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Nanotech On The Move
The technology of little things is receiving big-time attention. EPA announced a public meeting to discuss a potential voluntary pilot program for some nanoscale materials. The public meeting is scheduled for June 23, 2005, in Washington, D.C.

EPA's pilot program would only address nanoscale materials that are existing chemical substances that can enter commerce without prior notification to EPA under TSCA. The purpose of the pilot program would be to develop information for use by EPA and affected industry on potential risk from nanomaterials and to educate EPA on how to evaluate those risks.

A threshold issue is what nanomaterials are existing chemical substances that don't require TSCA notification and review.

Based on the proposed pilot program and other recent developments, EPA is finally biting the bullet and trying to figure out how to regulate an "emerging technologies" that doesn't always operate according to the laws of classical physics.

Everyone is getting into the nanotech act. The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars have recently launched a "Project on Emerging nanotechnologies." As usual, the project will be based in Washington, D.C. Winston thinks some of these regulatory projects should occur someplace real like Omaha or Tucson.

The project is funded for $3, 000,000 and is scheduled to last for two years. According to the press release, "The project plans to bring together leaders from industry, government, research, and other sectors to take a long-term view of what is known and unknown about potential health and environmental challenges posed by emerging nanotechnologies, and to develop recommendations to manage them...."

Last but certainly not least, some researchers at Cornell have created robots that can reproduce themselves. They're interested in applying this discovery at the nano-scale. In other words, they're working on nanobots that can reproduce themselves.

  • Click for notice of EPA public meeting.
  • Click here for more on Pew/Woodrow Wilson Project.
  • Click here for article on reproductive robots.

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