Public views nanotech research on TV


From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to Silicon Valley, researchers are manipulating particles at the atomic level, ushering in potential cures for cancer, clothes that don’t stain, and solar panels as thin as a sheet of paper, according to a blog by Josh Rosen, series producer for QUEST on KQED Television (Public Broadcasting for northern California). To keep the public apprised of some of the goings-on in nanotech research, QUEST recently aired a segment called “Nanotechnology Takes Off,” filmed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, which is managed by UC Berkeley.

The 10-minute “show” reflects the fact that the Bay Area is a hub for the study of nanotechnology, which it predicts “will drive progress in virtually every field, from computing to medicine, manufacturing, energy, and the environment.”

The QUEST segment showed a flagellum of bacterium that depicts a “machine” that nature builds on the nanoscale.
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Jeffrey Grossman, a UC Berkeley nanoscientist who works with the National Science Foundation, says Berkeley researchers are working “to unlock the potential of nanoscience to battle global problems, particularly global warming, disease, and clean water.” However, Paul Alividatos, director, material science division at the lab, recognizes that there is also a question of safety. “Along with its promise of a bright new future, nanoscience brings with it risks and fears. More research is needed to understand the nature of the interaction between new engineered artificial nanoscale materials and living systems.”

The entire TV segment can be viewed at
-Marcy Koff