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Archive for the 'Environment, Health, and Safety' Category

Nanowires and bacteria harnessed for artificial photosynthesis

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 4th, 2015

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.

Drexler's book tour extends to U.S. May6-9

Posted by Stephanie C on May 4th, 2013

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 [...]

Studying environmental impacts of nanoparticles using mesocosms

Posted by Stephanie C on February 28th, 2013

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 [...]

Christine Peterson on pushing the future in a positive direction

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 20th, 2013

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.

Christine Peterson interviewed on nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 12th, 2013

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.

Nanosponges to recover spilled oil (includes video)

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 7th, 2012

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.

Panel recommends research to manage health and environmental risks of nanomaterials

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 28th, 2012

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.

Foresight co-founder among panelists discussing role of technology in human existence

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 23rd, 2012

Human life after advanced nanotechnology has been developed will be fundamentally different from life up until that point.

Christine Peterson on current state and future potential of nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 21st, 2011

When can we expect advanced nanomachinery to be commercialized? Will any technologies not be affected in some way by advanced nanotechnology?

Lecture by Eric Drexler at Oxford on physical law and the future of nanotechnology (video)

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 6th, 2011

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.

Singularity University takes on advanced nanotech questions

Posted by Christine Peterson on October 25th, 2011

The Singularity University Executive Program recently took on the challenges of advanced nanotech: Nanotechnology: How should we evaluate the environmental impact of human-made machines that are too small to see? What limits should be placed on self-replicating nanodevices? What defenses should we institute against malevolent uses of such technology? These questions were asked by Marc [...]

Green Nanotechnology Roadmap Highlights Opportunities and Challenges

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 23rd, 2011

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.

Toxicity of silver nanoparticles on Arctic soil

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 10th, 2011

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.

Is policy uncertainty the cause of anemic growth in nanotechnology innovation?

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 17th, 2011

Will proposals to establish criteria for green nanotechnology foster growth of nanotechnology innovation?

Surface properties of nanoparticles have profound effect on how cells respond

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 8th, 2010

Gold nanoparticles carrying nucleic acids into a cell must have the nucleic acids tightly linked via covalent bonds to avoid profound, unanticipated effects on gene expression.

Request for public comment on National Nanotechnology Initiative’s Strategic Plan

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 5th, 2010

US National Nanotechnology Initiative wants your comments on its strategic plan.

Donate your laptop time to nanotech R&D for clean water

Posted by Christine Peterson on September 9th, 2010

Projects exist for aggregating personal computers into one large project for various worthy purposes, from space to biology research, some nanotech-related such a protein folding.  Now IBM has a similar project with the goal of developing nanotechnologies for clean water.  From In China, Tsinghua University researchers, with the help of Australian and Swiss scientists, [...]

Bill Joy on steering the future to lower-risk

Posted by Christine Peterson on August 11th, 2010

Many of you will recall Bill Joy’s famous article in Wired called Why the future doesn’t need us, where he expressed concern about various technologies including advanced nanotech. Apparently he gave an update of his views on this in his talk for TED, viewable here. An excerpt: So if we can address, use technology, help [...]

Don’t miss the Open Science Summit, July 29-31, in person or live webcast

Posted by Christine Peterson on July 19th, 2010

The Open Science Summit on July 29-31 in Berkeley is looking better and better. Topics include OpenPCR, DIY biology, open source hardware, brain preservation, synthetic biology, gene patents, open data, open access journals, reputation engines, crowd-funding and microfinance for science, citizen science, biohacking, open source biodefense, cure entrepreneurs, open source drug discovery, patent pools, tech transfer, and [...]

Single-atom sheet of carbon clears arsenic from water

Posted by Christine Peterson on July 15th, 2010

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 [...]