Talk:Health impact of nanotechnology

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Health and fitness (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This redirect is within the scope of WikiProject Health and fitness, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of health and physical fitness related articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This redirect does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.
WikiProject Technology (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This redirect is within the scope of WikiProject Technology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of technology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This redirect does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Environmental implications of nanotechnology which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RM bot 16:30, 29 July 2011 (UTC)


Nanotechnology in food and drugs redirects here, but this article does not mention food. The European Commission research in nanosciences and technologies policy issues might be a place to start. --Ilmhmedex (talk) 07:46, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

Disease applications and sourcing[edit]

Beland added content indicating that a disease like diabetes might be treated with nanoparticles, such as this or this. I think this is far too early in research to include it in the article. Further, I question whether this reference is suitable, as it is not a peer-reviewed secondary source for a medical topic, and therefore doesn't satisfy WP:MEDRS. --Zefr (talk) 02:11, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

@Zefr: Well, none of the potential therapies mentioned in the section "Curing diseases" are actually approved for use in humans, or anywhere near, are they? I thought this was supposed to be a list of ideas people have had and are researching? What sort of cutoff are you thinking is appropriate? -- Beland (talk) 02:32, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
As for the 9-out-of-10 statistic, the letter of the page it appears WP:MEDRS only applies to "biomedical information", and after reading Wikipedia:Biomedical information I think that historical statistics about failure to get regulatory approval don't fall into that category. I feel that "it is speculated that this technology could save 15,000 women in the United States each year if the treatment proves effective and safe in humans" implies that this eventuality is a lot more likely than it actually is. I'm tempted to remove this 15,000 woman claim because it is speculative (see WP:CRYSTAL) but if it is kept in I would prefer to follow the advice of Wikipedia:Qualify_evidence#Medicine (a page which I started, for full disclosure) which is why I added the failure rate for context. The 9-in-10 claim seems well-sourced and held by people with multiple points of view, but I'm open to reviewing other sources which might debunk or confirm it if you had any in mind. The source cited I found after only a quick web search. -- Beland (talk) 02:32, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
I understand the dilemma of finding good secondary sources for a technology that is still evolving well before evidence-based confirmation in well-designed clinical trials or regulatory approval. The speculation you cite does fall into the category of WP:CRYSTAL which is especially poor for medical sourcing. Before typing my note, I reflected on this and how might we best source for an exciting topic like nanotechnology. How do we represent these advances with solid sources and not use those that are really just WP:PROMO or WP:NOTNEWS? It seems dangerous to me to use opinions in the public (not the peer-reviewed medical) literature because then we are perpetuating rumors and excitement, not encyclopedic facts. Browsing these articles, one can see that the more rigorous journal literature is quite a distance at present from the clinical evidence that will be needed for regulatory approval. Thanks for the good points you raised. --Zefr (talk) 04:10, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
@Zefr:OK, I removed the 15,000 women claim.
Wikipedia should generally be able to describe how far research has gotten in any particular direction. As long as we present the context that they are not close to creating approved therapies, and as long as we don't go into excessive detail, I think it's fine to describe general areas of research and techniques being explored, and non-peer-reviewed sources are fine for that. Many potential treatments become notable when human trials start, and usually articles on specific diseases list everything that far in the pipeline. Certainly any approved nanotherapies are worthwhile to mention. I think generally reliable news and press release sources are adequate to support claims that a particular treatment has reached a particular phase in the approval process. More detailed claims about efficacy, safety, mechanism, or side effects definitely require a reliable medical source of a quality similar to a peer-reviewed journal. -- Beland (talk) 23:07, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
I echo Zefr's comments about adhering to WP:MEDRS. There are many primary reports about new research that get touted by the popular media as being the next big cure, when in fact there are many hurdles that need to be overcome for it to become a marketable treatment. I'd say that an individual treatment should only be mentioned if it has entered human trials. More general statements about directions of research currently being pursued should be sourced to secondary sources such as reviews or perspectives pieces in reputable scientific journals.
Also, I think this text would be better located in the Nanomedicine article, as this article is supposed to be a high-level summary style overview rather than going into details about specific treatments. That being said, the overviews in this article are not in good shape and could definitely be improved. Antony–22 (talkcontribs) 05:42, 7 June 2016 (UTC)


Shouldn't this article be merged with this existing article that is better referenced and has the critical mass of related topics? --Zefr (talk) 04:52, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

Aha, well spotted. I was about to propose merging the second section of this article into Nanomedicine. It looks like if we merge the first section into Nanotoxicology there's nothing left in the intro here worth saving. Impact of nanotechnology#Health issues already has a good summary of and links to these two detail articles, so I think we could just redirect Health impact of nanotechnology there. -- Beland (talk) 23:12, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for taking the lead , Beland. I recommend the merge just go ahead. --Zefr (talk) 23:17, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
I oppose this set of merges. This article is meant to be a broad-concept article that covers both nanotoxicology and nanomedicine in summary style. It is meant to be a subarticle of Impact of nanotechnology along with several other articles about various types of impact. If the content here is different than that in the child articles, then material can be moved there and the summaries rewritten, but this article should continue to exist. Antony–22 (talkcontribs) 05:31, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
  • I would not be against a merge, however as the above editor points out ...It is a broad-concept article...article that addresses a concept that may be difficult to write about because it is abstract, or because it covers the sometimes-amorphous relationship between a wide range of related concepts. Due to the difficulty of explaining this relationship (and the comparative ease of merely listing articles to which the title relates)--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 17:38, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
On second thought, maybe it wouldn't be so bad if the hierarchy of these articles were flattened a bit. I split out this article from Impact of nanotechnology in 2008, but honestly our standards have increased significantly since then. Most of the material in both articles isn't consistent with WP:MEDRS or hasn't been updated in years, and should be culled. It's a bit sad, though; Wikipedians should not outlive their articles! Antony–22 (talkcontribs) 01:43, 28 June 2016 (UTC)