My preferred innovation is Nanoscience for emerging nanotechnologies. This area of research impacts nearly everything from creating new sustainable energy sources to bio-imaging, to computational optical data storage. Have you heard of the proposed space elevator from NASA? Carbon nanofibers are now being studied in the laboratory that may make this more science than fiction.
The area of particular interest for my Nanoscience innovation is for the emerging field of nanomedicine: medical monitoring, intervention, and wellness. Currently, we can have our DNA analyzed to see what propensity exists for acquiring genetic illnesses. Interventions can sometimes be made as proactive prevention. Diseased cells have particular characteristics often unique to individuals. High resolution scanning can enable nanomedicine to prevent, halt, and repair cells on the DNA level. Conventional treatments for disease may become obsolete.
Dieters beware! This video introduced by Dr. Andrew Maynard called, The Twinkie Guide to Nanotechnology, gives an introduction produced by The Project for Emerging Technologies.
One of the ethical questions posed in the video concerns a barrier to adoption as nanoparticles are introduced into our bodies. When is too much of a good thing bad? How and when will we know? More questions arise as possible uses of nanoscience emerge.
Global promise for Nanoscience will both support and complicate applications. Concerns for regulation created an impetus for a handbook on regulation of nanotechnologies internationally. Innovation is spurred by the creation of common standards. Economically, third world and developed nations stand to improve the quality of life for not only humankind, but the planet itself through advancements in Nanoscience.
Since a peer reviewed, international handbook already exists ($299) a Delphi method approach is suggested to identify opportunities to prioritize and commercialize for applied nanomedicine research via collective intelligence. A homogenous group of experts can be used for nanoscience specializations while heterogeneous experts from across nanoscience fields can participate in the broadest, initial Delphi round. While the pure research methods are mostly quantitative, applied designs are more qualitative suggesting a mixed mode approach. Several research universities are beginning to collaborate using federated identity management, Shibboleth and an open source learning management system called SAKAI. International funding organizations such as UNESCO can facilitate the Delphi Method among participants.