Feeds

Group voices concerns over synthetic technology

Nanotech in the biological world

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A Canadian advocacy group has called for a tighter regulation of nanotech's spread into the biological world. It has published a consultation document, Down on the Farm, which examines how nano-scale technologies will affect farmers, food and agriculture. The ETC group (Erosion, Technology and Concentration) has called for a moratorium on all lab experimentation and environmental release of synthetic biology - autonomous nano-scale devices - until their impact is better understood.

ETC warns that despite a paucity of research in the area - few toxicological studies exist - nano-scale additives have begun to make their way into food, and into pesticides. The group says that materials behave differently at a nano scale: they are often more reactive, and more mobile if they enter the body.

"By allowing nanotech food and agricultural products to come to market in the absence of public debate and regulatory oversight, governments and industry may be igniting a new and more intense debate – this time over ‘atomically modified’ foods," adds Jim Thomas, ETC Group Programme Manager.

The full report can be found here (pdf).

In related news, a group of industrial researchers and scientists have come together in the US to form a nanotechnology consortium. Headed by computer aided deisign specialists, Accelerys, the consortium has been founded to help scientists and engineers work together more closely. It will also lend its weight to developing new simulation and software tools to design nanomaterials and nanodevices.

The consortium held its first meeting in Manhattan on 3-6 October. Around 20 companies and institutions attended including Fujitsu, Corning, and Imperial College, London. ®

Related stories

Scientists call for nanotech caution
Prince Charles gives forth on nanotech
Scientists send Buckyballs to detox
Nanotech buckyballs kill fish

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.