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Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law has received a $314,000 grant for its Center for the Study of Law, Science & Technology to develop models for the international regulation of nanotechnology. The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Genomes to Life Program. The law school was the first to offer a course in nanotechnology and has several faculty members who have published scholarship in the area. Nanotechnology is the molecular reconfiguration of materials and is used in many consumer products including clothing, cookware and sunscreen. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration currently is defending an action filed by the International Center for Technology Assessment and several consumer groups. The action asserts that the FDA has failed to regulate as a health threat nanomaterials, which can be absorbed in the skin. A report issued in August by a nanotechnology taskforce for FDA recommended that the agency develop guidance for nanotechnology manufacturers and researchers.

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