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 [...]
Archive for the 'Healing/preserving environment' Category
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. [...]
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 [...]
MIT scientists have demonstrated the usefulness of biological frameworks for combining distinct functional elements to make a device.
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.
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 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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
Phil McKenna at NewScientist.com 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 [...]
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 [...]