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Archive for the 'Computational nanotechnology' Category

Will more efficient protein folding program advance nanotechnology?

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 29th, 2011

MIT scientists have devised much more efficient procedures for modeling protein folding in order to be able to model the folding of the flood of proteins sequences made available by modern genome sequencing methods.

Positional control of chemical reaction a step toward advanced nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 11th, 2011

A step toward advanced nanotechnology has been achieved by using attachment to a surface and confinement by surrounding molecules to make two molecules react to form a product that would not form if they were free to react in solution.

Work theoretically extracted from molecular motor

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 10th, 2011

Computational work links optically-induced molecular shape change to change in DNA structure to extract useful work.

Researchers Develop method to Distinguish Classical from Quantum Behavior in Electrons

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 23rd, 2010

Sometimes the behavior of electrons in nanostructures can be modelled using classical laws of motion, while at other times more computationally challenging quantum methods are necessary to obtain useful results. Christopher W. Ince of the Nanotechnology Research Foundation writes with news of a new method to distinguish classical from quantum behavior in electrons: Researchers from [...]

Feynman Prizes in Nanotechnology Awarded by Foresight Institute

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 20th, 2010

Palo Alto, CA – December 20, 2010 – The Foresight Institute, a nanotechnology education and public policy think tank based in Palo Alto, has announced the winners of the prestigious 2010 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes in Nanotechnology. Established in 1993 in honor of Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman, two $5,000 prizes are awarded in two [...]

Optimizing DNA strand lengths for assisted self-assembly

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 30th, 2010

Molecular dynamics calculations define optimum strand lengths for the assembly of DNA films as greater than 10 and less than 30 nucleotides.

Why terrorists are often engineers: implications for nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on September 16th, 2010

An IEEE Spectrum podcast asks the question, Why Are Terrorists Often Engineers? The blurb: With terrorism back in the news, so, too, is a curious footnote: Of the hundreds of individuals involved in political violence, nearly half of those with degrees have been engineers. This finding, first published in 2008, has been substantiated by two [...]

Check out the Allosphere at California NanoSystems Institute, UCSB

Posted by Christine Peterson on September 10th, 2010

We have reports from a couple of Foresight members who have toured the Allosphere, part of the California NanoSystems Institute at UC Santa Barbara, and it sounds truly impressive. From their website: The AlloSphere, a 30-foot diameter sphere built inside a 3-story near-to-anechoic (echo free) cube, allows for synthesis, manipulation, exploration and analysis of large-scale [...]

Nominations now open for 2010 Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on July 7th, 2010

The nomination/submission process for the 2010 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes in Nanotechnology is now open.  Two $5000 prizes are offered, one for theory and one for experimental achievement.  These prizes recognize progress toward the goal of atomic-level control in the construction of macroscale 3D objects: an ambitious goal but one toward which physicist Richard Feynman [...]

Modeling the recharging of used hydrogen abstraction tool

Posted by Christine Peterson on May 28th, 2010

Foresight Feynman Prize winner Robert Freitas brings to our attention the first published theoretical study of DMS (diamond mechanosynthesis) tool-workpiece operating envelopes and optimal tooltip trajectories for a complete positionally controlled reaction sequence, which he did with colleagues in Russia. He writes, “This paper represents the first extensive DMS tooltip trajectory analysis, examining a wide [...]

Keeping computers from ending science’s reproducibility

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on January 22nd, 2010

From Ars Technica: Nobel Intent, a thought-provoking article on what the prevalence of computational science portends for reproducibility in science: Victoria Stodden is currently at Yale Law School, and she gave a short talk at the recent Science Online meeting in which she discussed the legal aspects of ensuring that the code behind computational tools [...]

Atomic precision as the goal of nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on October 27th, 2009

Nanotechnology Enables Real Atomic Precision is the title of a piece by Susan Smith in Desktop Engineering, which includes comments by longtime Foresight Senior Associates Steve Vetter and Tihamer Toth-Fejel: While nanotechology might mean different things to different people, the term was originally coined to describe the building of things from the bottom up with [...]


Posted by J. Storrs Hall on September 2nd, 2009

If you were an alien from an advanced civilization who had been stranded on Earth, but had all your people’s knowledge on a thumb drive, how would you go about creating nanotech and building up Earth’s technology to the level you could rejoin your galactic civilization? If you actually knew the details, probably one of [...]

A cautionary note, concluded

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on June 15th, 2009

Last week I posted a story of strange behavior in the simulation of molecular machines. One commenter asked if this was due to something unusual in the starting configuration of the atoms. This was the first thing we investigated, and didn’t seem to be the case. There was a small amount to strain energy in [...]

A cautionary note

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on June 12th, 2009

One of the constraints laid down by DARPA at the recent Physical Intelligence proposers workshop was that the model of intelligence that was to be proposed had to have a physical implementation. It seemed odd to some of the attendees that this should be a hard constraint, since many models of intelligence have a perfectly [...]

Memories: nanotech?

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on May 22nd, 2009

Some interesting developments in memories: This Nanowerk story reports results out of Alex Zettl’s group at Berkeley on a memory cell that consists of an iron nanoparticle which can be moved back and forth in a nanotube. More information on this can be found at Zettl’s site here. This memory, like someother nanotech schemes, relies [...]

Bat Wings

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on April 23rd, 2009

Evolution has adapted what were the bones of the fingers of the bat’s ancestors to form the skeleton of its wing. Similarly, in technology, when one element of a system is capable of expanding to take up new functions, it can substitute for what might have been expected to be different ways to achieve the [...]

Graphene edges closer to atomically precise nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 15th, 2009

Two papers in a recent issue of Science suggest that graphene is rapidly moving from being “just” a nanotech wonder material to becoming relevant to atomically precise nanotechnologies.

Singularity, part 6

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on March 5th, 2009

This the sixth essay in a series exploring if, when, and how the Singularity will happen, why (or why not) we should care, and what, if anything, we should do about it. Part VI: The heavily-loaded takeoff The fastest software I ever used ran on some of the slowest computers I ever had. Circa 1980, [...]

Optimizing hierarchical protein design for nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 6th, 2009

New computational results reveal how the proper hierarchical assembly of smaller protein domains optimizes mechanical properties.