Science and Technology Innovation Program
In New Life, Old Bottles: Regulating First-Generation Products of Synthetic Biology, Michael Rodemeyer examines the benefits and drawbacks of using the existing U.S. regulatory framework for biotechnology to cover the new products and processes enabled by synthetic biology. The safety of early applications of synthetic biology may be adequately addressed by the existing regulatory framework for biotechnology, especially in contained laboratories and manufacturing facilities, according to the report. But further advances in this emerging field are likely to create significant challenges for U.S. government oversight.
A new study released by the Wilson Center's Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, a project created in partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts, reveals that while Americans welcome new potential life-saving and -enhancing applications promised by nanotechnology, they voice concern over its potential long-term human health and environmental effects and the ability of government and the private sectors to manage such risks.
On April 6-7, 2006, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, Rice University, the International Council On Nanotechnology (ICON) and Environmental Defense co-sponsored a workshop on engineered nanomaterials and human health hazards.
Scientists talk about the convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science in this collection of exclusive interviews produced by the Science & Technology Innovation Program in conjunction with the National Science Foundation.
Comments by David Rejeski in advance of the meeting on Research Needs and Priorities Related to the Environmental, Health, and Safety Aspects of Engineered Nanoscale Materials
Major emergencies and crises can overwhelm local resources. In the last several years, self-organized digital volunteers have begun leveraging the power of social media and “crowd-mapping” for collaborative crisis response. Rather than mobilizing a physical response, these digital volunteer groups have responded virtually by creating software applications, monitoring social networks, aggregating data, and creating “crowdsourced” maps to assist both survivors and the formal response community. These virtual responses can subject digital volunteers to tort liability. This report evaluates the precise contours of potential liability for digital volunteers.