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Archive for the 'Biosphere' Category

Industry, NGOs call for nanotechnology environmental plan

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 16th, 2008

Regular Nanodot readers know that we at Foresight focus more on longer-term nanotechnology, especially atomically-precise manufacturing. Yet, we joined with other nonprofits and industry to call for a better plan to address near-term nanomaterial environmental, health, and safety issues. From today’s joint press release by Environmental Defense and Dupont: (Washington, DC – January 16, 2008) [...]

Lloyds of London takes on nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on December 12th, 2007

The reinsurance firm Swiss Re is rather farther along on nanotechnology, but Lloyd’s of London is starting to step up to the question of how to insure nanotech. They had a recent conference to launch their new report Nanotechnology: Recent Developments, Risks and Opportunities (PDF). As one would expect, it mainly focuses on nanoparticles, but [...]

Nanotechnology "Unconference" now open to general public

Posted by Christine Peterson on October 19th, 2007

Registration for Foresight’s Nov. 3-4 Vision Weekend focused on nanotechnology and other advanced technologies — traditionally restricted to Foresight Senior Associates — is being opened to the general public this year as an experiment. Space is limited and participants are advised to register very soon. To warm up for our Sat/Sun afternoon unconference, in the [...]

Vision Weekend Unconference now open to Nanodot readers

Posted by Christine Peterson on October 12th, 2007

This year as an experiment we are opening up a subset of seats at the Nov. 3-4 Foresight Vision Weekend to members of special groups such as Nanodot readers. The event is usually open only to Foresight Senior Associate members: http://www.foresight.org/SrAssoc/2007 I encourage you to check out this event. Since it is an Unconference, you [...]

Nanotechnology to capture power plant emissions

Posted by Christine Peterson on September 27th, 2007

An EU nanotechnology initiative aims to capture power plant emissions using nanotech. From the Nanoglowa website: About one third of the European CO2 emissions is coming from fossil fired power plants. Every year Europe blows more then 1 gigaton CO2 into the atmosphere, contributing to increasing temperatures around the globe. It is possible to store [...]

Nanotechnology tool sent to Mars

Posted by Christine Peterson on September 20th, 2007

The company Nanoscience Instruments in its Scanline newsletter (PDF, Vol. 2, Issue. 2) lets us know that one of their nanotechnology products, the Nanosurf atomic force microscope, is on its way to Mars. Excerpts: Onboard the Phoenix lander is a suite of sophisticated scientific instrumentation including a weather station, an optical microscope, and a high-resolution [...]

Using nanotechnology to prevent pollution

Posted by Christine Peterson on August 23rd, 2007

We hear so much about possible environmental concerns with respect to nanoparticles that it is a joy to have David Berube bring to our attention the upcoming EPA conference on Pollution Prevention through Nanotechnology, Sept. 25-26, which may possibly still be accepting poster presentations: Representatives from industry, academia, non-governmental organizations, and government are invited to [...]

Cleaning up environment with nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on August 21st, 2007

Nanoforum.org, a nanotechnology gateway site in Europe, has published results from a workshop “Nanotechnologies for Environmental Remediation” (free reg req’d): The issues of environmental remediation are quite substantial and poorly addressed by conventional technologies. They include access to clean drinking water, removal of airborne pollutants, and the clean-up of industrially contaminated sites (in particular ex-military [...]

Nanotechnology: Activists throw baby out with bathwater

Posted by Christine Peterson on August 1st, 2007

First, I should state that I yield to no one when it comes to caring about the environment. That’s what got me interested in nanotechnology in the first place, and a large part of why Foresight was founded in 1986 and keeps going today. So I was disappointed with the recent press release from a [...]

Nanotechnology to fight climate change

Posted by Christine Peterson on July 23rd, 2007

Most of us are somewhat-to-very concerned about climate change — how can nanotechnology help? Nanowerk brings our attention to a UK report (pdf) looking at how relatively conservative nanotech advances could make a contribution: The study concludes that nanotechnology is likely to have a significant positive effect on the UK’s green house gas emissions: “From [...]

Nanotechnology: Blobs, Shapes & Chunks must be treated differently

Posted by Christine Peterson on July 9th, 2007

Ralph Hermansson writes about nanotechnology safety in today’s San Francisco Chronicle. He had interviewed me for the piece: Bacteria-proof forks and knives. Pants that never get stains. Computer chips with a considerably better memory, making conventional chips seem almost senile. Sports equipment made of materials that are much harder yet more lightweight than today. Science [...]

Nanotechnology for clean energy, water: IEEE event

Posted by Christine Peterson on July 2nd, 2007

This Friday, July 6, is the deadline for early registration for 3rd Annual Symposium on nanotech put on by the IEEE SF Bay Area Nanotechnology Council. The focus this year is on “Creating a Sustainable Environment,” especially with respect to clean energy and clean water. As a longtime IEEE member, I’m glad to see the [...]

Nanotechnology vs. climate change

Posted by Christine Peterson on May 31st, 2007

Engineering News tells of a study by Frost & Sullivan on how nanotechnology can make a difference in addressing the issue of climate change: The report looked at five areas where nanotechnology could be helpful, which included the areas of fuel additives, solar cells, the hydrogen economy, batteries and supercapacitors, and insulation. In terms of [...]

Looong and thin carbon tubes via nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on May 30th, 2007

Small Times brings word of advances in making longer carbon nanotubes. The company involved, Nanocomp Technologies, reminds us why these materials are so intriguing: Individual nanotubes have extraordinary properties as they are: Strong – 100 times stronger than steel. Lightweight – 30 percent lighter than aluminum. Conductive – conduct electricity as efficiently as copper, and [...]

Nanotechnology *for* the environment

Posted by Christine Peterson on May 23rd, 2007

Since it was the potential environmental benefits of nanotechnology that first drew me (and many others) to an interest in the field, it’s good to see some official notice of that aspect. From Cordis via Nanowerk News: Much has been said about the potential of nanotechnologies to revolutionise the way we live, with the biggest [...]

7th graders to clean ocean with nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on April 26th, 2007

The winners of this year’s Lego engineering contest were inspired by nanotechnology concepts to design a robot to clean plastic from the ocean: For the competition, the students had to prepare a presentation on this year’s theme — nanotechnology, or molecular-size machines. They looked for a nanotech application that could clean up small, degraded plastic [...]

"Green nanotechnology" webcast to highlight environmental benefits

Posted by Christine Peterson on April 25th, 2007

If helping the environment is one of your top goals for nanotechnology — as it is for us here at Foresight — you may want to check out this Thursday’s nanotech webcast from the busy folks at the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies at the Wilson Center. They’re releasing a new report titled “Green Nanotechnology: It’s [...]

Nanotechnology — or maybe chemistry — to make greenhouse gas into feedstock

Posted by Christine Peterson on November 7th, 2006

It can be hard to tell whether a given piece of research is nanotechnology or “just” chemistry. In this case, I would’ve said the latter, but Nanoforum carried the story (free reg. reg’d), so it’s honorary nanotech at least. In any case, it could be important. For years we at Foresight have theorized that nanotech [...]

Nanotechnology particle paint kills drug-resistant bacteria

Posted by Christine Peterson on September 12th, 2006

The Australian site InfoLink brings word of a new nanotech product from Australia-based company Nanovations: a silver nanoparticle-based paint which will kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The product is meant for hospitals and other facilities that have serious problems with infections caused by such bacteria. (Credit: Meridian) One problem not mentioned in the story is disposal and [...]

Is opposing nanotechnology really being Friendly to the Earth?

Posted by Christine Peterson on August 3rd, 2006

Friends of the Earth Australia has published a special issue of their magazine titled Nanotechnology: Small Science, Big Questions! (4.3 MB PDF). It includes over 17 short pieces opposing or questioning the endeavor. On the upside, the group does appear to appreciate the magnitude of the changes that will eventually come from the more advanced [...]