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back to article MEPs get the fear over nanotechnology

MEPs are veering between tech utopianism and fear of the planet being buried under grey goo if their latest crop of votes is anything to go by. Strasbourg's denizens voted overwhelmingly in favour of "more prudence" over the use of nanomaterials in consumer products yesterday, demanding that the Commission evaluate whether such …

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Cock of the poppiest variety

Grey goo is nonsense! My dad once showed an MP around his lab. After the tour the guy turns to him and says "Remind me, what is an atom again?". Bloody classical studying pillocks!

Spleen vented... get back to work.

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Anonymous Coward

"...prominent use of the word "nano" on... what might be described as "nanomaterials"."

Oh, I think the marketers will do fine with that one on their own...

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Nanotechnology?

Are we going to prevent poseurs using iPod Nanos? Finally, and EU directive I can get behind!

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Col

2 per cent?

So the economy's knackered because - at least in part - banks were unable to cover their outstanding debts from cash reserves, and they're going to give tech companies carte blanche to do exactly that? Does anyone else see the problem there?

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Grey goo

"MEPs declared that nanomaterials "potentially present significant new risks due to their minute size, such as increased reactivity and mobility, possibly leading to increased toxicity in combination with unrestricted access to the human body, and possibly involving quite different mechanisms of interference with the physiology of human and environmental species.""

That is actually a perfectly reasonable position. Smaller particles are absorbed more easily through the lungs so the safe level can vary with size.

It shouldn't be too surprising since, if nano-materials didn't have unusual properties, we wouldn't be bothering to mess around with them.

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2 per cent (Again)

The first guy had it right. Being unable to back outstanding debt is what really caused the whole banking system meltdown.

The barriers to entry for financial institutions are supposed to be high. It's sort of an automatic qualification system - that entire system is moot with such low start-up costs. Bankers are already scummy enough - just imagine how many extra scummy people can get into banking like this. It wouldn't be too hard to get a bunch of friends together and start an "e-bank.

I wonder if they'll let foreigners own this sort of bank? If so I think I'll start one with the simple idea of being acquired by a bigger bank. Sounds like quick money to me.

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@Cock of the poppiest variety

It's not that the MP was classically educated more likely he was simply not educated at all!

After all a proper classical education includes a lot of Greek and Latin philosophy and literature such as Democritus, who is credited with one of the first atomic theories, and Lucretius who, though not a scientist himself, took it upon himself to preserve and explain the prevailing scientific theories of the time in De Rerum Naturae. A politician with a proper classical education (Boris Johnson?) could probably read them in the original.

Of course access to these theories doesn't mean anyone actually pays attention. If they had we probably wouldn't have had to wait another 2000 years for computers, etc.

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Read that quote again

"POTENTIALLY present significant new risks due to their minute size, such as increased reactivity and mobility, POSSIBLY leading to increased toxicity in combination with unrestricted access to the human body, and POSSIBLY involving quite different mechanisms of interference with the physiology of human and environmental species."

If these cretins had been in power long enough ago, we'd still be in the dark ages. "Drugs? Possibly harmful. Ban 'em". "Electricity? Ditto". "Domestic Gas supplies, are you mad?".

Ban all science, I say, it's all trickery.

O

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Boffin

The Big Bust is coming

If ten percent fractional reserves isn't enough to keep banks liquid, two percent will just sink the entire economy - the inevitable bust might even be our fall of Rome.

As for waiting two thousand years for digital computers(mechanical ones were well known to the Greeks), that was because Heron of Alexandria never thought to put his steam ball and knowledge of pistons together.

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Joke

It is probably expense related

I'd guess that an MEP somewhere in Europe thought that nanotechnology might just better give account of their expenses hence: bad thing = do away with it immediately.

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