Feeds

Group voices concerns over synthetic technology

Nanotech in the biological world

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.