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Archive for the 'Reviews' Category

Stu Kauffman’s “4th Law” – Investigations

Posted by Christine Peterson on November 26th, 2000

from the complexity-of-complexity dept.
smythe writes "Stuart Kauffman's latest book, Investigations speaks eloquently to what I believe will soon become the central issue in Nanotechnology. Namely, the(self-)organization and management of complexity of collections of atoms, molecules and molecular scale devices. The design of nanoscale devices and materials is about 'organizing atoms'. The Atomasoft coined phrase 'matter will become software' alludes to this but thoroughly underestimates it at the same time. Kauffman collects many ideas from Biology, Mathematics, Complexity Science and Physics proper and provides us with what he suggests what might be an 'adequate description of life itself'.
"Fourth Law" (the lecture)
Investigations (the book)
Investigations (online notes)"

Source-available molecular modeling on Linux

Posted by Christine Peterson on October 27th, 2000

from the but-how-much-does-it-cost? dept.
We also need a review of this: Molecular Operating Environment (MOE) from Chemical Computing Group: "a software system designed for molecular computing, integrates visualization, model building, simulation, and analysis of molecular structures." Available for Red Hat Linux 6.0. The same license also includes various Windows and other UNIX versions. "MOE comes with source code for customization…MOE is platform independent." And: "The Molecule Builder has been enhanced to include all the Edit menu commands for modifying atom properties and geometries (bond lengths, angles and torsions). Chirality and E/Z inversion has been added as well as the ability to name atoms A0, A1, etc. for combinatorial chemistry applications. Atoms can be bonded, unbonded and deleted from the Builder panel." Sounds expensive; if it's worth the time maybe Foresight can arrange a group discount. Any interest?

Test your molecular designs online, free

Posted by Christine Peterson on October 27th, 2000

from the where-angels-fear-to-tread dept.
We need a review of the experimental HyperCube Compute Server. It is a free web-based service offering computational chemistry: "You go to the compute page to draw your molecule and select the type of calculation you want to perform. At this stage we are offering two type of calculations. The first shows the molecular orbitals calculated using the 3D structure created by HyperChem's modelbuilder. The second shows the optimized structure and infra-red spectra of your drawn molecule. Both of these calculations are performed using the PM3 semi-empirical method." Caveat: it is highly Microsoft-oriented, and not open source.

Robo sapiens: Evolution of a New Species

Posted by Christine Peterson on October 22nd, 2000

from the but-can-they-do-laundry? dept.
Comments from Foresight chairman Eric Drexler on this MIT Press book by Peter Menzel & Faith D'Aluisio: "Robo sapiens is a fascinating, in-depth look at one of the most challenging engineering tasks ever attempted. The photos amaze, while the text gives the inside story of researchers bashing their heads up against boggling complexity. You pick up Robo sapiens for the great photos, and then get caught up reading the inside politics of the race to build humanlike machines. Don't be surprised by the coming era of robotics — read Robo sapiens and be ready." Read More for comments by Arthur C. Clarke and Ray Kurzweil. CP: For a hardcover book this beautiful, the price of $29.95 is a bargain.

Nanomedicine book gets rave review

Posted by Christine Peterson on October 19th, 2000

from the sounds-like-he-liked-it dept.
Greg Fahy of UCLA Medical has published a review in Life Extension magazine of Freitas's book Nanomedicine: "Nanomedicine is an endlessly impressive and uniquely important book. Like Newtonís Principia and Drexlerís Nanosystems, it stands as a marker between all that has come before, and all that will come in the future. For it is effectively a blueprint for the futureóessentially the whole futureóof health, longevity and medicine. It is not quite a predictionópredictions are notoriously difficultóbut is instead an engineering sketch of what will be possible for medicine based on the laws of physics and chemistry, when humankind can do everything consistent with those laws of physics. Despite its focus on the ultimate future of medicine, Nanomedicine is relevant to nearly everyone alive today and now, in many ways. It may save many lives, and it will certainly elevate many more. It is, in a sense, a gift from the future to those of us living in the present."

In-depth analysis of “rift” over nanotech goals

Posted by Christine Peterson on September 1st, 2000

from the required-reading dept.
UIUC mechanical engineering student Jon Horek has produced an excellent study for the IEEE titled A Critical Analysis of National Nanotechnology Research Funding (in pdf). It accurately describes, in some detail, the "rift" between researchers who advocate molecular manufacturing (MM) and those who do not. Horek concludes that the U.S. gov't working group on nanotechnology should increase dialogue with the MM research community. An astute analysis, long overdue.

(Google + Open Directory) x Nanotech = Useful

Posted by Christine Peterson on July 17th, 2000

from the what's-the-nano-herd-reading-these-days dept.
Jonathan Desp of Atoma writes: There is a nice page on Nanotechnology at Google." The Google directory is based on the Open Directory combined with Google technology and shows page popularity among Google users. Subcategories under Nanotech include Articles, Books, Businesses, Conferences, Funding, and Social & Political Implications.

Jef Raskin’s The Humane Interface

Posted by Christine Peterson on June 25th, 2000

from the can-there-be-a-truce-between-humans-and-computers? dept.
Senior Associate DickKarpinski writes "Jef Raskin's new book, The Humane Interface, is just out and everybody who cares to understand why computers are so hard to use, and how to fix them, should read it." Why should we care? The day is coming fast when the line blurs between computers and the human brain. If you'd prefer not to get that intimate with today's software, we need to get this straightened out soon. This book was found very useful by Foresight chairman Eric Drexler, and quite a few others who got it as a freebie at the Gathering, courtesy of Dick (thanks, Dick!).

Nanotech-specific search engine

Posted by ChrisP on June 20th, 2000

from the find-all-things-nano dept.
Pat Delany writes "Nanospot.org is a new web search engine just for nanotechnology. We target the contents of over 240 nanotech websites, including academic papers, opinion pieces, research/industrial equipment spec sheets, experiment results, researchers' cv's, general nano overviews, etc., to provide easy access to the best nanotechnology information on the web." ChrisPeterson writes "When you're looking for info on molecular nanotechnology, you may want to use this new nanotech-only search engine. Why? The big engines are weeks or months out of date. This one searches lots of nanotech websites and does it more often than the big engines can. It worked well when I tested it on a common nanotech search term."

Nanotech website review

Posted by ChrisP on May 23rd, 2000

from the reviews-of-reviews-of-the-negligible dept.
Check out this new website on nanotechnology, courtesy of About.com. The author, Steve Lenhert, seems to be using roughly the same definition of the topic as we do. If you explore the site thoroughly, please be sure to comment below.