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Archive for the 'Memetics' Category

Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno Revolutions to be Explored at Convergence08 Unconference

Posted by Jim Lewis on September 29th, 2008

The Convergence08 conference ( on Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno (NBIC) technologies and their interactions will be held November 15-16, 2008 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. The event will use an innovative “unconference” format to enable participants to customize the event in a highly interactive way. Paul Saffo, a Silicon Valley forecaster with over two [...]

Singularity Summit 2008 to explore future of human technological progress

Posted by Jim Lewis on September 10th, 2008

Foresight Nanotech Institute is partnering with the Singularity Institute and other organizations for The Singularity Summit 2008, to be held October 25, Montgomery Theater, San Jose, CA. The speakers include names that will be familiar to most Nanodot readers. A separate Emerging Tech Workshop may also interest many Nanodot readers. A few excerpts from The [...]

Meme that machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence gathers support

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 29th, 2008

Kurzweil’s concept of an impending “singularity,” in which machine intelligence surpasses human intelligence, has garnered support from Intel’s Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner.

Nanotechnology: a way of understanding ourselves

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 22nd, 2008

We’ve previously pointed out the usefulness of looking at future-oriented fiction as a way of stimulating thinking about nanotechnology. Now Annalee Newitz’s io9 site brings an interview of Kathleen Ann Goonan, who “was writing about nanotech before most people even know it existed.” An excerpt: I think that, for me, nanotech has been a metaphor [...]

Nanotechnology: Productive Nanosystems as a Grand Challenge?

Posted by Christine Peterson on July 11th, 2007

The U.S. National Academy of Engineering wants input on what should be the Grand Challenges in engineering over the next century. Let’s let them know: nanotechnology! Specifically, nanotech leading toward, and achieving, productive nanosystems. Heck, they can just follow the Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems. The IEEE has a summary. You have until August 17, [...]

Fortune profile on Kurzweil and nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on May 2nd, 2007

These days Foresight is focused on our Technology Roadmap and policy initiatives such as Open Source Physical Security. But we still have our visionary side, shown in a Fortune profile of Foresight advisor Ray Kurzweil, which also features Foresight director and X PRIZE founder Peter Diamandis: If you went around saying that in a couple [...]

Nanotechnology "nanofactories" may not be far away

Posted by Christine Peterson on April 6th, 2007 reports that nanotechnology is bringing dramatic advances: Imagine not having to go to the doctor when you are sick. No medicine, no popping pills. Instead, tiny cell-like machines in your body would already be at work manufacturing medicine and delivering it exactly where it is needed. University of Maryland researchers say these ‘‘nanofactories” may [...]

Nanotechnology hazard symbol misleading

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 24th, 2007

We should assume that those participating the ETC Group’s nanotechnology hazard symbol contest are all trying to be helpful, and such a symbol may someday be of some use. However, of the three top symbols named as winners, the first one — by far the most vivid — has a real problem. First, see the [...]

Nanotechnology researchers urged to speculate more

Posted by Christine Peterson on November 30th, 2006

In the November 2006 issue of Nano Today, researcher-turned-science-journalist Jason Palmer urges nanotechnology researchers to open up to the public about the long-term promise of their nanotech work: In this sense, it is as important to consider and discuss what can be done as it is to rule out what cannot. Because they are careful [...]

Nanotech: US ambition, UK pessimism

Posted by Christine Peterson on September 16th, 2005

Richard Jones asks: “Why does the molecular manufacturing community seem to have many fewer members in the UK than it does in the USA? I don’t think it’s fair to say that the dramatic vision of molecular manufacturing is pursued in a contextual vacuum – I think there is quite a well-developed world view that [...]

It had to happen: Nanotechnology for Dummies

Posted by Christine Peterson on July 20th, 2005

You may like the “for Dummies” series, or dislike it, but surely it was inevitable that there would be a Nanotechnology for Dummies book, due out in five days. I can’t tell from the description whether this will be a useful introduction or not, but am always a bit nervous when the first phrase is [...]

Nanotech risks: a challenging topic

Posted by Christine Peterson on April 28th, 2005

Concerned about real or imagined risks in nanotechnology? Check out the report of a European workshop on Risk Perception and Risk Communication in the Field of Nanotechnologies. Excerpt: "There are some peculiarities of Nanotechnology which make the risk assessment challenging. The first aspect is the diversity of Nanotechnology. Because Nanotechnology is mainly defined in terms of size, a huge variety of different techniques, research topics, methods of creating or structuring materials, and manipulating surfaces are summarized under the term of Nanotechnology. Very often, the proponents have quite different things in mind when they are talking about Nanotechnology." Er, indeed so. –CP

“More Than Human” now available

Posted by RobertBradbury on March 14th, 2005

Foresight Senior Associate Ramez Naam informs us that his book More Than Human has been released.

Here's a description of the book:
"More Than Human is about our growing power to alter our minds, bodies, and lifespans through technology. Over the last 5-10 years scientists and doctors have learned an incredible amount about how to enhance memory, improve physical performance, rewrite our genes, alter the rate of aging, and even how to connect our brains directly with computers and robots. This is not science fiction – this is the research happening in labs around the world right now, research that's restored sight to blind men and women, created mice that live to the age of 200 in "human years", and given the paralyzed the ability to control computers just by thinking about it."


Nanosystems animations in Museum of the Future

Posted by Christine Peterson on February 26th, 2005

Two molecular mechanisms from the book Nanosystems have been animated by Gina Miller: a rotary sorter and a molecule binding and orienting mechanism. Such graphics are highly useful for communicating molecular machine concepts to both technical and non-technical audiences. Great job, Gina!

Wikipedia needs help with nanotech

Posted by Christine Peterson on February 21st, 2005

Wikipedia is an free online encyclopedia written cooperatively using WIKI technology. Their nanotechnology entry seems to need tweaking: the illustration appears to be of MEMS, not nanotech. Those of you familiar with this community: please help them out by suggesting a more appropriate graphic. (The molecular nanotechnology entry needs a graphic too.)

Nano-buzzword based marketing

Posted by RobertBradbury on January 28th, 2005

Dr_Barnowl writes "A somewhat dubious product was recently released by BatMax (See here for technical details.) It was apparently convincing enough to be posted by a Slashdot moderator (here).

The company basically claims it can drastically improve the performance of your mobile phone battery with what amounts to a stick-on decal. The spurious and unscientific descriptions of the technology (allegedly) involved are nothing special, apart from the association with nanotechnology.

It would seem that it's not just manufacturers of sunblock, tennis rackets and trousers that have cottoned on to the "magical" properties of putting a *10-9 in your product blurb. If this becomes commonplace, what kind of damage will it do to the funding prospects of projects promising similarly outrageous (but scientifically feasible) benefits as a result of genuine MNT?"

Ed. Note: Hmmm… a "nano-ceramic" — aren't most ceramics "nano-" in nature?

Intel’s ‘Nano Inside’

Posted by Christine Peterson on November 26th, 2003

HLovy writes "Intel says it's now a master of the 65-nanometer domain. But are these nanochips truly "nanotechnology?" I was surprised when "Engines of Creation" and "Nanosystems" author Eric Drexler — whom I had assumed to be a molecular manufacturing purist — told me he thought they qualified.

"People sometimes perceive me as saying, 'Oh, you shouldn't use the term this new way,'" Drexler told me in October. "What I've actually been saying is we need to understand that it's being used in a new way … that has a certain relationship to the field."

The complete commentary can be found on Howard Lovy's NanoBot."

Nanotechnology as “The Heart of Darkness”

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 12th, 2003

HLovy writes with an example of how "misrepresentations, distortions and half-truths" are being used to advocate a moratorium on nanotechnology research: "Apocalypse Nano"

Nanotechnology as Frankenstein of our Era

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 12th, 2003

HLovy asks whether nanotechnology has become one of the "Golems of our Era"

Medical Nanobot Image Wins “Science Concepts” Prize

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 21st, 2002

from the nanomedicine-art-goes-mainstream dept.
Nanotechweb reported on Sept. 24, 2002 that Nanotechnology picture scoops prize "A nanotechnology image has won first prize in the 'Science Concepts' section of the 2002 Visions of Science Awards. The image shows a nanomedicine application, in which a 'nano-louse' device administers treatment to red blood cells." [A larger version of the image.] The image was created by digital illustrator Coneyl Jay and the award was originally reported in the Daily Telegraph (requires free registration).