Norman Scott: Nanotechnology is an enabling technology that has the potential to revolutionize agriculture and food systems in the U.S. and the world.
That’s Norman Scott of Cornell University. Scott says he is trying to make our food supply safer through nanotechnology – the control of matter at the atomic scale.
Norman Scott: Let’s take the case of an animal system, which might well be infected with a disease which takes maybe weeks or months before that disease will be detected in the whole animal system.
And, Scott said, as the weeks pass, diseases such as Mad Cow could wipe out the whole herd of farm animals.
Norman Scott: What nanotechnology can do through what we like to call ‘smart treatment’ delivery systems would be the ability to incorporate the nanoparticles into the animal system, detect the presence of foreign organisms, and in fact eventually deliver a targeted treatment to the necessary site.
Nanoparticles can easily move through and communicate with living cells, said Scott, to deliver medicines and nutrients. Scott added that nanotech can also potentially track a farm animal’s entire history.
Norman Scott: Any environmental effects it might have been subjected to from the time the animal was produced, as it grew, until it reached your dinner plate can be tracked.
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Professor of Biological and Environmental Engineering
Jorge Salazar has conducted thousands of in-depth interviews with scientists in the process of creating science content for EarthSky. He also helps host the 90-second EarthSky podcasts. Jorge has a bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Texas at Austin. He knows a lot about a lot of different things. For EarthSky, he has explored subjects as diverse as nanotechnology, ecosystem-based management, climate change, global health, international environmental treaties, astrophysics and cosmology, and environmental security. His penetrating research style, poetic writing, and ability to track down and speak with Nobel prize-winning laureates, all make him a huge asset to EarthSky.