Such as cymbet elk river mn usa and nanogram devices

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Unformatted text preview: Selected nanobiotechnology companies developing medical devices (including tissue engineering)* Focus Company Tissue engineering AngstroMedica (Newton, MA) Platform under development Nanostructured hydroxyapatite artificial bone matrix NanoMateria (Chicago, IL) Nanostructured material for heart, cartilage and nerve regeneration pSiMedica (The Malverns, UK) Biosensors Agilent (Palo Alto, CA) BioSilicon for bone implants Nanopore sequencing (in collaboration with Harvard University) 454 Life Sciences (Branford, CT) PicoTiter sequencing plate US Genomics (Woburn, MA) Single-strand DNA sequencing Nanomix (Emeryville, CA) Nanotube chemical/biosensors *Locations are in United States unless otherwise stated. 1142 Regulatory and safety issues Companies require customers, and if a new technology is to survive, the public market must embrace it. It would be a mistake to underestimate the impact of public acceptance or the influence it has on the political process for funding early-stage development. Public outcry against genetically modified foods, somatic cell nuclear transfer and embryonic stem cell research demonstrates how a technology can stall when risks are oversimplified and concerns (some of them justified) are magnified through fear and uncertainty. Much of the recent public debate on nanotechnology has foundered because the technology is too diverse and because there has not been enough real data for rational discussion. These issues surround any innovative technology at its early stage, when science fiction often captures more attention that the science itself. It would be naive to claim all applications of nanotechnology as potentially suspect, particularly since the VOLUME 21 NUMBER 10 OCTOBER 2003 N ATURE BIOTECHNOLOGY © 2003 Nature Publishing Group http://www.nature.com/naturebiotechnology F E AT U R E moniker encompasses so many different applications—some old, some new. The attitudes of watchdog groups such as Greenpeace and Canada’s action group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration (ETC Group, Winnipeg, Canada) range from cautious to extreme, but these groups highlight the potency of public curiosity and concern. The request for an in-depth environmental analysis of technology is reasonable, given previous concerns about transgenic organisms and the unpredicted environmental impact of materials such as asbestos and plastics. Issues relating to nanoparticle clearance and tolerance do need to be investigated— researchers, as well as the general public, will benefit from this information. Academic centers such as the Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN; Rice University, Houston, TX, USA) have been formed specifically to address the toxicology issues (see p. 1166). In the United Kingdom, the government has commissioned the Royal Society to study possible developments in nanotechnology and whether they are likely to raise new ethical, health and safety, or social issues. In addition, groups such as the NanoBusine...
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