Foresight Nanotech Institute Logo
Image of nano

Archive for the 'news' Category

bending nanotubes for electronic modification

Posted by Jeffrey Soreff on August 15th, 2000

from the society-for-imposition-of-cruelty-to-nanotubes dept.
Two groups of researchers have measured electronic effects of mechanical deflection in nanotubes. A group mostly at Clemson permanently bent multi-walled nanotubes (MWNTs) and saw "local metallic character" at the kink. They have an abstract online. A group mostly at Stanford reversibly bent single-walled nanotubes (SWNTs) with an AFM tip and saw hundredfold drops in conductivity in their experiments. They have an abstract and a press release online.

UW receives NSF grant to launch doctoral program i…

Posted by RichardTerra on August 14th, 2000

from the Go-Huskies! dept.

In a press release issued on 24 July 2000, the University of Washington (Seattle) announced it is launching the nation's first doctoral degree program in nanotechnology. The UW already operates the Center for Nanotechnology.

The new program will put in place a Ph.D. nanotechnology track tied closely to other science disciplines. Nine departments will take part, and students will earn concurrent degrees in nanotechnology and in a discipline of science, engineering or medicine. The effort is being funded by a $2.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation's Integrative Graduate Education Research Training program.

More about the program can also be found in this article from the Bellevue, Washington Eastside Journal (7 August 2000).

Richard Smalley comments on runaway replicators

Posted by RichardTerra on August 14th, 2000

from the sufficient-unto-the-day dept.
Richard Smalley, Nobel-laureate researcher into carbon nanotubes at Rice University, recently appeared as a panelist on National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation – Science Friday" program (11 August 2000). In response to a question about the concerns that nanotechnology might get out of control, Smalley responded:

"Most of the discussion, at least in my experience, ends up coming back to the self replicating out of control robots, and I think that that, at the moment, is a silly concern."

NASA anticipates nanocomputing architectures

Posted by Christine Peterson on August 14th, 2000

from the big-crunch dept.
Stephen Farrington writes "Reading between the lines of a recent posting to the Commerce Business Daily — the publication through which federal agencies announce all competitive procurement plans — NASA is beginning work now to exploit the massively parallel computing architectures that nanotech will enable. According to the August 10th announcement, 'NASA Langley Research Center will solicit proposals for algorithms…capable of effectively exploiting concurrently operating processors whose number may be very large; hundreds of thousands, even millions are expected to become available within two decades.' For more information, go right to the source."

Nanotechnology Industries newsletter #2 now out

Posted by Christine Peterson on August 4th, 2000

from the nanointerviews-galore dept.
Senior Associate GinaMiller announces that issue 2 of her Nanotechnology Industries Newsletter (paper format, $7 per issue) is now available: "This issue features an inside view on what is happening in Zyvex, the first company founded to develop molecular manufacturing technology (interview with George Skidmore). Also read the thoughts of Robert Freitas, author of Nanomedicine, on what we might be spending after nanotechnology is developed. Will Ware (author of NanoCAD) provides a perspective on a simple approach to modeling some nanoscale devices. Charles Ostman (senior fellow, Institute for Global Futures) explores the convergence of breakthroughs in biotechnology as a progenitor to transformation of the world by nanotechnology."

String Theory co-founder online on nanotech

Posted by Christine Peterson on July 25th, 2000

from the mark-your-calendars dept.
"The Next Twenty Years", a series of high-tech showcases being held around the US, will be in NYC on August 3 including thoughts on nanotechnology by Michio Kaku, co-founder of string theory. I saw him give a similar talk in SF a while back, and it was pretty conservative, but he's an interesting guy. In case you don't want to go to NYC, it will be broadcast online.

Top-down pathway inches downward

Posted by Christine Peterson on July 9th, 2000

from the nano-micro-what's-the-difference dept.
GordonWorley brings our attention to a confused article about a process for sculpting micromachinery (MEMS or MicroElectroMechanical Systems). Regardless of whether MEMS are on the path to nanotech, we're all rooting for improvements to that technology, which is already moving into general use.

Nature on Nat’l Nanotech Initiative, Drexler

Posted by Christine Peterson on July 6th, 2000

from the ambivalence-by-Nature-is-positively-positive dept.
Senior Associate and Foresight Advisor RalphMerkle writes "The June 15, 2000 issue of Nature has a three-page article titled "Nanotech thinks big" on page 730 about the NNI (U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative). The first paragraph is about Drexler and Engines of Creation (rather ambivalent, looks like they might be starting to worry that Drexler was right…). Most of the story is about the NNI and the research work it's funding. The last paragraph closes with Bill Joy calling Drexler "naive" about the dangers of nanotechnology. The last sentence of the article is: "We are laying the foundations for the next industrial revolution," declares Theis.They have a "Web Links" box with five URLs, including Engines of Creation as the second link."

EXPO 2000 Global NanoDialogue on July 13

Posted by Christine Peterson on July 5th, 2000

from the problematic-website dept.
As part of EXPO 2000, The World Exposition in Hannover, Germany, it appears that a Global Dialogue will be attempted July 13 on: "Nanotechnology, now to be found only in its initial stages, will become the key technology of the 21st century … This is both environmentally and resource friendly, as it creates new materials and functional units from the elementary components of material using the 'bottom up approach' and this new procedure uses the smallest amounts of energy, and, in addition, uses only the atoms and molecules which, at the end of the process, are used for the functioning of the whole."

Time Magazine: nanotech benefits potentially enormous

Posted by Christine Peterson on July 5th, 2000

from the Time-for-nanotech-time dept.
Senior Associate RalphMerkle reports an item on molecular nanotech not available on the web:"The June 19th 2000 issue of Time Magazine, "The Future of Technology," has a two-page article titled "Will tiny robots build diamonds one atom at a time?" by Michael D. Lemonick on page 94:"On its face, the notion seems utterly preposterous: a single technology so incredibly versatile that it can fight disease, stave off aging, clean up toxic waste, boost the world's food supply and build roads, automobiles and skyscrapers — and that's only to start with…Crazy though it sounds, the idea of nanotechnology is very much in the scientific mainstream, with research labs all over the world trying to make it work."Read More for additional quotes from this well-done article. Merkle comments: Acceptance of the core concepts of molecular nanotechnology is proceeding at an accelerating rate.

US News: why nanotech can’t be stopped

Posted by Christine Peterson on June 29th, 2000

from the driven-researcher dept.
Author RobertGrudin recommends this news article in US News & World Report. It includes a clear explanation of why researchers won't stop developing nanotech: "We are compelled to keep going. It is just so cool," says Paul Alivisatos, professor of chemistry at the University of California-Berkeley. "We are knocking on the door of creating new living things, new hybrids of robotics and biology. Some may be pretty scary, but we have to keep going." Read More for additional highlights.

Newest Nanotech Spokesman Wows Crowd

Posted by Christine Peterson on June 28th, 2000

from the when-he's-famous-will-he-still-talk-to-us dept.
Senior Associate Ka-Ping Yee (Ping) launched his future-tech lecture career with great success, earning a standing ovation and great media coverage for his inspirational talk including nanotechnology and machine intelligence. What advice do you have for Ping and other Foresight speakers?

Republicans cut Nanotech Initiative

Posted by Christine Peterson on June 27th, 2000

from the if-it's-Clinton's-idea-they-don't-like-it dept.
SteveLenhert writes "The $500 million US nanotechnology initiative proposed by US President Clinton for the year 2001 may not happen as planned. While Congress supported the increased NIH spending, many cuts were proposed in the various other initiatives, including nanotechnology." See also the Clinton Administration's protest.

Sounds like sf: Nanotech report from IOP

Posted by Christine Peterson on June 23rd, 2000

from the when-they-say-it-it's-"realistic" dept.
Senior Associate Gina Miller points out the new Technical Brief on Nanotechnology from Institute of Physics, which also publishes the journal Nanotechnology including Foresight's conference papers. See also story at AlphaGalileo: "Minute machines that can travel inside the body, gears that depend on atoms repelling each other and molecular alternatives to semiconductors are ideas that, even ten years ago, would have seemed impossible. Nanotechnology – producing machines and systems at molecular levels (an atom is around 0.3 nanometres in diameter) – is turning these ideas into reality, bringing changes to computing, communication, aerospace and medicine."

Coarse-Grained Agoric Computing

Posted by DaveKrieger on June 16th, 2000

from the I-will-gladly-pay-you-Tuesday-for-a-megaflop-today dept.
Yahoo has the story about a distributed computing project that pays you for those otherwise-unused cycles. Australian company ProcessTree Network plans to implement a scheme to pay money toward users' ISP bills in exchange for running a SETI@home-like distributed-computing client. (Windows-only for now…)

new “foresight” journal: free email digest

Posted by ChrisP on May 25th, 2000

from the lots-of-foresight-out-there dept.
Most futurist journals aren't very useful — too short-term, too conservative. Here's a new one that has a chance: foresight® from Camford Publishing — no relation to Foresight Institute. Their board of editors includes at least two who "get it": Clem Bezold and Peter Schwartz. Overall, the publication has a European feel. The email digest is free. For the scope of the journal's topics, see More below.

Send Gathering Notes to Tanya

Posted by Tanya on May 24th, 2000

from the bringing-it-all-back-home dept.
Anyone with notes from the Gathering who would like those notes incorporated into the Senior Associate website should send them to me at tanya@foresight.org. Photos are also welcome.

Coding a Transhuman AI 2.0a published

Posted by DaveKrieger on May 19th, 2000

from the smarter-than-the-average-mechanism dept.
Eliezer Yudkowsky writes "Coding a Transhuman AI 2.0a has just been published. The paper is 179K; there is a summary. CaTAI discusses how to build a general intelligence, along with the specific issues associated with creating a self-modifying or "seed" AI (one that can understand and rewrite its own source code). I expect this paper to be extended considerably in the future, but the published sections are complete and self-contained. I may revise this paper further before the Foresight Conference, but the initial version is now available for review. "

Thinking about nanotech accidents

Posted by ChrisP on May 15th, 2000

Foresight Senior Associate Robert A. Freitas Jr. has just completed a lengthy technical risk analysis of some "gray goo" scenarios which may be relevant to our discussions of nanoreplicator safely and regulations. The title is Some Limits to Global Ecophagy by Biovorous Nanoreplicators, with Public Policy Recommendations . (Thanks go to Senior Associate Robert Bradbury for getting this into html.) If you're coming to the Gathering, try to read or skim this first. Additionally, you may comment below or by using Crit; to do the latter, click here.

Big Names endorse Nat’l Nanotech Initiative

Posted by ChrisP on May 15th, 2000

Christine Peterson writes "Various technical and political honchos endorse the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative on this page at the nano.gov site. It's not surprising that these folks would favor R&D spending, but for those of us in Foresight it is gratifying to see them endorsing our technical goals and/or our goals for applications (e.g. medical and environmental). Five of them get extra points for mentioning molecular-scale "machines": MIT's president, UCSB's chancellor, HP Labs' director, Material Research Society's president, and Newt Gingrich (!). "