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Archive for the 'Healing/preserving environment' Category

Nanotechnology and life extension: challenge & response

Posted by Christine Peterson on May 10th, 2010

The Mark, “Canada’s daily online forum for news, commentary, and debate,” has published a commentary that primarily takes a negative view of the use of nanotech (or any tech) for life extension: Extreme life extension raises other interesting, yet troubling questions. Significant life extension could have serious implications for individual identity; what if we change [...]

Solar cells with nanocrystal ink reach 18 percent efficiency

Posted by Christine Peterson on September 21st, 2009

Josh Hall, on his way to catch a plane, sends us this news from Technology Review’s Katherine Bourzac: A California company is using silicon ink patterned on top of silicon wafers to boost the efficiency of solar cells. The Sunnyvale, CA, firm Innovalight says that the inkjet process is a cheaper route to more-efficient solar power. [...]

Saving the Planet

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on July 24th, 2009

The word “planet” means wanderer. The ancients, with their lives lived largely outdoors and without artificial lighting, were much more intimately acquainted with the heavens than are we moderns, unless we specialize in astronomy. They noticed that although there was a fixed pattern of stars for the most part, some of them wandered around in [...]

Nanotechnology builds battery on a virus framework

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 17th, 2009

MIT scientists have demonstrated the usefulness of biological frameworks for combining distinct functional elements to make a device.

Can nanotechnology retard desertification?

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 11th, 2009

The application is hydrophobic sand, which retains moisture near the roots of desert plants by virtue of a proprietary nanostructured coating on the grains of sand.

Civil nanotechnology: Open source sensing in Seed magazine

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 16th, 2009

From the February 2009 issue of the “science is culture” publication Seed magazine, not yet online: Hypothesis: Civil Nanotechnology Starting in 2009, nanotech-based sensing will enable a level of environmental monitoring that could help reduce pollution tremendously. Such devices could be of immense benefit to the environment, but unfortunately, without careful attention they will trigger [...]

The weather machine

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on December 23rd, 2008

The following is an edited and revised version of the talk I gave at the Global Catastrophic Risks conference that was held in conjunction with Convergence 08 (and which I reprised for Convergence). I’m posting it here because it seems to me that this is exactly the kind of thing Foresight was founded for: to [...]

Nanotechnology provides key capability for artificial photosynthesis

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 16th, 2008

Chinese scientists have developed a nanotech solution to harvest energy from multiple electrons—something alternative approaches to artificial photosynthesis have not yet managed to do.

Reynolds promotes nanotechnology for Earth Day

Posted by Christine Peterson on April 22nd, 2008

Foresight advisor Glenn Reynolds opines about nanotech in the NY Post for Earth Day: MIT’s Vladimir Bulovic calls nanotech a potentially “disruptive technology” in the solar-energy field, offering a complete shift from today’s fossil-fuel environment… Nanotech offers dramatic improvements on the side of energy consumption, too: As computing and other devices become smaller, they become [...]

Nanotechnology to produce electricity from nuclear waste?

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 1st, 2008

Phil McKenna at news service describes a nanotechnology advance that turns radiation directly into electricity, leading us to wonder if it thus simultaneously provides a use for nuclear waste. This nanotech application appears to be in the early stages of development, so aside from questions of just how efficient and how expensive it would [...]

Ocean iron fuss is not about nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on March 6th, 2008

We’ve written here before about the plan to put iron nanoparticles in the ocean as a way to increase growth of plankton, thereby absorbing carbon dioxide. Previously this was to be done by a company called Planktos; now a new company called Climos is making similar plans. There was controversy about Planktos, and no doubt [...]