity produced by solar cells four times greater than electricity produced by nuclear or fossil fuels.
“If it works, there is a potential to bring the fabrication cost down to a very small amount,” Lindsey said.
That’s a big “if,” Lindsey admits. He said the idea of using nano-structures to convert sunlight into electricity is still theoretical. But the fact that the NSF is willing to fund research indicates an increasing interest in the concept by the scientific community, he said.

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India moves towards military nanotechnology

In nano on December 10, 2006 at 1:41 am

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The future of nanotechnology: We need to talk report by Nanologue

In nano on December 9, 2006 at 1:29 am

the Nanologue project, a 21-month EU funded project looked at the social, ethical and legal implications of nanotechnology.
The future of nanotechnology: We need to talk