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Submission + - The $30,000 Climate Denial Challenge (forewordreviews.com)

hlovy writes: Think you can disprove global warming? If you're smarter than most of the world's scientists, there's $30,000 in it. Physicist and indie author Christopher Keating is still looking for someone to scientifically disprove global warming.The second submission has been denied as of June 23. It’s on!
Science

Submission + - More Evidence Shows Nanoparticles In Sunscreen Do No Harm (redorbit.com)

hlovy writes: "More research shows that nanoparticles in cosmetics, including sunscreen, do not penetrate the skin’s surface. This study, announced today, again contradicts the unscientific claim long espoused by anti-nanotech activists — and repeated often by an unquestioning media — that nanoparticles in sunscreen penetrate the top layers of skin and could cause harm. Of course, facts have never been a strong part of anti-nanotech activists’ agendas, so I doubt this study will be cited in these groups’ own “research.”"
Censorship

Submission + - Iran Blocks Google, Moves Forward With Domestic Network Plans (redorbit.com)

hlovy writes: Iran moved forward with their previously discussed plans for a domestic version of the Internet over the weekend, as government officials announced that Google would be one of the first websites to be filtered through their state-controlled information network. According to Reuters, officials are claiming that the country’s self-contained version of the World Wide Web, which was first announced last week, is part of an initiative to improve cyber security. However, it will reportedly also give the country the ability to better control the type of information that users can access online.
Science

Submission + - Nanotech In Sunscreen: What's The Harm? (redorbit.com)

hlovy writes: For more than a decade now, anti-technology organizations such as the ETC Group and Friends of the Earth have been warning against the possible hazards of nanoscale titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in sunscreen. This warning has come with absolutely no scientific proof. They made it up.
Science

Submission + - Nanotech: Balancing real risk, political risk and the risk of hype (vincentcaprio.org)

hlovy writes: Vincent Caprio, executive director of the NanoBusiness Commercialization Association, asked me to contribute to his series of interviews with influential voices in the science and business of nanotech. So, I interviewed Andrew Maynard, director of the Risk Science Center at the University of Michigan, who has been studying risks associated with nanotech for more than a decade. He had some interesting things to say about assessing risk based on science, rather than political pressure, the need to alter one’s views as more becomes known about nanotech and the risk of overhyping a technology.

Comment Re:Sentimentalism masquerading as insight. (Score 1) 7

I promise, last post. but this was even funnier, Sherlock. Haven't been with Arrowhead in a number of years. I don't live in Pasadena (and never had, even during the brief time I was with Arrowhead). Funny thing, this Google. Anyway, thanks for some comedy relief for today with your huffing and sputtering. Back to work.

Comment Re:Sentimentalism masquerading as insight. (Score 1) 7

You chose to attack me, rather than the ideas, alone, based on assumptions with no basis in fact. Anyway, I ordinarily do not respond to personal attacks, but this one actually made me laugh. Unfortunately, I do not live the comfortable suburban life of your imagination and need to get to work in order to pay the bills. No luxury of time for a useless back-and-forth. Bye.
Books

Submission + - Deciphering The Magic Of Reality (acs.org) 7

hlovy writes: My 7-year-old son, Max, and I co-wrote a review of Richard Dawkins’ children’s book, “The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True,” for Chemical & Engineering News. It was a wonderful collaboration with my son, who is already much brighter than I ever was at that age. I’m very proud of him. Here’s an excerpt:

"Yes, we get it. These myths/stories seem ridiculous, and Dawkins takes the tone he always takes when describing religious stories—a condescending one. Yet to somebody who was raised in religion but also understands science, the mocking tone also mocks culture. It is a difficult thing to describe to those who did not grow up with religion. I can devote my career to writing about science, yet also feel strangely defensive about the stories of my childhood. In his
previous book, “The God Delusion,” Dawkins compared this reaction to our evolutionary need to obey our parents. I do not know if this is true, since I have not obeyed my parents in decades. Nevertheless, I continue to feel possessive about stories I know to be myths simply because they are an important part of the way my parents raised me.

Science

Submission + - How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Nanobot (pjmedia.com)

hlovy writes: My feeling was always this: I am not a scientist nor do I pretend to be one. As a journalist, though, I do possess a pretty decent bullshit detector. And I knew that those who believe that advanced nanotechnology is feasible were being marginalized for reasons that had everything to do with public relations and nothing to do with real science.

With me, it was never really about whether advanced nanotechnology was possible. I am not qualified to make that determination. What bothered me as a journalist was to see my colleagues sneer at a point of view rather than give it a full airing.

Biotech

Submission + - FDA: Regulate Nanotech First, Learn what it is Lat (pjmedia.com)

hlovy writes: The FDA, in cautionary mode, has come up with a meaningless nanotech threshold of 1,000 nanometers. The genius who decided on that number in a draft guidance on nanomaterial regulation has the biotech industry scratching its collective head over this new math.
Biotech

Submission + - http://pjmedia.com/blog/drug-delivery-is-one-way-n (pjmedia.com)

hlovy writes: So, it has been more than three years since I last blogged about nanotechnology at my NanoBot blog, although I have written about it in other ways for other publications occasionally. But despite my attempt to hide from nano and move on with my career, those little buggers kept following me. They kept popping up everywhere no matter what science/technology topic I chose to write about. But what really brought me back can be described in two words: drug delivery. And, no, that is not a felony charge — at least, not in this case.

Drug delivery is one way nanotech will, at last, begin to live up to its original hype. To describe what nanotech-enabled drug delivery will do in the short term, let’s talk about something that annoys and amuses us all about the pharmaceutical industry: Black Box warnings. You know, those bizarre monotone voice-overs you hear during TV commercials about all the horrible side-effects that go along with the drug. You hear about the risk of heart attack and suicide as you watch people frolic hand-in-hand on the beach. Makes the cure seem much worse than the disease.

The problem, though, is not the drug, itself. The real trouble occurs once the drug is inside the body. In many cases, the drug breaks down, but then tend to clump together. The body generally sees these clumps as alien invaders and works like crazy to get them out. So, one of the major problems facing the pharmaceutical industry today is the poor solubility of drugs. The result is that drugmakers tack on compounds to make the drugs soluble. Unfortunately, patients read about the side-effects of those soluble compounds in the often-mocked, ubiquitous Black Box warnings that drug companies are forced to include in their commercials. The challenge is to find materials that make those side effects disappear.

Biotech

Submission + - Drug Delivery Is One Way Nanotech Will Live Up to (pjmedia.com)

hlovy writes: So, it has been more than three years since I last blogged about nanotechnology at my NanoBot blog, although I have written about it in other ways for other publications occasionally. But despite my attempt to hide from nano and move on with my career, those little buggers kept following me. They kept popping up everywhere no matter what science/technology topic I chose to write about. But what really brought me back can be described in two words: drug delivery. And, no, that is not a felony charge — at least, not in this case.

Drug delivery is one way nanotech will, at last, begin to live up to its original hype. To describe what nanotech-enabled drug delivery will do in the short term, let’s talk about something that annoys and amuses us all about the pharmaceutical industry: Black Box warnings. You know, those bizarre monotone voice-overs you hear during TV commercials about all the horrible side-effects that go along with the drug. You hear about the risk of heart attack and suicide as you watch people frolic hand-in-hand on the beach. Makes the cure seem much worse than the disease.

The problem, though, is not the drug, itself. The real trouble occurs once the drug is inside the body. In many cases, the drug breaks down, but then tend to clump together. The body generally sees these clumps as alien invaders and works like crazy to get them out. So, one of the major problems facing the pharmaceutical industry today is the poor solubility of drugs. The result is that drugmakers tack on compounds to make the drugs soluble. Unfortunately, patients read about the side-effects of those soluble compounds in the often-mocked, ubiquitous Black Box warnings that drug companies are forced to include in their commercials. The challenge is to find materials that make those side effects disappear.

Businesses

Submission + - Remember 'nanotechnology'? It's still 'out there,'

hlovy writes: About a dozen years ago, a wealthy venture capitalist named Rick Snyder launched Ardesta LLC, an Ann Arbor company whose mission was to invest in cutting-edge research in nanotechnology, microsystems and microelectromechanical systems — or MEMS — and bring it to market.

Snyder, the future Michigan governor, coined a new term — "small tech" — to describe the technologies in which he was investing.

It was the turn of the millennium, before 9/11, before the Great Recession, when the only economic problem on the horizon — potentially — was the Y2K computer bug.

The next big thing, as many nanotech promoters said at the time, was going to be very small — 100 nanometers or less. For purposes of comparison, a sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick.

With these tiny, "smart" materials engineered to make products stronger, lighter, faster, the future seemed as if it belonged to a new nanotechnology industry.

Today, however, not too many people in the nano business care to call it an industry at all. It's an enabling technology, and it is developing under the radar in Michigan and elsewhere. This time without the hype.

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