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Archive for July, 2002

Radio interview on nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 19th, 2002

from the self-promotion dept.
Gina Miller writes "Tune your radios to Seattle's KEXP 90.3FM Saturday morning 7am Pac-daylight time. James Lewis is interviewed on the potential benefits and dangers of nanotechnology. If you are not in the Seattle area, you can also listen to the airing live via their website, from where ever you are located."

Montreal to Host International Nanotechnology Conference

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 18th, 2002

from the plenty-to-talk-about dept.
Neil Gordon writes "The Canadian NanoBusiness Alliance and Sygertech are proud to be part of the organizing committee for the CANEUS workshop on micro and nano technology development, emphasizing aerospace, defense and industrial R&D as well as nanotechnology commercialization and investment. August 25 to 30, 2002, Montreal, Canada"

Uses for nanotube powder and aligned nanotube arrays

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 18th, 2002

from the make-them-and-they-will-come dept.
2012Rocky writes "In an email conversation with Allen MacCannell, Director of Sales for NanoLab, I learned about various manufacturing and research uses for their carbon nanotube powder and aligned nanotube arrays, so far in 'research quantities' of no more than 200 grams per order."

Nanocrystals and dendrimers as markers in biology

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 18th, 2002

from the small-points-of-light dept.
Gina Miller writes "The EE Times article Synthesis of nanoparticles coming into focus, by R. Colin Johnson, July 16, 2002, describes progress with two types of nanoparticles: work done at the University of Arkansas on colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals, and work done at Michigan's Center for Biologic Nanotechnology on organic dendrimers."

TNT Nanotechnology Conference papers available

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 17th, 2002

from the light-bedtime-reading dept.
A special issue of Nanotechnology containing more than three dozen papers, mostly technical, from the 2001 Trends in Nanotechnology conference is available online. Access to papers published in Nanotechnology is free until November 30, 2002.

Nanotechnology in the textile industry

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 17th, 2002

from the seat-of-your-pants dept.
The Next Wave, by Michael Fitzgerald in the July 2002 Issue of Business 2.0, tells how startup Nano-Tex uses 10 nm-long nanowhiskers to make cloth too dense for liquids to penetrate, but still soft enough to wear:

Forget all the futuristic hype about subatomic robots. Nanotechnology is already here, and Burlington CEO George Henderson is using it to save the U.S. textile industry from extinction (and your pants from Beaujolais).

An informative sidebar lists nanotechnology products now available or in development. Founded about four years ago, Nano-Tex was the subject of a Dec. 27 2000 Nanodot post.

Foresight people highlighted in NY Times

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 17th, 2002

from the taking-a-long-view dept.
They've Seen the Future and Intend to Live It by Bruce Schechter in the NY Times (registration required) provides an informed and positive portrayal of the long range outlook that Dr. Ralph C. Merkle and other Foresight members bring to their views of life and the development of nanotechnology. Describing some of what was said at the most recent Foresight and IMM Senior Associates Gathering, the article travels from the National Nanotechnology Initiative and near term prospects to the "far more expansive vision of the future" held by Foresight members, and the link to cryonics, much in the news following Ted Williams's suspension (Nanodot July 10, 2002).

Ten-Year Assembler Timeline and Weather Forecast

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 16th, 2002

from the how-long-will-it-take? dept.
2012Rocky, writes "Chris Phoenix has an essay at on assembler timeline possibilities Ten-Year Assembler Timeline and Weather Forecast

Like most things in nanotech, assemblers are a big topic. Is an assembler even possible? What do we need to do to develop them? Who is working on them? When will we have them? And what will we be able to do with them? That's too many questions for one essay; I'll focus on the technology required to build one, and by extension, the schedule we might see. The point of this essay, as the title implies, is that it's impossible to give a sensible timeline for the development of an assembler."

NY Times reports on Nanotube 2002

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 15th, 2002

from the better-living-through-nanotubes dept.
RobertBradbury writes "The NY Times (registration required) is reporting here on "Nanotube 2002". No reported breakthroughs on synthesis yet, but a nice description of the various capabilities of nanotubes and some novel applications for which they might be used, particularly MEMS scale microgears. But if Tim Harper is correct, and there really are 40 nanotube companies now [ref], then one has to wonder if the nanotube industry isn't going to have some of the same problems that some segments of the dot-com industry did?"

Nanotechnology and Mass Destruction

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 15th, 2002

from the regulate-or-relinquish dept.
schnippy writes "The latest issue of "Disarmament Diplomacy" from the Acronym Institute has a long piece on the need for a new 'Inner Space' treaty to prevent nanowarfare and "Grey Goo" scenarios. The author provides a model treaty, based on the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, and argues that inner space should be treated as a sanctuary similar to the idea of an outer space sanctuary."

Note that Sean Howard also includes a "plan B" draft treaty that would totally outlaw all research and technology development at the nanoscale, which, if it could be enforced, would essentially bring to a halt all scientific and technological advance.

Infectious virus synthesized from scratch

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 15th, 2002

from the total-test-tube-replication dept.
Two nanodot readers wrote to report a BBC News story: First synthetic virus created. A team of scientists at the State University of New York at Stony Brook assembled a complete synthetic DNA copy of a poliovirus genome, transcribed the DNA into RNA using a purified enzyme, and translated and replicated the RNA in a cell free extract "resulting in the de novo synthesis of infectious poliovirus." Although no fundamentally new technology was used, the milestone demonstrates the power of current biotechnology.

The NSF Recommends Building Superhumans

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 14th, 2002

from the a-really-interesting-government-report dept.
Mr_Farlops writes "A document (Found at the World Technology Evaluation Center site in PDF format.), issued by the US National Science Foundation and Department of Commerce, examines the eventual merger of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive science to improve human mental and physical performance. The report's authors recommend that the United States set a national priority to research and develop technologies that will enhance human abilities and efficiencies."

Call for increased government investment in nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 14th, 2002

from the we-really-need-products dept.
Kurioz writes "Nanotechnology may be over-hyped, published by The Register, states:"

Nanotechnology will require sustained investment over at least the next decade, as well as more commercial applications, if it is to deliver on its initial promise.

Nanotechnology, which is the design and manufacture of extremely small electronic circuits and mechanical devices built at the molecular level of matter, has been touted as an emerging sector for some time now, but a white paper published on Thursday has said that the technology is over-hyped and a long way from delivering on its full potential.

Racing towards nanotechnology in the Midwest

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 13th, 2002

from the linking-small-things-longing-for-big-bucks dept.
Gina Miller writes " Racing toward a nanotechnology industry, by Jon Van of the Chicago Tribune, posted on the web site, reports the building of a new nanotechnology center at Purdue University in Indiana aimed at linking scientists and entrepreneurs. Purdue researcher Hicham Fenniri is quoted on the expected role of the Birck Nanotechnology Center (see Nanodot Sept. 10, 2001) in facilitating advances in designing and characterizing new materials.

Terabit/inch storage densities by ballistic magnetoresistance

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 13th, 2002

from the very-small-contacts dept.

OwenMcCarthy writes "The EE Times reports that researchers in Buffalo are working towards terabit/inch storage densities by applying "nanocontacts" to traditional magnetic media.

By applying atomic-dimension "nanocontacts" to magnetic media, an experiment at the State University of New York here has revealed the potential of an effect known as "ballistic magnetoresistance." The tiny metal contacts showed a 3,000 percent change in magnetoresistance at low switching fields of a few hundred oersted.

Storage density has been increasing at a startling rate in the last couple of years; it was only a matter of time before the peculiar properties of the nanoscale would be exploited toward this end.

Biomolecular Nanotechnology Graduate Training

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 13th, 2002

from the so-you-want-to-be-a-nanotechnologist dept.
Arizona State University is looking for students in engineering, physical science and life science to join a Graduate Research Training Program in Biomolecular Nanotechnology. Students will work on cross-disciplinary projects, but will receive their Ph.D. from one of several participating departments, to which they will apply at the time of applying to the program.

U-M scientists to develop nanosensors for astronau

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 13th, 2002

from the first-there-was-Tang-then-there-was-nanomedicine dept.
Gina Miller writes "Sally Pobojewski of the University of Michigan Health System reports U-M scientists to develop nanosensors for astronauts 7/9/02. Quote: 'Along with space suits, freeze-dried food and barf bags, tomorrow's astronauts may travel with nanomolecular devices inside their white blood cells to detect early signs of damage from dangerous radiation or infection. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is investing $2 million to develop this 'Star Trek' technology at the University of Michigan Medical School's Center for Biologic Nanotechnology. The three-year research grant is the largest the Medical School has ever received from NASA, according to James R. Baker, Jr., M.D., who will direct the project' The goal is to monitor infections and the radiation that provokes illness in the astronauts during space travel with devices that could be administered through the skin. UM researchers are also developing nanosensors to detect pre-malignant and cancerous cellular changes in the body funded as ongoing nanotech research by the National Cancer Institute."

On the same topic, Saturngraphix writes "The contemplation of cell monitering for astronauts has been discussed. A rather token 2 million has been set aside for nanosensors (actually, its quite a large sum for the grant but small in the overall picture). The purpose is mainly to track radiation exposure in the astronaut. Here is the link 1080818.htm

Bacterial handbrake discovered

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 13th, 2002

from the new-molecular-tricks-up-the-sleeve dept.
Christine Peterson writes "Fluid forces within the body help invasive bacteria (a University of Washington news release): Another lovely example of one of nature's molecular machines, a mechanism that clamps a bacterium to the surface it's on in high winds (metaphorically)."

L.A. Nanotech VC Event, Wed Jul 17 @ UCLA

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 13th, 2002

from the special-discounts-for-Foresight-members dept.
xenijardin writes "Hi, Nanodot.

In L.A. on the evening of Wednesday, July 17, at UCLA Anderson, Steve Jurvetson of DFJ will speak at the next ZoneClub event on investment trends in nanotechnology. Check for registration details. Nanodot readers save 1/3 off registration fee by signing up online before noon Tuesday July 16, and entering discount code "clubfour".

Also check out the corresponding LARTA nanotech conference that's taking place earlier that same day in L.A. Questions? E-mail David Cremin from Zone Ventures, at Hope to see you there!

Xeni Jardin
freelance journalist and conference manager

prominent professor speaks out on cryonics

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 12th, 2002

from the yes-we-do-know-something dept.
In Maybe we're all just too dumb to be kept on ice, Boston Herald columnist Margery Eagan stops to consider, with a mixture of sympathy and skepticism, what sort of people choose cryonic suspension for their "final arrangements," and why. With apparent awe at his accomplishments in several fields, she quotes an unidentified professor "M & M" whose identity will be easily guessed by most readers of Nanodot. M & M is quoted as saying cryonics is for people "with real goals," and "I've always wondered why people are so happy about dying. We need longevity because we don't live long enough to understand things very well."