Carbon nanotubes as a potent cancer promoter – new data from NIOSH

by Andrew Maynard March 14, 2013

On Monday, the National Institute for Occupational Safety released new data on the potential role multi-walled carbon nanotubes play as a cancer-promoter – a substance that promotes the development of cancer in the presence of a carcinogen.  In the study, mice were injected with methylcholanthrene – a cancer initiating agent – and subsequently exposed to […]

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Think Design – an alternative take on nanotech (in 11 minutes!)

by Andrew Maynard May 22, 2012

A few weeks ago I was asked to give a “TED style talk” on nanotechnology for the University of Michigan Environmental Health Sciences department 125th anniversary.  What they got was a short talk on “thinking small”: The other talks in the series are also worth checking out – covering topics as diverse as epigenetics, cancer, […]

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Carbon nanoparticles could be ubiquitous to many foods

by Andrew Maynard May 19, 2012

TEM images of carbon particles from foods containing caramelized sugar. Click to see larger image. Source: Palashudding et al. Nanotechnology leads to novel materials, new exposures and potentially unique health and environmental risks – or so the argument goes.  But an increasing body of research is showing that relatively uniformly sized nanometer scale particles are […]

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Nanoparticles, cosmetics and sunscreens – again!

by Andrew Maynard May 3, 2012

Robin Erb has a good piece on cosmetics and safe ingredients in the Detroit Free Press this week – it tackles the very limited regulation over what goes into cosmetics, but balances this with a useful perspective on consumer choice and how this in turn can drive business decisions on what is used and how.  […]

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Nano M&Ms?

by Andrew Maynard April 20, 2012

Not in the technical sense I’m afraid, but thought it would be fun to post this image of nano-branded M&Ms.  They were used as part of a recent NanoDays session with local school kids exploring the broader implications of nanotechnology. The only substantive link they have with real nano-enabled products as far as I can […]

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Nano quadrotors – a game-changing technology innovation, but can we handle it?

by Andrew Maynard March 4, 2012

It’s been hard to avoid the buzz surrounding nano quadrotors this week, following the posting of Vijay Kumar’s jaw-dropping TED talk – and the associated viral video of the semi-autonomous machines playing the James Bond theme. The quadrotors are impressive – incredibly impressive.  But I’m sure I am not the only person watching these videos […]

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Is Maynard going over to the nano-dark side?

by Andrew Maynard February 24, 2012

A few weeks ago I spent some time chatting with Howard Lovy for an article for the Nanobusiness Commercialization Association.  That interview was posted by Vincent Caprio on his blog a few days ago, and raised a few eyebrows – was I showing signs of becoming a nano-risk skeptic? I hope not, as as I […]

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Are consumers risking skin cancer because of fears over nanoparticles in sunscreens?

by Andrew Maynard February 20, 2012

This has just landed in my email in box from Craig Cormick at the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education in Australia, and I thought I would pass it on given the string of posts on nanoparticles in sunscreens on 2020 Science over the past few years: At Australia’s International Conference on […]

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Wonders and Worries – Retro nano at its best!

by Andrew Maynard February 19, 2012

Here’s an introduction to the “wonders and worries of nanotechnology” that I think is rather brilliant: It’s part of a series being produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota for the Nanoscale Informal Science Education network (NISE Net). The series is designed to stimulate discussions addressing the societal and ethical implication of nanotechnology – but […]

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World Economic Forum: Top Emerging Technologies Trends

by Andrew Maynard February 16, 2012

For the past few months, the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies has been working on identifying some of the most significant trends in technology innovation.  Published yesterday by WEF, these represent ten areas that we as a council felt are likely to shake things up over the next few years in […]

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National Academy publishes new nanomaterials risk research strategy

by Andrew Maynard January 25, 2012

The US National Academy of Science today published its long-awaited Research Strategy for Environmental, Health, and Safety Aspects of Engineered Nanomaterials. I won’t comment extensively on the report as I was a member of the committee that wrote it.  But I did want to highlight a number of aspects of it that I think are […]

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2012 World Economic Forum Global Risk Report

by Andrew Maynard January 11, 2012

Cross-posted from the Risk Science Blog The World Economic Forum Global Risks Report is one of the most authoritative annual assessments of emerging issues surrounding risk currently produced. Now in its seventh edition, the 2012 report launched today draws on over 460 experts* from industry, government, academia and civil society to provide insight into 50 […]

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Pencasts – a useful educational tool?

by Andrew Maynard December 11, 2011

I picked up a new toy this weekend. (If you want to cut to the chase and see what I’ve been doing with it, please head straight to the end of the post). I’m fascinated by the combination of old tech (essentially “chalk and talk”) and new media that Sal Kahn has been successfully using […]

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A few Small Issues about Public Engagement on Nanotechnology

by Craig Cormick November 25, 2011

A guest blog by Craig Cormick. Over the past decade there has been a significant growth in public engagement activities relating to nanotechnology and when you look across all the data being generated you can learn a lot about how the public view the risks and benefits of the technology. That’s probably not news for […]

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Exposure to silver nanoparticles may be more common than we thought

by Andrew Maynard November 7, 2011

The past few years has seen an explosion of interest in silver nanoparticles.  Along with a plethora of products using the particles to imbue antimicrobial properties on everything from socks to toothpaste, nanometer scale silver particles have been under intense scrutiny from researchers and policy makers concerned that they present an emerging health and environmental […]

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New US federal strategy for nanotechnology safety research released

by Andrew Maynard October 20, 2011

The latest iteration of the US National Nanotechnology Initiative’s Environmental, Health and Safety Research Strategy was released today – downloadable from A draft of the document has been on the streets since last December – this version was compiled after a public comment period on that draft that closed earlier this year (the key […]

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EC adopts cross-cutting definition of nanomaterials to be used for all regulatory purposes

by Andrew Maynard October 18, 2011

The European Commission had just adopted a “cross-cutting designation of nanomaterials to be used for all regulatory purposes” (link). The definition builds on a draft definition released last year, but includes a number of substantial changes to this. Here’s the full text of the definition:

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US National Nanotechnology Initiative to release latest Environmental, Health and Safety research strategy, Oct 20

by Andrew Maynard October 15, 2011

This coming Thursday (Oct 20 2011), the US National Nanotechnology Initiative is releasing the latest version of the Initiative’s federal nanotechnology environmental, health and safety research strategy.  The strategy will be available for download from 10:00 AM Eastern time, with a webinar on the release being held between 12:00 PM – 12:45 PM Eastern (registration […]

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Define nanomaterials for regulatory purposes? EU JRC says yes.

by Andrew Maynard September 6, 2011

Cross-posted from The Risk Science Blog: In a recent letter to the journal Nature (Nature 476; 399), Hermann Stamm of the European Commission Joint Research Centre Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (JRC-IHCP) defended the need to define engineered nanomaterials for regulatory purposes. The letter, titled “Nanomaterials should be defined”, was a direct response to […]

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Final program posted for the Risk, Uncertainty and Sustainable Innovation symposium

by Andrew Maynard August 19, 2011

It’s been a while in the making, but with a little under five weeks to go, we have just posted the final program for the 2011 Risk Science Symposium (20-21 Sept).  And even though I say so myself, it’s a doozy! Somehow, we are squeezing 45 invited speakers into the two days, and not any […]

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