Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies

On September 30, 2008, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) released the results of a poll regarding nanotechnology and synthetic biology. According to PEN, almost half of U.S. adults have heard nothing about nanotechnology, and nearly nine in 10 Americans say they have heard only a little or nothing at all about synthetic biology. PEN states that, based on the poll results, “the level of U.S. public awareness about nanotechnology has not changed measurably since 2004,” when PEN sponsored the first poll on the topic. In synthetic biology, advanced science and engineering are used to construct or re-design living organisms so that they can carry out specific functions. PEN predicts that this emerging technology will likely develop rapidly in the coming years. According to PEN, the first synthetic biology “blockbuster” drug is anticipated to hit the market in the near future — an affordable treatment for the 500 million people in the world suffering from malaria.

Continue Reading Poll Finds Many Americans Unaware of Emerging Technologies

 On August 21, 2008, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars released its latest nanotechnology report, The Consumer Products Safety Commission and Nanotechnology, written by Dr. E. Marla Felcher. Dr. Felcher states that “[a] rapid increase in both the number and complexity of [nanotechnology-enabled consumer] products places significant

On June 25, 2008, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) released a report entitled Assuring the Safety of Nanomaterials in Food Packaging: The Regulatory Process and Key Issues, which concludes that engineered nanoscale materials use in food packaging materials raise new safety evaluation challenges for regulators and industry. The report

On April 18, 2008, The American Chemical Society Science & the Congress Project, The Society of Toxicology, and The Society for Risk Analysis sponsored a Congressional briefing entitled “Nanotechnology 102: Understanding Congress’ Role.” Panelists included Kristen Kulinowski, Director of the International Council on Nanotechnology (ICON); J. Clarence (Terry) Davies, Senior Advisor, Woodrow Wilson Center Project on Emerging

On April 9, 2008, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) released a report entitled Room at the Bottom? Potential State and Local Strategies for Managing the Risks and Benefits of Nanotechnology. According to the report, because of the slow pace of federal action to regulate development of nanotechnology, “there is ‘room at the bottom’ for state and local governments to move forward in pursuing regulatory and other oversight options.” Research for the report identified a number of states with laws promoting the nanotechnology industry or other initiatives encouraging research and development on nanotechnology applications. The report states that each of the 50 states is “home to at least one company, university, government laboratory, or other type of organization working with nanomaterials.”
Continue Reading PEN Report Finds States Could Prompt Federal Action Regarding Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology: The Power of Small,” the first major television series to examine the implications of advances in nanotechnology, will begin airing on local public broadcasting stations in April 2008. The series is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the presenting station and grantee for the series is Oregon Public Broadcasting. In the episodes, award-winning National Public Radio correspondent John Hockenberry asks policymakers, scientists, journalists, and community leaders questions concerning nanotechnology’s potential to impact people’s privacy and security, health, and environment. Featured experts include Harvard University researcher George M. Whitesides, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) chief scientist Andrew Maynard, and author Joel Garreau, among others.
Continue Reading NSF-Funded Television Series to Air in April 2008

On February 26, 2008, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars released a brief entitled Application of the Toxics Release Inventory to Nanomaterials, which examines whether the Emergency Planning and Community-Right to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) could be applied to nanomaterials. According to the

The Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI) and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) will hold a conference on February 28-29, 2008, on “Nanotechnology Law, Regulation and Policy.” Questions addressed during the conference will include:

  • How is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) going to implement its

On November 19, 2007, the Congressional Nanotechnology Caucus held a briefing on “Nanotechnology and Environment, Health & Safety Issues.” The panel of speakers included Vicki Colvin, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology, Rice University; Andrew Maynard, Ph.D., Chief Science Advisor, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, Woodrow Wilson International Center for