An analysis of genetic modification and development of nanotechnology

Polymerase chain reaction is a powerful tool used in molecular cloning Creating a GMO is a multi-step process. Genetic engineers must first choose what gene they wish to insert into the organism. This is driven by what the aim is for the resultant organism and is built on earlier research.

An analysis of genetic modification and development of nanotechnology

These factors will play an important role in how nanotechnology is developed and commercialised. This article aims to identify expert opinion on factors influencing societal response to applications of nanotechnology.

Structured interviews with experts on nanotechnology from North West Europe were conducted using repertory grid methodology in conjunction with generalized Procrustes analysis to examine the psychological constructs underlying societal uptake of 15 key applications of nanotechnology drawn from different areas e.

Based on expert judgement, the main factors influencing societal response to different applications of nanotechnology will be the extent to which applications are perceived to be beneficial, useful, and necessary, and how 'real' and physically close to the end-user these applications are perceived to be by the public.

Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article doi: Nanotechnology, Societal response, Expert opinion, Factors, Applications of nanotechnology, Repertory grid method, Generalized Procrustes analysis, Societal implications Introduction Emerging applications of nanotechnology have the potential to deliver new manufacturing processes and products across various different sectors of application, ranging from agriculture to medicine to defence applications, which will potentially result in profound changes in society as a whole Crow and Sarewitz To realise the full potential of nanotechnology, significant resources have been allocated for nanotechnology research by government institutions, public and private research centres, universities and industry globally Brossard et al.

An analysis of genetic modification and development of nanotechnology

However, the potential social and economic benefits of nanotechnology may not be realised if the issue of societal acceptance of nanotechnology and the concrete products of its application, across a range of application domains, is not adequately addressed.

In the past, societal responses to new technologies have played a crucial role in the success e. It is likely that, just as has been the case for some other new technologies, socio-psychological factors will influence the societal response to nanotechnology Gupta et al.

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It is recognised that such socio-psychological factors will shape the commercialisation trajectory of technology, but also facilitate allocation of resources in areas of application relevant to the wider needs of society.

Thus, the identification of these factors will play an important role in the future development of nanotechnology. From the literature, there is some evidence that, at the present time, the general public has limited, or no, knowledge or awareness about nanotechnology, and that public involvement in the debate surrounding nanotechnology development is rare Pidgeon et al.

Therefore, at this stage in the development of nanotechnology, people with occupation related experience and expertise in nanotechnology from the scientific community, industry, policy makers or consumer representatives are likely to inform the development and application of nanotechnology.

An important element in determining how the technology will be implemented depends on the perceptions of these experts regarding societal acceptance of both the technology and its specific products across different domains of application.

Although expert view on societal response to new technologies may not align with actual societal attitudes, Barke and Jenkins-Smith ; Blok et al.

Identifying expert priorities and preferences at an early stage of technological development can be used to identify how such views have influence on the commercialisation trajectory in the future. A study of these expert groups can provide an opportunity to examine which perceptions currently represent broadly shared consensus among the different stakeholder groups, and which are associated with a broader range of individual opinions Besley et al.

In addition research on expert views can provide a benchmark to analyse preferences and concerns, and may be used as a precursor to initiate dialogues at improving the practicality of regulatory actions Berube et al.

The present study can contribute to making future comparisons between public and expert views on societal issues related to nanotechnology as identification of the critical differences between expert and public opinion needs to be taken into account in framing risk communication efforts directed at public Hagemann and Scholderer The aim of this paper is to elicit expert opinion on factors influencing societal response to applications of nanotechnology.

The specific objective of this study is to compare different applications of nanotechnology and identify expert views regarding factors influencing societal acceptability. There have been some studies highlighting expert views on nanotechnology Besley et al.

Yawson and Kuzmashowed that according to experts factors such as trust, institutions, risk and benefit perception and knowledge are likely to affect consumer acceptance of agrifood nanotechnology products. This study suggested that perceived dreadfulness of applications and trust in governmental agencies are important factors in determining risks.

It also emphasised that for an expert sample in the study, confidence in governmental agencies was an important predictor of risks associated with nanotechnology.

Another study by Priest et al. The study showed that public opinion has started to diverge from expert opinion with respect to societal risks of nanotechnology as for citizens, there has been a rapid rise in concern over societal risks in comparison to risk associated with health and environment.

A study on expert opinion on nanotechnology by Besley et al. Also while considering risk and regulation, experts distinguished between health, environment and social risks.

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Compared with the experts, the public judged nanotechnology as having greater risks and fewer benefits, and indicated less support for governmental funding of nanotechnology research Ho et al. Most previous research in this area has used a priori defined constructs, developed either from existing theoretical models which did not account for any specific concerns associated with public acceptance of the technology, or were decided by the researchers.

To fully capture the factors that determine expert views on the societal response to nanotechnology, it would be advantageous not to make a priori assumptions about what expert consider to be important issues for societal acceptance Frewer et al.

Constructs elicited this way are likely to provide a more meaningful reflection of the real attitudes and perceptions of the group of participants being sampled Henson et al. This, in turn, would help in evolving a more realistic picture of the potential factors driving societal response to nanotechnology and its applications.

Repertory grid methodology in conjunction with generalized Procrustes analysis GPA offers a methodological solution. The repertory grid method RGM allows respondents to describe their response in their own words without imposing external, experimenter determined factors, while GPA allows the differentiation of constructs about which respondents agree, and the most important determinants can be identified Frewer et al.Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification or genetic manipulation, is the direct manipulation of an organism's genes using biotechnology.

It is a set of technologies used to change the genetic makeup of cells, including the transfer of genes within and across species boundaries to produce improved or novel organisms.

Genetically Modified Organisms A Summary of Potential Adverse Effects Relevant to Sustainable Development.

An analysis of genetic modification and development of nanotechnology

A Summary of Potential Adverse Effects Relevant to Sustainable Development Summary Genetically modifiedorganisms (GMOs) are one . Biotechnology and nanotechnology research and development Abstract Many Maori and other Indigenous peoples have opposed genetic modification, and other new technologies in both indigenous and non-indigenous forums.

Ifgene: Pros & Cons of Genetic Engineering

Part of the analysis to inform the decisions on how this technology proceeds. Key words: maori, nanotechnology.


Nanotechnology is the science of engineering on a molecular scale, in effect building matter atom-by-atom from the “bottom up.” The prefix “nano” denotes a fraction of one-one billionth, and nanotechnology involves the construction of matter a billionth of a meter in size: roughly the size of several atoms.

Nanotechnology can be described as an emerging technology and, as has been the case with other emerging technologies such as genetic modification, different socio-psychological factors will potentially influence societal responses to its development and application.

Request PDF on ResearchGate | Public perceptions of agri-food applications of genetic modification – A systematic review and meta-analysis | A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted.

Nanotechnology | International Center for Technology Assessment