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Archive for November, 2007|Monthly archive page

White House issues memo on nanotechnology EHS oversight

In nano on November 30, 2007 at 8:05 pm

from Nanowerk
(Nanowerk News) The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) have issued a memo to the heads of executive departments and federal agencies titled “Principles for Nanotechnology Environmental, Health, and Safety Oversight” (pdf download, 80 KB):
Nanotechnology is built on recent scientific advances that allow us to see, measure, and control matter at the scale of atoms and molecules. Such capabilities are enabling development of a variety of new products and processes with novel and potentially transformational characteristics. Advances in nanotechnology already are leading to applications in fields ranging from energy and environment to electronics and medicine. Realizing the benefits of nanotechnology will require not only research and development, but also appropriate oversight.
The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) led a multi-agency consensus-based process to develop a set of principles, shown below, to guide the development and implementation of policies for nanotechnology environmental, health and safety oversight at the agency level. This document is intended to summarize generally applicable principles relevant to such oversight for nanotechnology by the Federal government.
Federal agencies that have regulatory responsibilities, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, must implement sound policies to protect public health and the environment. In addition, agencies that perform nanotechnology research and development or that use nanotechnology in accomplishing their mission must provide appropriate oversight. These Federal agencies should follow the following principles as they develop policies for environmental, health, and safety oversight related to nanotechnology.
Principles for Nanotechnology Environmental, Health, and Safety Oversight
Purpose: Federal oversight approaches should be cognizant of the potential benefits of nanotechnology, including health, economic and environmental benefits, while recognizing uncertainties surrounding the evolving science and technology. The purpose of considering environmental, health and safety oversight approaches in the context of nanotechnology is to protect human health and the environment.
Current Understanding: The Federal government’s current understanding is that existing statutory authorities are adequate to address oversight of nanotechnology and its applications. As with any developing area, as new information becomes available the Federal government will adapt or develop additional oversight approaches, as necessary, to address the area of nanotechnology.
Information Development: Adequate information should be developed with respect to the effects of nanomaterials on human health and the environment. To the extent practicable and respecting confidential information (e.g. Confidential Business Information (CBI)), this information should be developed in an open and transparent manner by stakeholders, including the Federal government and developers of nanomaterials.
Risk Assessment and Risk Management: The Federal government should use standard oversight approaches to assess risks and benefits, and manage risks, considering safety, health and environmental impacts, and exposure mitigation. As experience is gained, these approaches can be refined. The Federal government should strive to reach an appropriate level of consistency in risk assessment and management approaches across the government.
International: Recognizing the global efforts to develop nanotechnology, the Federal government should proactively promote international cooperation. The Federal government should encourage coordinated and collaborative health and environmental research and test data development across the international community. The Federal government should also promote access to information across the international community. These efforts will allow the Federal government to contribute to, and take advantage of, risk assessment and risk management approaches, as appropriate, across the international community.
Regulatory Path Forward: In light of the “Purpose” of oversight as described above, the Federal government should consider the following, to the extent permitted by law and where applicable, in establishing environmental, health, and safety regulations for nanotechnology:
# Regulation should focus where need exists and where scientific information supports action (e.g. targeted to specific groups and classes of materials instead of a “one-sizefits- all” approach);
# Decisions should be based on the best reasonably obtainable scientific, technical, economic, and other information;
# Where possible, regulatory approaches should enable rather than hinder innovation;
# Regulatory approaches should be performance based to the extent feasible and provide predictability and flexibility in the face of evolving science and technology;
# Benefits of regulation should justify their costs;
# Regulations should be developed in an open and transparent manner; and
# Regulations and guidance should consider established requirements and guidance such as the following:
# Executive Order 12866 – Regulatory Planning and Review. Federal Register Vol. 58, No. 190, Monday, October 4, 1993, 51735-51744, available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/inforeg/eo12866.pdf;
# Information Quality Act (Sec. 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for FY 2001, Pub. L. No. 106-554); Information Quality Guidelines: OMB (2002) Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated by Federal Agencies (2002), 67 Fed. Reg. 8452 (Feb. 22, 2002) [hereinafter Information Quality Guidelines], available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg/reproducible2.pdf;
# National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995. Public Law 104-113, available at http://standards.gov/standards_gov/nttaa.cfm;
# Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-119, Transmittal Memorandum, Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Standards (02/10/1998), available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/a119/a119.html;
# OMB Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review (December 16, 2004, available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/memoranda/fy2005/m05-03.pdf;
# OMB Bulletin No. 07-02 (M-07-07), Issuance of OMB’s “Final Bulletin for Agency Good Guidance Practices” (January 18, 2007), available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/memoranda/fy2007/m07-07.pdf; and
# OMB/OSTP Memorandum: M-07-24, Updated Principles for Risk Analysis (September 19, 2007), available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/memoranda/fy2007/m07-24.pdf
Source: OSTP/CEQ

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill

In Uncategorized on November 30, 2007 at 7:56 pm

aa view from the British Deaf Association

The BDA has acted as a respondent agent on behalf of the Deaf community, and a draft letter [PDF] has gone to Professor Marcus Pembrey (Professor of Paediatric Genetics), who is acting as an advisor to the House of Lords on amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.

See also:
HFEB: Explanatory clause on deaf selection
Parliament: Deaf Embryo selection to be made illegal

nanosolars-breakthrough-technology-solar-now-cheaper-than-coal

In nano on November 24, 2007 at 5:52 pm

more here

Nanotechnology, climate change, infrastructure among top risks

In nano on November 23, 2007 at 4:14 pm

more here

US National Cancer Institute meeting on Nanotechnology tools for Cell Biology

In Uncategorized on November 22, 2007 at 11:54 pm

Saturday, December, 1 pm- 5:30 pm
Location: Washington Convention Center, Room 203

This session will showcase the nanotechnology tools enabling novel biological studies which provide means to investigate, monitor, and alter multiple systems and pathways relevant to the cancer process and to identify key biochemical and genetic effectors which might be best directed using novel molecular therapies.

Speakers include:

* Jerry Lee (Chair), National Cancer Institute, NIH
* Piotr Grodzinski, National Cancer Institute, NIH
* Milan Mrksich, University of Chicago
* David Sept, Washington University in St. Louis
* Zong Ling (ZL) Wang, Georgia Tech
* Muhammad Yousaf, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
* Raoul Kopelman, University of Michigan
* Leland WK Chung, Emory School of Medicine
* Douglas Hanahan, University of California, San Francisco

We hope you will be able to join us.

The NCI Alliance for Nanotechnolgy in Cancer

The EPA’s nanotechnology applications and implications research

In nano on November 22, 2007 at 11:48 pm

morehere

Neurosocieties: the rise and impact of the new brain sciences

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2007 at 1:36 am

more here

Remotely controlled nanoparticles fight tumors

In Health, nano on November 21, 2007 at 1:25 am

morehere

Stem Cells without the Embryos

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2007 at 1:22 am

An easy method for reprogramming adult cells may resolve ethical objections. more here

First Direct Images of Carbon Nanotubes Entering Cells

In nano on November 21, 2007 at 1:16 am

more here

Cloning

In Animal on November 13, 2007 at 2:18 am

A technical breakthrough has enabled scientists to create for the first
time dozens of cloned embryos from adult monkeys, raising the prospect
of the same procedure being used to make cloned human embryos.
morehere

IGEM International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition 2007

In Uncategorized on November 6, 2007 at 2:28 am

The Winner of this year IGEM (more on IGEM International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition here

Winner Peking University
Towards Self-differentiated Bacterial Assembly Line
Our projects concern with the ability for bacterial cells to differentiate out of homogeneous conditions into populations with the division of labor. We aim at devices conferring host cells with the ability to form cooperating groups spontaneously and to take consecutive steps sequentially even when the genetic background and environmental inputs are identical. To break the mirror in such homogeneous condition, we need two devices respectively responsible for temporal and spatial differentiation. The implementation and application of such devices will lead to bioengineering where complex programs consisted of sequential steps (structure oriented programs) and cooperating agencies (forked instances of a single class, object and event oriented) can be embedded in a single genome. Although this “differentiation” process resemble the development of multicellular organism, we tend to use a more bioengineering style analogy: assembly line. Or maybe after some years from now, this will not be just an analogy.

morehere

second place see some pressrelease here

A biological sensor that catches infections on hospital catheters at an early stage has been developed by Biochemistry and Bioengineering students and researchers at Imperial College London. moresee here

The other projects here

KemI Swedens chemical regulators has relased a report “Nanotechnology large risks with tiny particles”.

In nano on November 5, 2007 at 1:37 pm

THe report is in Swedish but there is a english summary
morehere

Nanomaterials Included on ATSDR List of Proposed Substances for Toxicological Profile Development

In nano on November 3, 2007 at 11:15 pm

more here

Lieberman-Warner Bill Includes Climate and Conflict Provisions

In Uncategorized on November 3, 2007 at 11:09 pm

On the first of November, Senators Lieberman and Warner teamed up to move the America’s Climate Security Act (S. 2191) to the full Committee on Environment and Public Works. The act would go beyond recent legislation mandating that the intelligence community assess climate-security linkages and would create more formal institutional structures and resources for addressing climate-conflict connections.
morehere

Lancet Series Takes on Energy, Health

In Health on November 3, 2007 at 11:06 pm

September 15, 2007 issue. morehere

The fourth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-4) released by UNEP.

In Uncategorized on November 3, 2007 at 11:04 pm

see here

NIO Unveils Top 10 Neuroscience Trends of 2007

In Uncategorized on November 3, 2007 at 10:51 pm

more here

The U.S. Green Building Council certified the world’s first carbon-neutral building.

In Uncategorized on November 3, 2007 at 10:48 pm

more

Applied Nanoscience Formulation Tests Successfully Against MRSA

In Health, nano on November 3, 2007 at 10:44 pm

(Nanowerk News) Applied Nanoscience Inc. (ANI) (PINKSHEETS: APNN) today announced that it has achieved highly successful test results for its proprietary silver nanoparticle formulation against methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. The challenge produced a >99.99% reduction (4+log) in two minutes when coated on filter media and directly introducing the challenge organism. Testing was conducted at an independent, nationally recognized BSL-3 laboratory.
morehere