Science and Technology Innovation Program
Do companies have the right to patent genetic discoveries? This has become one of the most controversal intellectual property issues of our time. A panel of experts debated the ethical, legal, and financial implications of gene patenting at a recent Wilson Center event.
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.
The updated Nanotechnology Consumer Products Inventory now contains 1,628 consumer products that have been introduced to the market since 2005, representing a 24 percent increase since the last update in 2010. In addition to finding new products introduced to the market, the newly re-launched inventory seeks to address scientific uncertainty with contributions from those involved with nanomaterials production, use, and analysis.
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.
Research Needs and Priorities Related to the Environmental, Health, and Safety Aspects of Engineered Nanoscale Materials
Testimony by Andrew D. Maynard, Ph.D.Chief Science Advisor Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies