Feeds

Nanotech's grand challenge is sustainable development

Big things expected of small science

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

New hybrid storage solutions

The developing world stands to gain most from nanotechnology through its advances in energy storage and production, according to a report. In a poll of 63 experts in the field, nanotechnology's potential to transform food production was also highlighted.

The Canadian Joint Centre for Bioethics (JCB) asked the panel of specialists which areas would benefit most, in the next ten years, from advances in nanotechnology. It used the responses to draw up a list of the ten most beneficial areas of research.

It says that it has ordered potential application according to how useful they will be in addressing questions of sustainable development, as outlined at the 2002 UN Johannesburg Summit. The report's authors argue that no one has tried to do this before.

To put their list together, the researchers asked panellists to consider each technology in context: What kind of impact will a technology have; will it address the most pressing needs; can it be made ready within ten years; is it socially and politically acceptable and are there any indirect benefits?

Top of their list were technologies that could improve hydrogen storage, or up the effeciency of solar cells. Power-related advances were followed by new applications for agriculture, such as nanosensors to monitor the quality of the soil. Water treatment was next, followed by disease diagnosis and screening, drug delivery systems and food storage technology.

"Our results can provide guidance to the developing countries themselves to help target their growing initiatives in nanotechnology," the report states.

The authors also using the top ten list to form the basis of a nanotechnology Grand Challenge, much like Hilbert’s Grand Challenges in Mathematics. ®

You can read the full report here (pdf).

Related stories

Hydrogen cars by 2012 says DaimlerChrysler
Canadian scientists build nano-propeller
Group voices concerns over synthetic technology

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Chelyabinsk-sized SURPRISE asteroid to skim Earth, satnav birds
Space rock appears out of nowhere, buzzes planet on Sunday
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Square Kilometre Array reveals its 1.6TB-a-day storage and network rigs
Boolardy Engineering Test Array - aka BETA - is about to come out of Beta
LOHAN invites ENTIRE REG READERSHIP to New Mexico shindig
Well, those of you who back our Kickstarter tin-rattling...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
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.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.