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Archive for the ‘NBICS’ Category

Canada to Require Companies to Report Quantity, Usage, Toxicity of Nanomaterials

In Health, Law, Medicine, Nanoscale, NBICS on January 29, 2009 at 5:17 am

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Bill Introduced to Ensure Safety of Nanotechnology, Transparency of Research, USA

In Law, nano, Nanoscale, NBICS on January 15, 2009 at 11:13 pm

(Washington, DC, January 15, 2009) – Today, the House Science and
Technology Committee introduced H.R. 554, National Nanotechnology
Initiative Amendments Act of 2009
. Identical to H.R. 5940
, which passed
the 110th Congress
by 407 to
6, H.R. 554 will strengthen and provide transparency to the federal
research effort to understand the potential environmental, health, and
safety risks of nanotechnology. It requires the agencies participating
in the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) to develop a plan for
the environmental and safety research, and a roadmap for implementing
it, which includes explicit near-term and long-term goals and the
funding required, by goal and by agency. The bill also seeks to leverage
private sector investments in nanotechnology and facilitate technology
transfer by strengthening public/private partnerships.

“The range of potential applications of nanotechnology is broad-from
solar cells to sunscreen, from electronics to energy transformation and
storage, to medicine and health,” stated Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN).
“It is important that potential downsides of the technology be addressed
from the beginning in a straightforward and open way, both to protect
the public health and to allay any concerns about the validity of the
results. A thorough, transparent process that ensures the safety of new
products will allow both the business community and the public to
benefit from the development of these new technologies.”

The NNI is multi-agency federal research program established in 2003
though the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act of
2003 (P.L.
108-153). It addresses all aspects of nanotechnology, including
environmental, health and safety (EHS) research. A December 2008
National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report concluded that the NNI still
lacks an adequate strategic plan and planning process for EHS research.
Over the past several years the House Science and Technology Committee
has carried out numerous oversight activities to encourage the
development and implementation of such a plan, with limited success.
H.R. 554 addresses the key recommendations in the NAS report. In
addition, the legislation requires that responsibility for overseeing
the development and implementation of an EHS research plan be assigned
to a single senior official at the Office of Science and Technology
Policy.

The legislation originally developed from the recommendations from other
formal reviews of NNI by the National Academy of Sciences and the
advisory panel of NNI.

Please see the Committee’s website
for more information on the
Committee’s work on Nanotechnology in the 110th Congress, including
hearings
and markups
.

Bill Introduced to Ensure Safety of Nanotechnology, Transparency of
Research

(Washington, DC, January 15, 2009) – Today, the House Science and
Technology Committee introduced H.R. 554, National Nanotechnology
Initiative Amendments Act of 2009
. Identical to H.R. 5940
, which passed
the 110th Congress
by 407 to
6, H.R. 554 will strengthen and provide transparency to the federal
research effort to understand the potential environmental, health, and
safety risks of nanotechnology. It requires the agencies participating
in the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) to develop a plan for
the environmental and safety research, and a roadmap for implementing
it, which includes explicit near-term and long-term goals and the
funding required, by goal and by agency. The bill also seeks to leverage
private sector investments in nanotechnology and facilitate technology
transfer by strengthening public/private partnerships.

“The range of potential applications of nanotechnology is broad-from
solar cells to sunscreen, from electronics to energy transformation and
storage, to medicine and health,” stated Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN).
“It is important that potential downsides of the technology be addressed
from the beginning in a straightforward and open way, both to protect
the public health and to allay any concerns about the validity of the
results. A thorough, transparent process that ensures the safety of new
products will allow both the business community and the public to
benefit from the development of these new technologies.”

The NNI is multi-agency federal research program established in 2003
though the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act of
2003 (P.L.
108-153). It addresses all aspects of nanotechnology, including
environmental, health and safety (EHS) research. A December 2008
National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report concluded that the NNI still
lacks an adequate strategic plan and planning process for EHS research.
Over the past several years the House Science and Technology Committee
has carried out numerous oversight activities to encourage the
development and implementation of such a plan, with limited success.
H.R. 554 addresses the key recommendations in the NAS report. In
addition, the legislation requires that responsibility for overseeing
the development and implementation of an EHS research plan be assigned
to a single senior official at the Office of Science and Technology
Policy.

The legislation originally developed from the recommendations from other
formal reviews of NNI by the National Academy of Sciences and the
advisory panel of NNI.

Please see the Committee’s website
for more information on the
Committee’s work on Nanotechnology in the 110th Congress, including
hearings
and markups
.

http://science.house.gov/press/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=2338

No regulatory void on nanotech, says European Commission

In Law, nano, Nanoscale, NBICS on October 13, 2008 at 7:40 pm

While knowledge gaps remain regarding the potential risks of nanotechnologies, the European Commission again expressed confidence that existing EU regulation can be applied to this emerging sector, stressing that the challenge ahead lies in their implementation.
more here

Call for papers: On the impact of nanoscale science and technology on disability, community and rehabilitation.

In Ableism, Call For Papers, nano, Nanoscale, NBICS on September 29, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Call for papers

On the impact of nanoscale science and technology on disability,

community and rehabilitation.

For a special issue of the International Journal on Disability, Community & Rehabilitation (IJDCR) (http://www.ijdcr.ca/copyright.shtml)

Guest Editor: Gregor Wolbring, Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies Program, Dept of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary.

Invitation

Nanoscale science and technology, while still in its infancy, describes a rapidly growing sphere of enquiry, with many and varied implications for the disability field. To establish a ‘benchmark’ of the current state of knowledge and conceptual understanding, the Editors of IJDCR decided a special issue should be devoted to the topic. Background information and potential topics are presented below.

We invite potential contributors, regardless of fields of study (discipline), to submit 250-word Abstracts that articulate the conceptual arguments and knowledge base to be covered in a critical analysis on some aspect of the impact of nanoscale science and technology on disability, community and/or rehabilitation. Please submit abstracts to the Guest Editor via e-mail by 30 October, 2008.

From selected abstracts, we will request full articles of 3000-5000 words (excluding figures and tables) of original research and scholarship on a range of topics. Note that an invitation to submit an article does not guarantee its publication. Every submitted article will be subject to blind peer review and recommendations arising.

Background

Nanotechnology in all its meanings allows for, among other things, the manipulation of materials on an atomic or molecular scale and enables a new paradigm of science and technology that sees different technologies converging at the nanoscale namely:

1. nanoscience and nanotechnology,
2. biotechnology and biomedicine, including genetic engineering,
3. information technology, including advanced computing and communications,
4. cognitive science (neuro-engineering),
5. synthetic biology;

hence, the designation “NBICS” (nano-bio-info-cogno-synbio).

Many lists of anticipated nanoproducts exist (Institute of Nanotechnology 2005;Kostoff et al. 2006). Applications for NBICS products are envisioned in areas such as the environment, energy, water, weapons and other military applications, globalization, agriculture, and health (e.g., more efficient diagnostics and genetic testing, cognitive enhancement; life extension and enhancing human performance in general) (M.Roco 2003). Many believe that advances in NBICS hold the key for extreme life extension to the level of immortality and the achievement of morphological (Anders Sandberg 2001) and genomic freedom(Wolbring 2003). NBICS-medicine is envisioned by some to have the answer to global problems of disease and ill medical and social health. Others argue for the pursuit of ‘morphological freedom’ (Anders Sandberg 2001)–allowing the human body to move beyond typical functioning of the species. Disabled people are often highlighted as the beneficiaries of NBICS-medicine products. NBICS applications and the selling of NBICS health products focuses mostly on offering disabled people medical solutions (prevention or cure/normative adaptation) and might move towards transhumanist solutions (augmentation, enhancement of the human body) but rarely offers social solutions (adaptation of the environment, acceptance, societal cures of equal rights and respect). Many NBICS applications/products for disabled people are envisioned and are under development(Wolbring 2005).

We chose this topic for an issue of IJDCR because of how the discourses around these new and emerging nanoscale science and technologies are emerging and their potential impact on people with disabilities, the communities linked to them and/or practitioners as well as others. Consumers and researchers linked to the disability discourse are involved will shape the positive or negative consequences for everyone involved.

Nanotechnology and NBICS have an impact on disabled people in at least four main ways.

Impact of NBICS on disabled people (Wolbring 2006)

NBICS may develop tools to adapt the environment in which disabled people live and to give disabled people tools that would allow them to deal with environmental challenges. This side of S&T would make the life of disabled people more liveable without changing the identity and biological reality of the disabled person

NBICS may develop tools that would diagnose the part of disabled people’s biological reality seen by others as deficient, defect, impaired and ‘disabled’ thus allowing for preventative measures

NBICS may develop tools that would eliminate that portion of disabled people’s biological reality seen by others as deficient, defect, impaired and ‘disabled’.

NBICS may be a target for – and an influence upon – the discourses, concepts, trends and areas of action that impact disabled persons.

Discourses:

* The discourse around the term human security
* The religious discourse
* The politics of biodiversity
* The politics of inequity
* The politics of the ethics discourse.
* The politics of law:
* The politics of raising the acceptance level for a given technology
* The politics of setting goals and priorities
* The politics of language
* The politics of self perception and identity (Body politics)
* The politics of red herrings
* The politics of interpreting International treaties
* The politics of governance
* The Politics of evaluation, measuring, analysis, and outcome tools

Concepts:

* Self identity security
* Ability security
* Cultural identity/diversity
* Morphological freedom and morphological judgement(Anders Sandberg 2001)
* Freedom of choice and tyranny of choice
* Duty to fix oneself
* Duty to know
* Parental responsibility
* Societal responsibility

Trends:

* Change in the concepts of health, disease and ‘disability’/’impairment’
* The appearance of enhancement medicine and the acceptance of beyond species-typical functioning
* Moving from curative to enhancement medicine; decrease in curative medicine and the appearance of the transhumanist/enhancement burden of disease
* Moving from human rights to sentient rights
* Moving from morphological freedom to morphological judgement
* The appearance of the techno poor disabled and impaired
* Moving from freedom of choice to tyranny of choice judgement

Areas of Action:

* Nanotechnology/NBIC for development
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and the UN Millennium Development Goals
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and global medical and social health
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and accessibility
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and law
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and water and sanitation
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and disaster management
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and weapons/war
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and ethics/philosophy
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and social science/anthropology
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and community
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and networking

All of the above discourses, concepts, trends and areas of actions impact on disabled people[1] and others.

Potential contributors to this Special Issue might consider areas from the above table or one of the following topics:

1. What are the potential positive and negative impacts of envisioned nanoscale science and technology products and research and development on:
* disabled people,
* the community around them
* practitioners, consumers and researchers linked to the disability discourse
* community rehabilitation and the rehabilitation field in general
* inclusive education and the education of disabled people in general
* employability of disabled people
* citizenship of disabled people
* body image of disabled people
* medical and social health policies and their impact on disabled people
* health care for disabled people
* the elderly
* disabled people in low income countries
* laws related to disabled people such as the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities
* the concept of personhood
* concept of health and health care
* the measure of disability adjusted life years and other measurements used to guide health care dollar allocation
* quality of life assessment
2. What are the potential positive and negative impacts of the new social philosophy of transhumanism that is seen as being enabled by nanoscale science and technology products and research and development?
3. What impacts of potential nanoscale science and technology products and research and development onto disabled people will impact other marginalized groups?

For more information about the International Journal of Disability, Community & Rehabilitation (IJDCR) please go to http://www.ijdcr.ca.

References

Anders Sandberg. Morphological Freedom — Why We not just Want it, but Need it. 2001.

Institute of Nanotechnology (2005). Research Applications And Markets In Nanotechnology In Europe 2005

Kostoff, Ronald et al. “The seminal literature of nanotechnology research.” Journal of Nanoparticle Research (2006): 1-21.

M.Roco, W. Bainbridge eds. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance: Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology and Cognitive Science. 2003. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht Hardbound.

Wolbring, G. “SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AND THE TRIPLE D (DISEASE, DISABILITY, DEFECT).” Ed. William Sims Bainbridge Mihail C.Roco National. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 2003. 232-43

Wolbring, G (2005). HTA Initiative #23 The triangle of enhancement medicine, disabled people, and the concept of health: a new challenge for HTA, health research, and health policy Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, Health Technology Assessment Unit, Edmonton, Alberta Canada

Wolbring, G (2006). Scoping paper on Nanotechnology and disabled people. Center for Nanotechnology in Society Arizona State University [On-line].

[1] The term ‘disabled people’, as used here, reflects the way in which environmental factors impact on the ability of individuals with sensory, motor, cognitive or other variations to participate in society, consistent with its usage by Disabled Peoples’ International.

Newest global Nanofunding numbers

In nano, Nanoscale, NBICS on July 23, 2008 at 10:13 pm

here

Scientists: Humans and machines will merge in future

In Ableism, Enhancement, Governance, Longevity, nano, Nanoscale, NBICS on July 19, 2008 at 3:08 pm

# Nick Bostrom says technology will let humans manipulate their own biology
# Ray Kurzweil predicts humans will be mostly non-biological by around 2030
# Biotechnology, nanotechnology, robotics could merge mankind with machines
more here

The Ultimate Cure

In Ableism, Bionic, Cogno, Disabled People, Enhancement, Health, nano, Nanoscale, NBICS, Neuro on May 24, 2008 at 2:01 am

The neurotech industry is engaged in a $2 trillion race to fix your brain. Many players will fail, but the payoff will be huge for those who succeed.

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At The Churchill Club: The Top 10 Tech Trends

In Bionic, Cogno, Governance, Human Security Food Water..., nano, Nanoscale, NBICS, Neuro, Robotics on May 23, 2008 at 2:35 am

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Scheme to Let Robot Take Over Brain-Computer Interface

In Bionic, Cogno, Disabled People, Enhancement, Governance, Health, Information Technology, nano, Nanoscale, NBICS, Neuro, Robotics on May 23, 2008 at 2:26 am

20 May 2008—A group of mechanical engineers at Caltech have come up with a way to guide miniature robots in the task of inserting and positioning electrode arrays in brain tissue. What they propose would be the first robotic approach to establishing an interface between computers and the brain by positioning electrodes in neural tissue.

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