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EPA Can Use History of Regulations of Nanosilver Going Back to the 1950s

When it comes to nanosilver the EPA appears to already have a relatively long history of regulation on which to base its own

2 min read

Aside from carbon nanotubes and their characteristic of instigating the same biological response as asbestos no specific nanoscale material has inspired the same level of concern that nanosilver has.

Also in the continuing saga that is the Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) concerns surrounding nanotechnology no cause has been more sought after than getting the EPA to look at nanomaterials not only in terms of their chemistry but their size

After years of resisting this implied re-evaluation of the periodic table, the EPA acquiesced to pressure and decided to look not only at the chemical composition of a material but its size to determine toxicity.

In what must come as a blow to NGOs around the world it turns out that the material that has fueled much of their indignation about nanotechnology, nanosilver, has not only been “rationally manufactured, regulated, and used commercially for over a century with no significant adverse environmental, health, and safety effects”, but also the EPA can base its regulations for nanosilver looking back as far back as the 1950s.

In a report of an EPA meeting that was held back in November, the publication Nanolaw Report explains that back during the era of Ike and Elvis, without the benefit of the term “nano”, they just called it "colloidal silver" or "millimicron silver".

Oops! But I imagine that whatever setback this may be for the anti-nanotechnology crowd they will quickly rebound when one considers that one of the loudest voices for a moratorium on nanotechnology can blissfully write an article in praise of Ned Ludd and that argues that the governance and regulation of science and technology is best handed over to the “wisdom of the crowds”.

Funny, in the crowds that I have been in or witnessed from afar I have never seen anything that even remotely appears to be wisdom.

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Two Startups Are Bringing Fiber to the Processor

Avicena’s blue microLEDs are the dark horse in a race with Ayar Labs’ laser-based system

5 min read
Diffuse blue light shines from a patterned surface through a ring. A blue cable leads away from it.

Avicena’s microLED chiplets could one day link all the CPUs in a computer cluster together.


If a CPU in Seoul sends a byte of data to a processor in Prague, the information covers most of the distance as light, zipping along with no resistance. But put both those processors on the same motherboard, and they’ll need to communicate over energy-sapping copper, which slow the communication speeds possible within computers. Two Silicon Valley startups, Avicena and Ayar Labs, are doing something about that longstanding limit. If they succeed in their attempts to finally bring optical fiber all the way to the processor, it might not just accelerate computing—it might also remake it.

Both companies are developing fiber-connected chiplets, small chips meant to share a high-bandwidth connection with CPUs and other data-hungry silicon in a shared package. They are each ramping up production in 2023, though it may be a couple of years before we see a computer on the market with either product.

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