Mon, Mar 23, 2009 - Page 2 News List

NCKU to investigate health threats of nanotechnology

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) recently launched a research project to investigate the possible health threats of nanotechnology.

The Integration of Biomedical and Nanotechnology Systems Project will create a molecule simulation to probe any potential negative effects of nanotechnology, the university said.

The results of the project may offer insights for designing medicines and clinical treatment to preven adverse side effects.

Statistics from the Industrial Technology Research Institute showed that the product value of nanotechnology in Taiwan had exceeded NT$300 billion (US$8.8 billion) as of last year, the school said.

However, the safety of nanotechnology has not yet been confirmed, the school said, adding that several research projects had suggested nanotechnology may pose a threat to human health.

“Most of the simulation software currently used for nanotechnology research and its effect on the human body only supports the computation of either inorganic material or organic molecules. NCKU is the first institute to achieve a breakthrough that combines the simulation of organic and inorganic substances,” university president Michael Lai (賴明詔) said during a ceremony to announce the project, with assistance and cooperation from IBM’s Taiwan branch, last Thursday.

The collaboration makes NCKU the fifth university in Taiwan to cooperate with the company.

Lai said he believed the project would “lead to new discoveries in the field of simulated testing on the interaction of nano substances and bio-molecules.”

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