Will nanotechnology help the developing world?

nature-nanotechnology.gifSarah: The premier journal Nature Nanotechnology has published two free online papers as part of a global effort to raise awareness and stimulate research into poverty and human research. The articles discuss how nantoechnology might impact on countries of the developing world. The first publication, entitled Nanotechnology and the Challenge of Clean Water, presents the opinion that although nanoscience does offer a great deal of potential for increasing global access to appropriate drinking water, care must be taken to ensure that nanotechnology transfer is accompanied by technology adaptation and technology adoption to suit the country in which it is applied. The second publication, Are Natural Resources a Curse?, presents an interesting discussion pertaining to the changes in global demand for elemental resources with emerging technologies, and how this can have a very strong impact on nations and commmunities. For example, should carbon nanotubes emerge as a contender to replace copper wires for transmission of electricity, countries such as Zambia may lose out since a quarter of its foreign exchange relies on minerals such as copper. Equally, it might be possible that nanotechnology adds value to a particular country’s exports in a way that mitigates heavy reliability on a particular resource. Follow the links to the articles above for more interesting aspects relating to nanotechology and the developing world; an editorial also addresses the issue. Clearly it’s a topic which requires further multidisciplinary discussion.

Originally published on Blog@NanoVic for Nanotechnology Victoria.

Comments on the original post included:

  1. Joann | 17-Dec-07 at 11:41 pm | PermalinkRecent advances in battery technology have made the range and power of electric vehicles more practical. Issues still surround the charge time. Nanotechnology may provide a remedy to this problem by allowing electric vehicles to be recharged much more quickly. Without nanotechnology, electric vehicles are likely to remain a niche market because of the issue of charge time. Significant infrastructural investment will be required to develop recharging stations throughout most industrialized nations. Fiscal incentives to purchasers such as the congestion charge scheme, fast track schemes for commercialization and cultivation of links with automotive multinationals will also be important.

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