The news caught my eye immediately, ‘Scientists at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) have created the world’s smallest incandescent lamp‘. It reminded me of Oliver Saks’ memoir, Uncle Tungsten, which dwelled at length on his uncle’s light bulb factory and their mutual fascination with the filament. Very briefly, the scientists are exploring the boundary between two incompatible theories, thermodynamics and quantum mechanics. There’s more here.
I mentioned the Framing Nano project in a previous post (July 28, 2008), a European nano governance project. In January 2009, they released a report with an enormous title, ‘Framing Nano Project: A multistakeholder dialogue platform framing the responsible development of Nanosciences & Nanotechnologjes‘. It’s mostly concerned with risk and regulation in Europe but there’s also a bit of information the situation in other parts of the world. There is mention of Canada,
Australia and Canada are also rather active on nanoregulation. Both have important programmes on EHS (Environment, Health and Safety) research and have published in-depth reviews of their regulations to assess eventual limits when dealing with nanotechnology. Even though no specific laws have been set up, the adoption of a precautionary approach principle, when dealing with nanotechnology application, is envisaged in both countries. (p. 4)
The report does not cite source for its contentions about Canada, which means that I’m not sure what to make of it. Last year at the Cascadia Nanotechnology Symposium (March 2008), there seemed to be a general consensus that virtually no analysis had been done or was being done on whether or not existing regulatory frameworks could accommodate nanotechnology. Of course, the problem with these things is that the federal government is huge so it’s possible that none representatives from the National Research Council and other government agencies could be unaware of those developments. If you’re interested in the Framing Nano report, you can read more about it and/or get a copy of it here .