A prototype system to produce chemicals and fuels from sequestered carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight uses semiconductor nanowires to produce electron-hole pairs, which are then used by two types of bacteria to produce oxygen and a variety of useful chemical products.
Archive for the 'Biosphere' Category
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.
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.
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.
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.
Human life after advanced nanotechnology has been developed will be fundamentally different from life up until that point.
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.
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.
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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 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 [...]
The report concludes that nanotech products are coming to market without adequate tests for safety based upon the unique properties of the nanomaterials.
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 [...]
A new study will trace the movement of nanoparticles through the environment and determine their impact on health and natural systems.
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 [...]
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, [...]