Tag: nanotechnology

Bioethics Blogs

The First Cut is the Deepest

March 23, 2017

by Sean Philpott-Jones, Chair, Bioethics Program of Clarkson University & Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

The First Cut is the Deepest

Last week, President Trump publicly unveiled his 2018 budget proposal. If left unchanged, that financial blueprint would increase US federal defense spending by more than $50 billion, while also appropriating billions more to bolster immigration enforcement and build a 2,000 mile-long wall along the US border with Mexico. A self-proclaimed deficit hawk, the President would offset those increased expenditures will sharp cuts to the US Departments of State, Energy, Health and Human Services, and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

In sharp contrast to campaign trail promises to boost the economy, create jobs, and protect Americans at home and abroad, however, Trump’s 2018 budget is likely to do the exact opposite. Consider, for example, the proposal to cut nearly $6 billion from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Made up of 27 different institutions and centers, the NIH is the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world. Through the NIH or other funding agencies, the federal government supports almost half of all the biomedical research in the US. Private businesses support another quarter, and the remainder of biomedical research support comes from state governments and nonprofit organizations.

With an annual operating budget of $30 billion, the NIH provides training and support to thousands of scientists at its main campus in Bethesda, Maryland. Moreover, through a system of extramural grants and cooperative agreements, the NIH provides financial support for research-related programs to over 2,600 institutions around the country, creating more than 300,000 full- and part-time jobs.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

Researchers Take Big Step Forward in Nanotech-Based Drugs

March 10, 2017

(PhysOrg) – Nanotechnology has become a growing part of medical research in recent years, with scientists feverishly working to see if tiny particles could revolutionize the world of drug delivery. But many questions remain about how to effectively transport those particles and associated drugs to cells. In an article published today in Scientific Reports, FSU Associate Professor of Biological Science Steven Lenhert takes a step forward in the understanding of nanoparticles and how they can best be used to deliver drugs. After conducting a series of experiments, Lenhert and his colleagues found that it may be possible to boost the efficacy of medicine entering target cells via a nanoparticle.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

Nanoengineers 3-D Print Biomimetic Blood Vessel Network

March 7, 2017

(Nanotechnology Now) – The new research, led by nanoengineering professor Shaochen Chen, addresses one of the biggest challenges in tissue engineering: creating lifelike tissues and organs with functioning vasculature — networks of blood vessels that can transport blood, nutrients, waste and other biological materials — and do so safely when implanted inside the body. Researchers from other labs have used different 3D printing technologies to create artificial blood vessels. But existing technologies are slow, costly and mainly produce simple structures, such as a single blood vessel — a tube, basically. These blood vessels also are not capable of integrating with the body’s own vascular system.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

Transhumanists, Biohackers, Grinders: Who Are They And Can They Live Forever?

February 24, 2017

(Australia Broadcasting Co) – Can transhumanists, biohackers and grinders live forever? The answer is maybe soon — at least according to them. Ok. So what’s a transhumanist? Like some scientists, they believe that ageing is a disease, and they are not afraid of taking human evolution into their own hands by harnessing genetic engineering, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence. Sydney-based IT innovation manager and self-described transhumanist Peter Xing says Australians aged in their 20s and 30s could now end up living long enough to live forever.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

Ground-Breaking Method for Screening the Most Useful Nanoparticles for Medicine

February 6, 2017

(Science Daily) – Researchers have devised a rapid screening method to select the most promising nanoparticles, thereby fast-tracking the development of future treatments. In less than a week, they are able to determine whether nanoparticles are compatible or not with the human body — an analysis that previously required several months of work. This discovery, may well lead to the swift, safe and less expensive development of nanotechnology applied to medicine.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

Residency Opportunity: Brocher Foundation

Residency Opportunity: Brocher Foundation

November 29, 2016

The Brocher Foundation is located on the shores of the Geneva Lake, in Hermance (Geneva – Switzerland). The Brocher Foundation residencies last between one and four months. They give researchers the opportunity to work at the Brocher Centre on projects on the ethical, legal and social implications for humankind of recent medical research and new technologies. Every month a dozen of visiting researchers live and concentrate on their research project at the Foundation.

WHY APPLY?

  • Write a book, articles, an essay, a monograph or your PhD thesis in a peaceful environment
  • Have the opportunity to meet other researchers from different disciplines and countries
  • Have the opportunity to meet experts from numerous International Organizations & Non- Governmental Organizations based in Geneva (WHO, WTO, WIPO, UNHCR, ILO, WMA, ICRC, … )

The Brocher Foundation offers to successful applicants an accommodation in the domain of the Brocher Foundation and work space with all facilities.
Developing a research project involving cooperation with a Swiss university, a European university, a governmental or non- governmental will be considered as an asset.

A researcher can apply with other researchers to work on a collaborative project.

Topics of the Year 2018:

Among the following disciplines: Bioethics, Medical Anthropology, Health Economics, Health Policy, Health Law, Philosophy of Medicine and Health, Medical Humanities, Social Science Perspectives on Health, Medical Ethics, History of medicine.

Proposals of the following topics are notably welcomed: Equitable access to medical care, Biobanks, Biosecurity and Dual Use Dilemmas, Clinical Trials and Research on Human Subjects, Genetic testing and screening, Health Care Reform, Nanotechnology, Neglected diseases, Pandemic planning, Reproductive technology, Stem Cells and Cell Therapy, Organ transplantation, Cyber Health, Neurosciences, Synthetic Biology.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Jordan Paradise on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

By Nicolas Terry and Frank Pasquale Subscribe to TWIHL here! Loyola Chicago law professor Jordan Paradise joins us to discuss some of her recent work in life sciences law. Jordan’s recent interests span nanotechnology, synthetic biology, precision medicine, gene editing, and electronic cigarettes.  Her publications have appeared … Continue reading

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

Skin Patches Instead of Needles: Can Nanotechnology Vaccinate the World?

(The Conversation) –  Think of a device which is around postage stamp size and has thousands upon thousands of tiny spikes on its surface: this is a nanopatch. There are approximately 20,000 projections per square centimeter on each patch, each around 60 to 100 micrometres in length. One micrometre is one million times smaller than a metre, so the height of these tiny spikes is approximately the width of a human hair.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

Potential Cancer Treatment Using Microwaves and Nanoparticles to Target Deep Tumors

October 12, 2016

(Nanowerk) – Physicists at The University of Texas at Arlington have shown that using microwaves to activate photosensitive nanoparticles produces tissue-heating effects that ultimately lead to cell death within solid tumors. “Our new method using microwaves can propagate through all types of tissues and target deeply situated tumors,” said Wei Chen, UTA professor of physics and lead author of the study published this month in he Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Considering ethics now before radically new brain technologies get away from us

Now’s the time to think about what we’re getting into with neurotechnologies. Brain image via www.shutterstock.com.

Imagine infusing thousands of wireless devices into your brain, and using them to both monitor its activity and directly influence its actions. It sounds like the stuff of science fiction, and for the moment it still is – but possibly not for long.

Brain research is on a roll at the moment. And as it converges with advances in science and technology more broadly, it’s transforming what we are likely to be able to achieve in the near future.

Spurring the field on is the promise of more effective treatments for debilitating neurological and psychological disorders such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and depression. But new brain technologies will increasingly have the potential to alter how someone thinks, feels, behaves and even perceives themselves and others around them – and not necessarily in ways that are within their control or with their consent.

This is where things begin to get ethically uncomfortable.

Because of concerns like these, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS) are cohosting a meeting of experts this week on responsible innovation in brain science.

Berkeley’s ‘neural dust’ sensors are one of the latest neurotech advances.

Where are neurotechnologies now?

Brain research is intimately entwined with advances in the “neurotechnologies” that not only help us study the brain’s inner workings, but also transform the ways we can interact with and influence it.

For example, researchers at the University of California Berkeley recently published the first in-animal trials of what they called “neural dust” – implanted millimeter-sized sensors.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.