Human World

Norman Scott: ‘Nanotech may revolutionize agriculture’

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.

Thanks today to the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service National Research Initiative Program and Cornell University.

Our thanks to:
Norman Scott
Professor of Biological and Environmental Engineering
Cornell University

March 31, 2009
Human World

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