Aug 1, 2003
Nanotechnology in brief
• The last week has seen two new reports on the impact of nanotechnology. Environmental campaigning organization Greenpeace released "Future Technologies, Today's Choices", covering the potential implications of nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and robotics. Researchers at the University of Sheffield, UK, meanwhile, reported on nanotechnology's social and economic challenges for the Economic and Social Research Council. Both documents are available online.
• EaglePicher Technologies, US, is to develop and manufacture batteries based on nanomaterials expertise from NanoGram Devices. The batteries have applications in implantable medical devices. "We believe that nanomaterial technology offers significant improvements in battery performance, reliability and miniaturization," said Kevin Quinn, vice-president of EaglePicher's commercial power division. Initially, EaglePicher will manufacture NanoGram Devices' NanoCardia medical power sources for implantable defibrillators. Under the terms of the agreement, EaglePicher also has the potential to license the technology in the aerospace and defense markets.
• The Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering, UK, have announced the members of their new nanotechnology working group. Chaired by Ann Dowling, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Cambridge, the group will comprise: Roland Clift, director of the centre for environmental strategy at the University of Surrey; nanotube researcher Nicole Grobert; consumer concerns expert Deirdre Hutton; Ray Oliver, a senior science and technology associate at ICI; Onora O'Neill, a philosopher at the University of Cambridge; John Pethica, a professor of materials at Trinity College, Dublin; Nick Pidgeon, director of the Centre for Environmental Risk at the University of East Anglia; environmental campaigner Jonathan Porritt; John Ryan, professor of physics at the University of Oxford; Anthony Seaton, professor of environmental and occupational medicine at the University of Aberdeen; Saul Tendler, professor of biophysical chemistry at the University of Nottingham; Mark Welland, professor of nanotechnology at the University of Cambridge; and Roger Whatmore, professor of engineering nanotechnology at Cranfield University.
• US Global Nanospace has filed a worldwide patent application for the NanoFilterCX cigarette filter. The filter employs biodegradable organic fibres with a diameter of roughly 150 nm. "The NanoFilterCX is designed to sharply reduce, and we hope in some instances eliminate, the cancer-causing agents released from the smoke aerosol in a manner that does not diminish smoker satisfaction," said John Robinson, chairman of US Global Nanospace.