Just when it seemed like debate over the National Nanotechnology Initiative was a thing of the past (see Foresight’s disappointment in 2008 here), disagreements regarding re-authorization and budget cuts are prompting politicians and researchers to take a detailed look at what the program supports and what it is achieving. Witnesses to the House Research Subcommittee [...]
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Reviewing Eric Drexler’s Radical Abundance, Phil Bowermaster provides an informed and insightful overview of the controversies that greeted the proposal for a nanotechnology aimed at developing a practical technology for atomically precise manufacturing. Along the way he shows how Drexler’s outlook evolved from 1986 to 2013.
The concern of the US GAO for a gap in nanomanufacturing is well-placed, but it is only half of the problem with the limited US vision of the impact of nanotechnology on the future world economy.
Materials scientists have pursued the question of why vertically aligned carbon nanotube forests show much lower modulus values than expected. Now researchers from Georgia Tech have found that the nanotubes they fabricate contain kinks that dramatically diminish modulus value. In other words, the nanotubes are not straight; therefore, they are not stiff. The government-funded research [...]
Nanotechnology draws from physics, chemistry, engineering, computation, etc., and this multi-disciplinary nature has served as a major speed bump in achievement of envisioned nanotech goals. There has been substantial concern that the U.S. is lagging behind other countries in nanotech R&D. Now researchers, companies, and politicians are coming together to create a much-needed physical hub [...]
Recently we pointed at a Forbe’s interview with Eric Drexler, in anticipation of his pending new book Radical Abundance. The book has shipped, and Drexler’s tour schedule now includes a few stops on the coasts of the U.S: New York: May 6th Los Angeles: May 8th & 9th Seattle: May 9th Find exact times and [...]
In anticipation of Eric Drexler’s new book, Forbes contributor Bruce Dorminey interviews him about the meaning of nanotechnology and its revolutionary prospects. Selected excerpt: … In what fields would APM cause the most pronounced economic disruption and the collapse of global supply chains to more local chains? The digital revolution had far-reaching effects on information [...]
A proposed large project to produce a dynamic map of the functional connectome of the human brain will require a convergence of neuroscience, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and computation, and may therefore spur the development of advanced nanotechnology leading to molecular manufacturing.
The advent of new technologies is typically followed by new government regulation, and in the absence of data, fear-based reactionism can have far too much influence on policy. Quality research studies on real risks and impacts of nanoscale technologies can help lead to legitimate scientific consensus and appropriate regulation. Engineered nanoparticles draw particular attention, because [...]
Too much reliance on opportunity-based research could significantly hinder scientific advancement. We have the ability now to explore the specifics of potential future technologies, and the knowledge gained could, in turn, add useful and possibly surprising priorities for research today.
A European Commission-funded video and education portal introduces nanotechnology to students and others.
Darpa has launched a “Living Foundries” program to bring an engineering perspective to synthetic biology to greatly accelerate progress through standardization and modularization.
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.
To counter the threat of evolved or engineered resistance of pathogenic bacteria to antibiotics, Darpa proposes to use nanotechnology to develop “Rapidly Adaptable Nanotherapeutics”.
In light of our continuing interest in the ways in which nanotechnology will interact with robotics and other emerging technologies, here is an update from IEEE Spectrum on the Boston Dynamics robot project. The earlier version called BigDog was cited here a few years ago, and was impressive enough. The update is a substantially improved [...]
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.
Nanoparticles that deliver two anticancer agents simultaneously kill cancer cells more effectively than nanoparticles delivering the agents separately.
Senior Associate Alvin Steinberg suggests that we portray the nanotech race as in part a security race involving quantum computing.
DARPA is basing an approach to AI on devices called memristors that use a nanoscale property to mimic neurons.
Congressman Commends Focus on Job Creation in National Nanotechnology Initiative Draft Strategic PlanPosted by Jim Lewis on December 6th, 2010
Research and Science Education Subcommittee Chairman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) expressed his strong support for the National Nanotechnology Initiative’s draft Strategic Plan, in particular its focus on ensuring that America’s substantial investment in nanotech research and development is turned into new companies, products, and jobs.