Sheldon Silver

Legislative Commission on Science and Technology Legislative Update

Legislative Update
Francine DelMonte

January 9, 2009

New York State

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Top News

Nanotechnology Makes Solar Power More Affordable  Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, reported November 3 that they have created a "near perfect" solar panel. The solar panel has a special coating that captures 96.7 percent of the light incident upon it, compared to 67.4 percent for the untreated silicon panels commonly in use today.

Source:  scienceline.org

Upstate local officials state that Nano site should remain top priority as Governor Paterson proposes new electric car battery initiative  Local officials in Oneida County state the county should stay focused on nanotechnology as Mohawk Valley officials have been working to bring nanotechnology businesses to the area. The state government has invested millions to make a parcel of land in Marcy shovel-ready for a nanochip fabrication plant. Additionally, local officials are hoping to land an IBM nanotechnology packaging facility.

Source:  uticaod.com

Life Sciences dodges recession's bullets  Corning's Life Sciences unit depends on institutional customers such as pharmaceutical research laboratories and academic institutions. While they haven't been isolated from the recession, they aren't about to scuttle major research projects.

Source:  stargazette.com

Nanotech Safety, Risk and Accountability Issues Raised by National Academies  A recent assessment by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Nanotechnology Initiative's (NNI) Strategy for Nanotechnology-Related Environmental, Health, and Safety Research concluded the NNI's research plan does not provide a clear picture of the potential risks of nanotechnology, nor does the plan include adequate research goals and comprehensive research needs regarding nanotechnology-specific health and safety issues. The NRC's assessment finds the NNI's strategy for environmental, health, and safety research is lacking in accountability because no single organization or person has responsibility for health and safety results.

Source:  SSTI Weekly Digest