Architecture, construction and Interior Design
Nanotechnology in architecture is addressed compelling by Sylvia Leydecker in this issue. She states that innovation-driven materials and products are critical in achieving green construction, which is now at the forefront of much architectural debate. Ms Leydecker believes that nanomaterials have a huge potential in this area, which is yet to be realised, as architects have not yet engaged fully with what is available.
Following on from a plea that architects become more acquainted with nanotechnology, the Decker Yeadon agency in New York has come up with new concepts based on nanotechnology that could shape the future of homes and offices. They so convinced by its benefits that they have just invested in making Buckypaper, a new material which has an electrically conductive coating of multi-walled nanotubes.
The emphasis on nanoscience and nanotechnology since the early 1990s has provided a significant impetus in mimicking nature, using nanofabrication techniques for commercial applications. Bharat Bhusan takes us on a tour of the natural world and some of its attributes that are leading to new products using biomimetics. George Whitesides
The subject of this month's interview is Harvard Professor George Whitesides. Professor Whitesides is not only successful as an academic, but is also named on over 50 patents. A lifetime of knowledge and experience has led him to a profound understanding of what society needs from science. His view is that, where science thrives on complexity, and unexpected outcomes, society needs simplicity allied to function.
Education and Ethics
One way to improve understanding of nanotechnology is by engaging young people in dialogue about its ethical, legal and social aspects is needed. NANOYOU (Nano for Youth) is a project funded by the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme that aims to achieve this through an appealing variety of media, games, role playing and other interactions.
The ethical debate on nanotechnology is an exciting one, which poses many complex questions -such as how we perceive nature, as opposed to artefact; the possible redefinition of the norms of health and disease; the likelihood of Transhumanism; the fair distribution of the benefits of nanotechnology; and scientists' responsibility for the consequences of technological innovations. Marc Pavlopoulos explores how we can ask the right questions, and the surprising ways in which society adopts a new technology.
Nanomedicine and the ageing population
This month's article on nanomedicine by Ottilia Saxl, explores the broader issues of how nanotechnology can provide important benefits to an ageing population, in terms of prolonging independence and quality of life for as long as possible, while reducing costs.
The country profile this month is Brazil. Brazil may have been a little later in getting to grips with the potential of nanotechnology, but investment and strong policies linking science and industry are reaping the benefits. Jos d'Albuquerque e Castro who has been involved in nanotechnology in Brazil, both from within University and Government, gives an all-round perspective on the state of the technology and where it is headed.
Countries covered: Brazil, USA, UK, Italy
Products mentioned: LCD Televisions, Lung-on a chip, Self cleaning surfaces