Key environmental issues of GM versus nanotechnology.

Essay by AOUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, February 2006

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The day man landed on the moon was believed to be the first major step into the last unexplored frontier. Little did the society of that decade realize that a new frontier was being slowly uncovered, a frontier that would pose a new kind of world to live in and affect us in ways beyond imagination.

In answer to the escalating food needs of the growing world population, a facet of science unravelled the technique to genetically modify plants allowing for the enhancement of crop yield as well as superior and stronger varieties of crops and fruits. These more efficient plants are used as medicines and vaccines, foods and food ingredients, feeds and fibres.

As genetic modification has grown and advanced a new element of the science opened itself up to be explored. Nanotechnology is the new science entering the biotechnology fray. The new biotechnologies of genetic modification and nanotechnology are indeed a revolution in issues on the world scientific agricultural stage and it is their ability to be regulated that will be examined within this report.

The key environmental issues of both genetic modification and nanotechnology will be compared to assess if the lessons learnt from genetic modification can be used in steering nanotechnology towards a less controversial future.

2003 was the year that Nanotechnology thrust itself into the world spotlight after being hidden within scientific laboratories since the term had been first recognised in 1959 by Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman (Royal academy of Engineering). With this 'new' science under the microscope, fears have begun to run rampant as to just how much control and understanding science as a whole has over their nan nite creations. With the appearance and subsequent minor implementation of an ethical dimension to nanotechnologies sister science, genetic modification, it may prove useful...