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Archive for the 'Biosphere' Category

Christine Peterson on pushing the future in a positive direction

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 20th, 2013

In a 47-minute interview Christine Peterson discusses the future that science and technology is bringing over the next few decades, and how to get involved to push the future in a positive direction.

Christine Peterson interviewed on nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 12th, 2013

An interview with Foresight Co-Founder and Past President Christine Peterson covering both the current state and the future prospects of nanotechnology is available on Youtube.

Nanosponges to recover spilled oil (includes video)

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 7th, 2012

Doping carbon nanotubes with boron while they are being formed produces a novel molecular architecture formed by boron induced kinks and linkages. These nanosponges can be used repeatedly to absorb and retrieve or burn spilled oil.

Panel recommends research to manage health and environmental risks of nanomaterials

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 28th, 2012

A National Academy of Sciences panel has recommended a four-part research effort focused on preventing and managing any potential health and environmental risks of nanomaterials.

Foresight co-founder among panelists discussing role of technology in human existence

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 23rd, 2012

Human life after advanced nanotechnology has been developed will be fundamentally different from life up until that point.

Lecture by Eric Drexler at Oxford on physical law and the future of nanotechnology (video)

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 6th, 2011

In a lecture at Oxford Eric Drexler argued that atomically precise manufacturing will be the next great revolution in the material basis of civilization, and discussed how we can establish reliable knowledge about key aspects of such technologies.

Green Nanotechnology Roadmap Highlights Opportunities and Challenges

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 23rd, 2011

A green nanotechnology roadmap released by the American Chemical Society describes the opportunities and barriers to developing commercial applications of nanomaterials that present little threat of harm to health and the environment, and concludes with an action agenda to more forward.

Toxicity of silver nanoparticles on Arctic soil

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 10th, 2011

Research showing a toxic effect of silver nanoparticles on nitrogen-fixing bacteria in Arctic soil demonstrates the need for more research on nanoparticle environment, health, and safety.

Single-atom sheet of carbon clears arsenic from water

Posted by Christine Peterson on July 15th, 2010

We can get a hint of the power coming from longer-term nanotech by seeing what is being discovered today on how to use some of the new materials becoming available.  Many of us have been intrigued with graphene, a one-atom-thick planar sheet of bonded carbon atoms.  It’s no surprise that exciting applications are being found [...]

“Oceans”: it’s what keeps us working toward nanotech

Posted by Christine Peterson on May 18th, 2010

For many of us, it’s our desire to preserve and restore the environment that brought us into the work of pursuing molecular nanotechnology in the first place.  How do we keep going over the decades that this goal is taking to accomplish? One way is to restore our enthusiasm for the goal through films such [...]

Original Sin

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on December 20th, 2009

Mike Treder has a post at IEET that reads like a catechism of the Gaian religion. Now I’m a firm supporter of freedom of religion and Mike has a perfect right to believe what he does and indeed to preach it to whomever will listen. (And besides, Mike is a friend of mine.) But in [...]

Saving the Planet

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on July 24th, 2009

The word “planet” means wanderer. The ancients, with their lives lived largely outdoors and without artificial lighting, were much more intimately acquainted with the heavens than are we moderns, unless we specialize in astronomy. They noticed that although there was a fixed pattern of stars for the most part, some of them wandered around in [...]

Civil nanotechnology: Open source sensing in Seed magazine

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 16th, 2009

From the February 2009 issue of the “science is culture” publication Seed magazine, not yet online: Hypothesis: Civil Nanotechnology Starting in 2009, nanotech-based sensing will enable a level of environmental monitoring that could help reduce pollution tremendously. Such devices could be of immense benefit to the environment, but unfortunately, without careful attention they will trigger [...]

The weather machine

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on December 23rd, 2008

The following is an edited and revised version of the talk I gave at the Global Catastrophic Risks conference that was held in conjunction with Convergence 08 (and which I reprised for Convergence). I’m posting it here because it seems to me that this is exactly the kind of thing Foresight was founded for: to [...]

UK report urges more tests of health and environmental effects of nanotechnology products

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 14th, 2008

The report concludes that nanotech products are coming to market without adequate tests for safety based upon the unique properties of the nanomaterials.

International alliance to establish safety protocols for nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on September 16th, 2008

An increasingly serious research effort is being mounted to ensure the safe development and commercialization of nanotechnology (see, for example, this news from a couple weeks ago). The recent formation of an international alliance to establish the methods used to test the safety of nanotech materials is not only encouraging for the development of nanotechnology [...]

Study to determine what happens to nanotechnology materials released to the environment

Posted by Jim Lewis on September 5th, 2008

A new study will trace the movement of nanoparticles through the environment and determine their impact on health and natural systems.

Ocean iron fuss is not about nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on March 6th, 2008

We’ve written here before about the plan to put iron nanoparticles in the ocean as a way to increase growth of plankton, thereby absorbing carbon dioxide. Previously this was to be done by a company called Planktos; now a new company called Climos is making similar plans. There was controversy about Planktos, and no doubt [...]

World Economic Forum takes on nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 28th, 2008

Nanowerk brings news that the World Economic Forum is both rewarding nanotechnology pioneers and taking a look at potential risks of nanoparticles. Excerpts: Over the past few years, the Global Risk Network team has released an annual report. This years’ report “Global Risks 2008″ (pdf download, 1.6 MB) was published two weeks ago. In it, [...]

Deloitte predicts environmental benefits from nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 24th, 2008

Nanowerk brings news that the annual technology predictions (PDF) are out from Deloitte, and nanotechnology is looking green to them: …it is becoming increasingly apparent that nanotechnology could have an important role to play in healing, rather than harming the planet…Nanotechnology is already being used to address several environmental issues: generating clean power, reducing existing [...]