A report published today on the Institute of Physics website Nanotechweb.org
will say that Prince Charles' claims about nanotechnology could widen the chasm between have and have-not countries and damage the emerging nanotechnology industry in the developing world. This new analysis comes from a leading bioethics think-tank, the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics and is the first-ever survey of nanotechnology research in developing countries.
Dr Peter Singer, Director of the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics and Dr Erin Court, the lead author of this report, argue that concerns over the legitimate risks of nanotechnology should be addressed through a new international process and not by resorting to a moratorium on research that promises vast improvement in the lives of five billion people in developing countries.
Dr Singer said: "Opposition from Prince Charles and pressure groups around the world should not be permitted to diminish the health, environmental and economic opportunities of the poor in Africa, Latin America and Asia."
This report outlines for the first time the health, environmental and economic benefits for developing countries of nanotechnology (NT). These include:
- improved detection of cancer and HIV/AIDS by tagging biological molecules with nanometer-sized markers, avoiding in the process many drawbacks associated with organic dyes conventionally used to mark cells;
- improved detection of tuberculosis with quantum dot optical biosensors. Development plans for a nanotech-based diagnostic kit to reduce the cost, time and the amount of blood required for TB tests was recently announced in India;
- inexpensive miniaturized medical diagnostic devices easily used in remote regions;
- more controlled and targeted administration of vaccinations using nanoparticle delivery systems;
- the ability to repair ske
Contact: David Reid
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