Introduction: designing nanobiotechnology oversight
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Nanobiotechnology has potential for enormous good: the ability to create new and improved health and medical applications to diagnose and treat many diseases and disorders that continue to elude conventional interventions, environmental remediation techniques to treat soil and water contamination, and agricultural products to improve farming practices and enable biorenewable sources of energy. A convergence of nanoscale science and engineering with molecular biology and biomedical engineering, nanobiotechnology involves the use of nanotechnology tools to engineer biological materials with novel properties or to engineer nanomaterials that are derived from or mimic biological materials. Just as nanotechnology expands the boundaries of physics and chemistry by enabling the understanding, manipulation, and control of materials at the nanoscale to produce novel physiochemical properties, nanobiotechnology expands the boundaries of biology that have proven to be obstacles for biomedical...
KeywordsHuman Subject Research National Nanotechnology Initiative Working Group Member Oversight System Public Policy Perspective
Preparation of this article was supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) grant #0608791, “NIRT: Evaluating Oversight Models for Active Nanostructures and Nanosystems: Learning from Past Technologies in a Societal Context” (Principal Investigator: S. M. Wolf; Co-PIs: E. Kokkoli, J. Kuzma, J. Paradise, and G. Ramachandran). The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF. Thanks to the project’s Working Group members: Profs. Susan Foote, Ralph Hall, Christy Haynes, Terrance Hurley, Jeffrey Kahn, Bradley Karkkainen, Kristen Nelson, David Pui, T. Andrew Taton, and Elizabeth Wilson (University of Minnesota); Prof. Stephen Ekker (Mayo Clinic College of Medicine); Robert Hoerr (Nanocopoeia, Inc.); Robbin Johnson (Cargill Foundation); George Kimbrell (International Center for Technology Assessment and the Center for Food Safety); Prof. Andrew Maynard (University of Michigan); and Prof. Susanna Hornig Priest (University of Nevada, Las Vegas). Thanks also to the project’s Advisory Board members: David Chittenden (Science Museum of Minnesota); Judy Crane (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency); Prof. Linda Hogle (University of Wisconsin, Madison); Prof. William Kay (Northeastern University); Prof. Milind Kandlikar (University of British Columbia); and Maria Powell (Nanotechnology Citizen Engagement Organization). Thanks to Research Assistant Katie Wolf for editorial assistance with this symposium.
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