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Home Industry News Funds needed ‘to keep nanotechnology safe’

Funds needed ‘to keep nanotechnology safe’

29th March 2007

Science should tread carefully when exploring nanotechnology, a leading advisory board has warned.

The development of the nascent scientific industry, based around engineering at a level invisible even under the microscope, has been hailed as a potentially great advancement.

However, the government’s advisory body on the issue, the Council for Science and Technology (CST), says it is important the development of the science is tracked by the necessary checks and balances and has issued a report identifying the main current concerns.

Sir John Beringer, a member of the CST, told the Today programme more funding might be needed to ensure the safe development of nanotechnology.

“We looked at all aspects of what the government had been doing and I have to say that a lot has been done which is very good,” he said.

“Developing standards, international engagement, measuring and identifying nanoparticles; these are all areas in which government support has been very successful.”

“But the one area of toxicology and environmental impacts is one in which insufficient money has been spent.”

Changes to the atmosphere and the natural environment as a result of nanotechnology’s manipulation of matter at such empiric levels was one area Professor Beringer said needed attention, both from a safety and development perspective.

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