Technology Law Source

Tag Archives: of

Nanoforart

 

"A thing of beauty" , as John Keats once wrote, may be "a joy forever", but works of art, whether they are sculptures, paintings, buildings, or books, do not last forever. Over time, delicate pigments fade, restoration or conservation attempts may go wrong, or objects of art may be attacked, such as the attack by Laszlo Toth on Michelangelo’s Pieta or the more recent destruction of theBuddhas of Bamiyan by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001.

While it may not be able to prevent vandalism, the Nanoforart project has taken on the task of appling nanotechnology to preserving and conserving works of art:

The main objective of the NANOFORART proposal is the development and experimentation of new nano-materials and responsive systems for the conservation and preservation of movable and immovable artworks.

While the progress in material science has generated sophisticated nanostructured materials, conservation of cultural heritage is still mainly based on traditional methods and conventional materials that often lack the necessary  compatibility with the original artworks and a durable performance in responding to the changes of natural environment and man-made activities.

The main challenge of NANOFORART is the combination of sophisticated functional materials arising from the recent developments in nano-science/technology with innovative techniques in the restoration and preventive conservation of works of art, with unprecedented efficiency.

An earlier posting on this site discussed the use of nanomaterials to preserve and conserve artifacts found at archealogical excavation sites, the use of such nanomaterials to preserve works of …

University of California, San Francisco Publishes Nanotechnology Regulatory Policy Recommendations

The Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is part of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Services located in UCSF’s School of Medicine. PRHE just published its "Recommendations for Addressing Potential Health Risks from Nanomaterials in California” which was commissioned by California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment  (OEHA).  The document is designed to provide the State with an overview of nanotechnology materials and their potential exposures and human health risks, and proposes a selection of policy options for addressing potential hazards and risks from nanotechnology.  We previously provided our comments on the May 2010 draft of this document here.  A year later, many of our same concerns still apply to the final document.

The new document makes a range of recommendations, which are set forth below:

Recommendations to address health risks from nanomaterials for OEHHA that can be achieved under the existing regulatory structure:

1. Develop a definition of nanomaterials that can be used to identify them.

2. Identify and define priority properties for risk characterization and collect information about them for each nanomaterial.

3. Develop characteristics by which to define, describe, and group nanomaterials according to conventional or unique properties.

4. Establish a publicly accessible clearinghouse and inventory of nanomaterial sources and products.

5. Identify and/or develop methods for monitoring nanomaterials in environmental media and through human biomonitoring.

6. Collect information on the fate and transport of nanomaterials, including through monitoring in environmental and biological media.…

Request for Public Comments on the 2010 NNI Strategic Plan

Monday’s Federal Register carried a notice from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Nanoscience, Engineering and Technology Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council inviting the public to comment on the 2010 National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategic Plan.

The NNI Strategic Plan

 is the framework that underpins the nanotechnology work of the NNI member agencies. It aims to ensure that advances in nanotechnology research and development (R&D) and their applications to agency missions and the broader national interest continue unabated in this still-young field. Its purpose is to facilitate achievement of the NNI vision by laying out targeted guidance for agency leaders, program managers, and the research community regarding planning and implementation of nanotechnology R&D investments and activities.  

The NNI Strategic Plan represents the consensus of the participating agencies as to the high-level goals and priorities of the NNI and specific objectives for at least the next three years. It describes the four overarching goals of the NNI, the major Program Component Areas established in 2004 to broadly track the categories of investments needed to ensure the success of the initiative, and the near-term objectives that will be the concrete steps taken toward collectively achieving the NNI vision and goals. Finally, the plan describes collaborative interagency activities, including three Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives that are a new model of specifically targeted and closely coordinated interagency, cross-sector collaboration designed to accelerate innovation in areas of national priority.  

The 2010 Strategic Plan is the result of reviews …

The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics

TheSwedish Royal Academy of Sciences, in accordance with the will of Afred Nobel, announced the winners of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday October 5, 2010. As most people have heard by now, the winners were Russian expatriates Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov , both Professors at the UK’s University of Manchester.  Professors Geim and Novoselov were cited for their discovery of graphene, using Scotch tape. Graphene, according to an article in the New York Times:

. . .is a form of carbon in which the atoms are arranged in a flat hexagon lattice like microscopic chicken wire, a single atom thick. It is not only the thinnest material in the world, but also one of the strongest and hardest.

Among its other properties, graphene is able to conduct electricity as well as copper does and to conduct heat better than any other known material, and it is practically transparent. Physicists say that it could eventually rival silicon as a basis for computer chips, serve as a sensitive pollution-monitoring material, improve flat-screen televisions, and enable the creation of new materials and novel tests of quantum weirdness.

Among the forms of graphene that are of most interest to the nanotechnology field are graphene nanoribbons. Graphene is also related to carbon nanotubes and "buckeyballs".

NNI at 10

In an article in the September issue of Nature ("Nanotechnology: Small wonders"), Corie Lok reviews the beginnings and accomplishments of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) over the last ten years.

The article attributes the creation of the NNI to four factors:

– A booming US economy, particularly in the high tech sector

– Support from the Clinton administration as it entered its last year in office

– Developments within the then emerging science of nanotechnology that caught the public’s attention

– Visionary scientists and engineers who could clearly and in terms everyone could understand communicate what this new field of science was about and how it would benefit everyone. The late Dr. Richard Smalley and Mihail Roco are noted by Ms. Lok for their work in getting NNI started.

NNI’s success in creating research centers and legitimizing nanotech in the eyes of the general public, leading  to a flow of venture capital to start-up companies that planned to commercialize the results of nanotech research, is offset by what Lok and others consider its biggest flaw, a lack of focus on the possible adverse effects of nanomaterials on the environment and human health. NNI is now beginning to fund research in these areas.

As the article notes, NNI deserves a great deal of the credit for nurturing nanotechnology over the past decade. But as nanotech has begun to mature, expectations of returns on the investments of both public and private capital in the form of practical and commercial applications and products have …

President’s Council Evaluates National Nanotechnology Initiative

This article originally appeared on the National Nanomanufacturing Network’s InterNano website earlier today. It is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.

Maxine Savitz[1] and Ed Penhoe[2] provided a recent presentation summarizing the highlights of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)[3] report on the status of the US National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) at a public meeting held at the National Academics on March 12, 2010.

Ms. Savitz provided a brief review at the beginning of the presentation regarding how, when, and why NNI was formed; its history from 2000 – 2010; and some of the participants in the PCAST review process. Participants included representatives from DuPont, IBM, A123 Systems, Nanocomp Technologies, Rice, Harvard, Caltech, Sandia National Labs, and the Woodrow Wilson Institute. Ms Savitz also explained that the group held two prior working meetings to solicit input from government agencies, the legislative and executive branches, as well as outside stakeholders. Finally, she explained that PCAST’s report has three major thematic areas: NNI program management; NNI output and work product; and NNI environmental, health, and safety programs and strategies.

Ed Penhoet then provided an update regarding NNI’s continued successes. He noted that the US is currently the world leader in nanotechnology and commercialization, but that other nations are gaining fast — particularly in Asia and Europe. He further noted that NNI has had a substantial impact on the US nanotechnology industry over the past ten years, which can be seen in the larger number of nanotechnology patents …

Australia Considers Proposal for Nano-Regulatory Reform

This article was written by John C. Monica, Jr. and Dr. Diana Bowman and originally appeared on the National Nanomanufacturing Network’s InterNano website earlier today.  It is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.

Dr. Bowman is a Senior Research Fellow in the School for Population Health at the University of Melbourne and a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of International and European Law, KU Leuven. Dr. Bowman is also a co-editor, along with Matthew Hull, of the book “Nanotechnology Environmental Health and Safety: Risks, Regulation and Management,” (Elsevier, 2010).

In November 2009, the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Aging (DHA) published a public discussion paper —“Proposal for Regulatory Reform of Industrial Nanomaterials”—in relation to the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS), which provides a national system of notification and assessment of industrial chemicals. For the purpose of the scheme, “industrial chemicals” include chemical entities found in, for example, many plastics and paints. And, unlike many jurisdictions, those chemicals found in cosmetic products. The paper provides concrete recommendations for the regulation of both “new” nanoscale chemical substances and “existing” chemical substances in nanoscale formulations, while thoughtfully considering legitimate business needs.

Regarding “new” nanoscale chemical substances, the paper notes that—by legal definition—these substances are those which are not already listed on the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances and as such are subject to existing regulatory requirements. The paper also notes that several permitting exemptions currently exist for certain uses of chemicals already on the Inventory. As an …

New National Nanomanufacturing Network Newsletter

The National Nanomanufacuring Network (NNN) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst just published its October newsletter which you can find here.  There is a nice article by Barbara Beck and Chris Long from Gradient regarding the recent Song nanoparticle study from China which was my first contributing editor piece for NNN’s InterNano.  Please read the newsletter and follow NNN’s valuable work.…

Nanotechnology Health and Safety Forum — Seattle, June 8 – 9, 2009

Battelle Memorial Institute, the University of Washington, and the University of Oregon are co-sponsoring the international Nanotechnology Health and Safety Forum (NHSF) in Seattle, Washington on June 8 – 9, 2009.  The NHSF is coinciding with the first world-wide meeting of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) TC 229 — Nanotechnologies being held in the United States, and will take place at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center.

Topics covered at the NHSF will include:

  • The EHS Progress Report: today’s status and tomorrow’s next steps
  • International Standards: developing a timeline & milestones
  • Navigating Regulations: encouraging dialogue between Europe, Asia, and the U.S.
  • Safety Guidelines: state of the science and recommended occupational safety guidelines for working with nanomaterials
  • Managing Risk: the insurance industry perspective
  • What’s New: current activities of innovative nano-manufacturers

I have been invited to speak on the insurance/managing risk panel along with speakers from Riddell Williams, Hunton & Williams, Zurich North America, and Chubb Insurance:

The availability of insurance for entities using nanotechnology is critical to the further development and application of nanomaterials in industry. Yet the widening use of nanotechnology (while toxicology remains to be determined) is a central concern for the global insurance industry. Insurance, Nanotechnology, and Risk addresses the prospects for managing nano risk through the perspectives of a Silicon Valley loss control specialist, a major international underwriter, and liability / coverage counsel.

This should be a great conference with an international focus; plus Seattle in June is going to …

EPA Office of Inspector General to Evaluate Agency’s Nanotechnology Efforts

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) "helps the Agency protect the environment in a more efficient and cost effective manner.  [It] consist[s] of auditors, program analysts, investigators, and others with extensive expertise" who are tasked with evaluating EPA’s ability to deliver on key Agency policies.  Risk Policy Report ran an article yesterday (October 14, 2008) indicating that EPA’s OIG intended to assess EPA’s nanotechnology efforts in FY 2009.  We tracked down the underlying document which is attached here.  Specifically, EPA OIG intends to conduct an "[a]ssessment of EPA’s Efforts to Monitor, Evaluate, and Act on Threats from the Production, Use and Disposal of Nanotechnology Products/Nanomaterials."  …

Swiss Food Retailer’s Code of Conduct

Switzerland’s food retailers association, IG DHS, has released a Code of Conduct for food and packaging suppliers with regards to nanotechnology usage in their products.  The Code is fallout from earlier criticism, and is aimed at avoiding similar public backlash, over the use of genetically modified food in Switzerland.…

Check Local Listings

Nanotechnology is coming to a television near you.  No, not through some technology breakthrough that will make your HD flatscreen razor thin, but rather through the upcoming series, "The Power of Small." 

Check back in April for the dates and times of this new show, which will address how nanotechnology will "change our world."  Funded by the Department of Energy and National Science Foundation, the Power of Small will air in April on public television.  Clips are already available on the website, and topics include environmental applications and impacts, privacy concerns and protection, and health impacts and uses, all being discussed in panel format.…

Lloyd’s of London & Nano

No, I’m not talking about the insurance policy that you may need for buying that big holiday gift.  Rather, I’m talking about the conference that Lloyd’s of London has scheduled to discuss nanotechnology risks in the context of insurance.…

Recap: US Chamber Nanotech Conference

By Helen Kim:

On November 13, 2007, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce hosted “Breaking the Barriers: The BIG Business of Nanotechnology” at 1615 H Street NW in Washington, D.C. The conference focused on issues of commercialization, regulatory concerns, and consumer education for the emerging field of nanotechnology. Events included speeches by Senator Ron Wyden; Dean Ronald McNeil of the business school at the University of Illinois-Springfield; John Marburger, science advisor to President Bush; and two roundtable discussions composed of educators, investors, researchers, and government officials.…

First EPA Regulation Of Nanotechnology?

Rick Weiss reported in yesterday’s Washington Post that the EPA plans to regulate silver nanomaterials used in consumer products as "germ-killing" agents:

The decision — which will affect the marketing of high-tech odor-destroying shoe liners, food-storage containers, air fresheners, washing machines and a wide range of other products that contain tiny bacteria-killing particles of silver — marks a significant reversal in federal policy. * * *

Under the new determination, first reported on Tuesday by the Daily Environment Report, a Washington publication, and confirmed yesterday by the EPA, any company wishing to sell a product that it claims will kill germs by the release of nanotech silver or related technology will first have to provide scientific evidence that the product does not pose an environmental risk.…

Report by Former FDA Official Urges Greater Regulation of Nanoindustry

An October report authored by Michael R. Taylor, Esq., former FDA Deputy Commissioner for Policy (1991-1994) may not be warmly received by all nanomanufacturers. Taylor’s report focuses on what he sees as FDA’s three primary purposes in relation to nanotechnology: (1) ensure product safety; (2) foster innovation; and (3) maintain public confidence in nanoproducts.  Taylor analyzes existing FDA pre-market review and post-market monitoring powers over nanotechnology products and finds several insufficiencies.…

Review: “Nanotechnology and the FDA,” in Nanotechnology Law & Business

In the September 2006 edition of Nanotechnology Law & Business, two (2) employees of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (“CDER”) — Nakissa Sadrieh and Parvaneh Espandiari — published “Nanotechnology and the FDA: What Are the Scientific and Regulatory Considerations for Products Containing Nanomaterials?”

The article begins with a disclaimer that the authors’ views and opinions are not necessarily those of FDA, and then narrows its specific focus to nano-products regulated by FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (‘CDER’) – primarily new drugs and/or drug delivery systems. …

LexBlog