Press Release

The Twinkie Guide to Nanotechnology

About

The Twinkie Guide to Nanotechnology is an entertaining new video featuring scientist Andrew Maynard which mixes the iconic American snack cake with humor to unlock the mysteries of nanotechnology.

Maynard serves up the complexities of nanoscience in enticing, digestible, bite-size morsels. It is a friendly, funny, 25-minute travel guide to the technology that promises to ignite the next industrial revolution. In the video, Maynard shows products that use nanotechnology today. And he travels into the future to demonstrate how nanotechnology will change virtually everything -- in medicine, energy, materials, travel and electronics.

Nanotechnology is the ability to measure, see, manipulate and manufacture things usually between 1 and 100 nanometers. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter. A human hair is roughly 100,000 nanometers wide.

One of the hardest concepts to convey about nanotechnology is the unbelievably small scale. "Putting a nanoparticle on a Twinkie is comparable in scale to putting a Twinkie on the moon," said Dr. Maynard. "It is difficult for people to imagine gold, silver, carbon or platinum the size of one nanometer. Without a microscope, the human eye cannot see anything below 10,000 nanometers."

The Twinkie Guide to Nanotechnology also can be found at the website for ConsumersTalkNano.

ConsumersTalkNano is an exciting online discussion taking place over two days, October 23-24, 2007. The Project has collaborated with Consumers Union, publishers of Consumer Reports, in an effort to jumpstart a conversation with consumers about the possible benefits and risks of nanotechnology.

Any interested member of the public will be able to communicate online throughout the two days (October 23-24) with panelists from the Project, Consumers Union and others. The dialogue is free but participants must register at http://www.webdialogues.net/pen/consumer.

The website provides more details about ConsumersTalkNano, nanotechnology, nano-enabled consumer products, and related safety questions.

Nanotechnology

According to Lux Research, nanotechnology was incorporated into more than $50 billion in manufactured goods in 2006. By 2014, a projected $2.6 trillion in global manufactured goods will incorporate nanotech, or about 15 percent of total output.

The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies is an initiative launched by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The Pew Charitable Trusts in 2005. It is dedicated to helping business, government and the public anticipate and manage possible health and environmental implications of nanotechnology.

View the video The Twinkie Guide to Nanotechnology on the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies Web site.

Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies on PewHealth.org.