Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Little Answers To World's Biggest Problems: Top 10 Nanotech Applications To Aid Poor

Date:
May 3, 2005
Source:
Public Library Of Science
Summary:
Nanotechnology could be harnessed to address some of the world's most critical development problems.

Quantum dots may be used for cheap, efficient handheld diagnostic devices available at point-of-care institutions in developing countries.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Public Library of Science

Some day soon, in a remote village in the developing world, a health worker will put a drop of a patient's blood on a piece of plastic about the size of a coin. Within minutes, a full diagnostic examination will be complete including the usual battery of "blood work" tests, plus analysis for infectious diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS, hormonal imbalances, even cancer.

That remarkable piece of plastic is called a "lab-on-a-chip" and it is one of the revolutionary products and processes currently emerging from nanotechnology research with the potential to transform the lives of billions of the world's most vulnerable inhabitants.

In a new study by researchers at the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics (JCB) an international panel of 63 experts were asked to rank the nanotechnology applications they think are most likely to benefit developing countries in the areas of water, agriculture, nutrition, health, energy and the environment in the next 10 years. The study is the first ever ranking of nanotechnology applications relative to their impact on development.

The nanotechnology applications that were rated the highest were, in rank order:

1. Energy storage, production, and conversion
2. Agricultural productivity enhancement
3. Water treatment and remediation
4. Disease diagnosis and screening
5. Drug delivery systems
6. Food processing and storage
7. Air pollution and remediation
8. Construction
9. Health monitoring
10. Vector and pest detection and control

The study also relates the impact of nanotechnologies to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. In 2000, all 189 member states of the UN committed to achieve eight goals - which aim to promote human development and encourage social and economic sustainability - by 2015. The study authors describe how the top ten nanotechnology applications can help contribute to these goals.

"The targeted application of nanotechnology has enormous potential to bring about major improvements in the living standards of people in the developing world," said Dr. Peter Singer, one of the authors of the study. "Science and technology alone are not going to magically solve all the problems of developing countries but they are critical components of development. Nanotechnology is a relatively new field that will soon be providing radical and relatively inexpensive solutions to critical development problems."

The authors point out that several developing countries have launched their own nanotechnology initiatives in order to strengthen their capacity and sustain economic growth. For example, India's Department of Science and Technology will invest $20 million over 2004-2009 for their Nanomaterials Science and Technology Initiative.

"There is a clear need for the international community to accelerate the use by less industrialized countries of these top nanotechnologies to address development challenges sustainably," said Dr Abdallah Daar, another of the study's authors.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library Of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Salamanca-Buentello F, Persad DL, Court EB, Martin DK, Daar AS, et al. Nanotechnology and the developing world. PLoS Med, 2(4): e97

Cite This Page:

Public Library Of Science. "Little Answers To World's Biggest Problems: Top 10 Nanotech Applications To Aid Poor." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 May 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050503103638.htm>.
Public Library Of Science. (2005, May 3). Little Answers To World's Biggest Problems: Top 10 Nanotech Applications To Aid Poor. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050503103638.htm
Public Library Of Science. "Little Answers To World's Biggest Problems: Top 10 Nanotech Applications To Aid Poor." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050503103638.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A 19-year-old computer science student has been arrested in relation to a data breach of 900 social insurance numbers from Canada's revenue agency. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins