Monday, August 15, 2005

Politics and Science

AAAS is defending scientific integrity:
Leshner told Barton the AAAS appreciates the committee's interest in the important field of climate change studies. "While we fully understand that the policy-making functions of Congress require integrating the best available understanding of relevant science with other considerations," Leshner wrote, "we think it would be unfortunate if Congress tried to become a participant in the scientific review-process itself."
I couldn't agree more. Look, ethics and politics are very useful in determining what paths technology should pursue and what paths society ought to fund. It is really awful in determining what the science is and being directly involved with it. Politics and Technological development may mix. Politics and scientific review? Not so much.

More on stem cells

Glenn Reynolds writes, in linking to a promising, ethical method of doing stem cell research:
I certainly hope that this pans out. But before the anti-embryonic-stem-cell crowd rushes to say "so it's okay to ban research on embryonic stem cells!" I think I should add a cautionary note: We don't know if this will pan out yet, and making it work may well depend on, or be sped by, research on embryonic cells.
I'm sure that there are some people who think that research on embryonic stem cells ought to be banned outright, but this is not what the current debate is about. The current debate is about whether or not the federal government should fund it or whether it should be left to private citizens, companies, and local governments to work out what is best for the community. Prof. Reynolds knows this, but refuses to (or just doesn't) acknowledge it because, you know, it might cloud up his whole "Leon Kass is a luddite who must be stopped" theme.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Journal RSS feed

IOP's journal, Nanotechnology, now has an RSS feed. This is so to minimize the time it takes to look through papers in the morning. Grad students everywhere should rejoice!

Monday, August 01, 2005


Nanotoxicology: An Emerging Discipline Evolving from Studies of Ultrafine Particles

Abstract: Although humans have been exposed to airborne nanosized particles (NSPs; < 100 nm) throughout their evolutionary stages, such exposure has increased dramatically over the last century due to anthropogenic sources. The rapidly developing field of nanotechnology is likely to become yet another source through inhalation, ingestion, skin uptake, and injection of engineered nanomaterials. Information about safety and potential hazards is urgently needed.