Menu
Land and oceans
White roofs could cool cities: study
Enzyme crystal helps crack HIV puzzle
Sugar sweetens decision making
Twilight zone secrets revealed
Astronomers spot asteroid collision
Algae master quantum mechanics
Protein 'ushers' key to beating malaria
Researchers spin artificial bee silk
New view of Pluto increases mystery
Cell's power packs came from within
Antarctic snow linked to WA dry
Termites inspire hydrophobic materials
Study shows why it's scary to lose money
Soil impact underestimated: climate study
Lack of oxygen forced fish's first breath
Harder Sudoku puzzles on the way?
Weed genes could help feed the world
Logging makes forests more flammable: study
Food crisis looms warn scientists
Tiny sensors track 'lost' objects
'Climategate' university orders review
'Plumbing' key to flowering success
New twist on solar cell design
Scientists set new temperature record
Cautious response to technology strategy
Unions, consumer and environment groups have greeted a new Australian government plan for handling controversial developments such as nanotechnology, with caution.

The National Enabling Technologies Strategy, released this week, allocates around $38 million over four years "to guide the safe development of new technologies such as nanotechnology and biotechnology."

"It's important for Australia to take advantage of new technologies as they arise," says Peter Chesworth, from the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

"[But] it's very important that this isn't done to the exclusion of health, safety and the environment."

The new strategy will establish a Stakeholder Advisory Council to advise government.

"When it comes to issues such as biotechnology and nanotechnology, there is a diverse set of views out there. We want to set up this group to enable a broad range of views to be heard," says Chesworth.
'Fair dinkum?'

Critics have welcomed the stakeholder council but are concerned about its role given it will only meet twice a year.

"You wonder therefore how fair dinkum are they about that group having a genuine input into this entire process," says Geoff Fary from the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).

Georgia Miller of the Friends of the Earth Nanotechnology Project says the strategy does not state to whom the stakeholder council will report.

"It wasn't made clear to what extent its feedback is going to inform strategy development," she says.

Consumer group Choice says the strategy has some "good intentions", but wants to wait and see what happens.

"The government is saying they will consult stakeholders widely so we're hoping that's fully fledged engagement and not just telling us what they're doing," says Kate Norris of Choice.

Chesworth says the stakeholder council will report to the enabling technologies section of the industry department, which will then pass the advice onto the minister.

He says the decision to have twice-yearly meeting was to make sure meetings had a full agenda, but this schedule might be revisted.
Worker exposure

The ACTU is worried about workers being exposed to unregulated nanomaterials, some of which scientists believe may act like asbestos fibres.

Fary says health issues have not been given enough prominence in the strategy.

"It's very gung-ho about Australia embracing these technologies," he says.

"The reference to researching their impacts on health and safety does tend to appear to be a bit of an afterthought."

But Professor Thomas Faunce of the Australian National University in Canberra described the strategy as a "balanced document".

"The government is on the right track," says Faunce, an ARC Future Fellow currently looking at nanotechnology and global health.

"It's important that the nanotechnology industry grow."

But Faunce says it will be important that the technology targets the national benefit, rather than short-term profits.

He wonders whether the stakeholder council might be able to help in this process.

Faunce says the strategy's allocation of $18.2 million to the National Measurement Institute will help improve scientists' ability to measure nanomaterials.

This is an important pre-requisite for setting standards for toxicity testing and regulation, he says.
Precaution

But while experts argue over how best to measure nanomaterials and what size to classify as 'nano', critics say precautionary action should be taken before laborious toxicity tests are finalised.

"It's a case where the technology is running way ahead of the regulation," says Fary of the ACTU.

"We call for regulation because nanomaterials at nanosize behave differently to the parent material and we've called for them to be separately classified."

The call is supported by a 2008 NSW parliamentary inquiry and a report by the Royal Society in the UK.

"When you are dealing with people's health and people's lives, we believe that a precautionary approach to should be adopted," says Fary.

"We are not prepared to wait 30 years to say 'aw gee, we got that wrong, didn't we.'"

But Chesworth emphasises the need for scientific evidence before action can be taken.

"There are many interpretations of what the precautionary principle is," he says.

"If there was toxicological evidence presented, I can't really see the government sitting on its hands."

Chesworth says regulators will deal with nanomaterials "on a case by case basis"

"But to say that all compounds or chemicals that are in a nano-form should be treated differently to the way they are in their bulk form is probably an over-simplification," he says.

Faunce says it's also important to weigh the benefits of a particular technology against possible risks.

For example, he says, the use of nano silver to stop smelly socks offers fairly "marginal" benefit to society as compared to the risk of it destroying nitrifying bacteria in sewage works.

Print
Horny mother beetles fight for dung
Light-speed computing one step closer
Small asteroids 'just lumps of gravel'
Gene study reveals diverse gut zoo
Dinosaur extinction caused by asteroid: study
Study finds methane bubbling from Arctic
New view reveals Mars' icy history
Some nano-sunscreens 'come at a cost'
Dust bunnies could harbour toxic load
Aphid genome reveals its 'Achilles heel'
Tailored diet may slow down DNA damage
Scientist probe ballistic chameleon tongue
Moa eggshells yield ancient DNA
Toothbrush tech helps buses go green
Gene protects some Tassie devils from tumour
Smaller fish cope better with acidic water
Lunar mirror mystery solved
Parents give fewer bad genes than thought
Women on pill may live longer
Antarctic winds affect key ocean layer
Researchers uncover thalidomide mystery
Boost for evidence of early ocean
Ocean geoengineering may prove lethal
People leave unique 'germ print'
Rogue star on collision course
Butterflies 'fly early as planet warms'
Glaucoma may start in the brain
Tools push back dates for humans on Flores
Menu
Stem cell capsules to target broken bones
Ecstasy damages complex memory: study
Earliest animals flexed their muscles
Insomnia may shrink the brain: study
Experts call for 'resilience thinking'
Tutu's DNA could point to medical cures
Humble algae key to whale evolution
Happiness linked to healthy heart
Fewer cyclones, but more intense: study
Cosmic candles result of colliding stars
Flightless mosquitoes may curb dengue
Childhood poverty may leave its mark
Cautious response to technology strategy
Nanowire RAM to make ever-ready computers
Are non-smokers smarter than smokers?
There's iron in them thar Martian hills
'Shell Crusher' shark swam ancient oceans
Nanotechnology may tap into your mind
Small dogs originated in the Middle East
Brain 'hears' sound of silence
Swimmers 'may not understand' tsunami risk
Altruism surfaces on slow-sinking ship
Chile quake tops Haiti, but less deadly
Weedkiller 'makes boy frogs lay eggs'
Visit Statistics
http://google.com/

http://bing.com/

https://gepatit-info.top/

https://serdechnic.com/

https://buy-meds24.com/

https://dverirespekt.ru/

https://www.sribno.net/

https://undergroundcityphoto.com/

https://detskiezabolevaniya.com/

http://grafaman.ru/

http://innoslicon.com/html/product/index.htm

https://yginekologa.com/

https://yes-com.com/

https://www.baikaleminer.com/

https://bitmaein.com/shop

https://www.artdeko.info/

https://aerodizain.com/

http://xn--d1abj0abs9d.in.ua/

http://lider82.ru/

http://sta-grand.ru/

http://snabs.kz/

https://sky-mine.ru/

https://rybalka-opt.ru/

http://snegozaderzhatel.ru/

https://xn--e1aaajzchnkg.ru.com/

http://hit-kino.ru/

http://www.regionshop.biz/

https://xn--80aaafbn2bc2ahdfrfkln6l.xn--p1ai/

https://pp-budpostach.com.ua/

https://vykup-avto-krasnodar.ru/

https://gcup.ru/

https://mega-polis.biz.ua/

http://vanrise.com.ua/

http://infra-e.ru/

https://veterinariya.com/

https://ponosanet.com/

https://cariestop.com/

https://proartrit.com/

https://elonm.ru/

https://nakozhe.com/

https://spinanebolit.com/

http://zameskino.ru/

http://kinoprinc.ru/

http://pospektr.ru/

http://buypillsonline24h.com/

http://komputers-best.ru/

https://komp-pomosch.ru/