The first journal article to call for the development of molecular manufacturing … identified the task of designing more stable proteins as a path toward more general capabilities for molecular manipulation. Proof of principle for this goal was already apparent by 1988, and we have followed progress since then … . A brief comment in a recent issue of Science introduces two papers that took two different routes to use rational and computational design to make new protein structures based on alpha-helical coiled coils. …
Foresight’s recent Workshop on Directed/Programmable Matter for Energy focused on the potential of atomically precise materials for energy production, transport, and efficient use. A hat tip to Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence for describing how scientists from Tohoku University in Japan had combined carbon nanotube field emitters with a solution of indium oxide and tin oxide to produce a very efficient planar light source. …
The saga of using DNA bricks to build complex 3D nanostructures continues to evolve. A hat tip to ScienceDirect for reprinting this news release from Harvard’s Wyss Institute “Crystallizing the DNA nanotechnology dream“ …
John Neer writes to announce that he has made available “to the public for non-commercial use” an extensive collection of notes for lectures that Richard Feynman delivered to employees of Hughes Aircraft Company from 1966 through 1971, for two hours on Monday evenings, 9 to 10 months per year. No attempt was made to record or capture Feynman’s board work for these lectures. Mr. Neer, accomplishing what would seem to have been a Herculean task, took notes as extensively as possible during Feynman’s two-hour lectures, and then spent four to six hours transcribing each lecture as soon as possible afterward. …
… Over the years we have cited other work in which addressable DNA scaffolds have been used to organize functional components. Such achievements have been used to precisely spatially organize small numbers of larger, atomically complex, nanoscale objects. Recently researchers have asked whether atomically precise DNA molds can be used to cast large numbers of inorganic atoms into predetermined complex (but not atomically precise) 3D nanoparticles that can be arranged in space to form larger, more complex nanoscale objects. …
Gayle Pergamit writes with news of a US National Science Foundation initiative that “addresses one of the big problems that we talked about at the [Foresight Directed/Programmable Matter for Energy Workshop]: not having enough processor power. This will be a huge boost to getting true nanotech done.” The new initiative builds upon a June 2012 Executive Order to make broadband construction faster and cheaper. …
Foresight Institute's 2014 Workshop on Directed/Programmable Matter for Energy – Video available
Sept. 5-7, 2014, in Palo Alto, California
A small, highly interactive 2-1/2 day invitational meeting focused on long-term prospects for revolutionary advances in energy storage, transmission, and generation based on improved precision in our control of matter.
Wide-ranging thinkers, firmly grounded in a deep and broad understanding of current science will facilitate future research directions, encourage the formation of new multidisciplinary teams, and speed nanoscale advances in the energy field.
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Deadline: December 31, 2014
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About the Foresight Institute
Foreseeing Future Technologies
Advancements in technologies such as nanotech, robotics, and biotech are promising to make major differences in our lives in the not-too-distant future, as the Industrial Revolution did to the agrarian world — to do for the physical world what the computer and Internet have done to the world of information.
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