X-Message-Number: 19951
From: "Gina Miller" <>
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Subject: The Nanogirl News~
Date: Sat, 31 Aug 2002 00:27:00 -0700

The Nanogirl News
August 30, 2002

Charting the future of nanogeoscience. How does a tiny sulfide particle
travel from a Chinese factory to California? And how does it react when it
gets there? Scientists don't know precisely, which is one of many reasons
Berkeley Lab researchers are helping to shape the future of a new field
called nanogeoscience. As the name implies, it's the study of geological
processes involving particles no larger than 100 nanometers, meaning in some
cases as small as a few atoms across. Such particles play critical roles in
carbon sequestration, air pollution, and even the removal of toxins from
soil. (Berkeley Lab Science Beat 8/26/02)

Unnatural optics create precise photonic lens. Optical experiments using
arrays of nanowires are demonstrating that the concept of a negative
refractive index could be realized in practical systems. The work, done at
Purdue University, attempts to reproduce results similar to those shown last
year at the University of California at San Diego using microwave radiation.
A negative refractive index, which is not found in nature, would allow
scientists to construct new types of microscopes with unprecedented
resolution and could allow the creation of novel photonic devices. (EETimes

Scientists get to grips with what makes geckos stick. Geckos, those tiny
lizards Britons most often see scurrying up walls in rural Provence, have
taught engineers a thing or two about getting a grip...The answer lies in an
evolutionary masterpiece of nanotechnology. Dr Autumn and colleagues from
California report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
that gecko feet are covered in hairs called setae. Each hair is 100
millionths of a metre long. It has 1,000 pads at the tip, and these pads, or
spatulae, are 200 billionths of a metre wide... The discovery could lead to
a dry, self-cleaning adhesive that works under water, or in the vacuum of
space. The team is working with a robotics firm to design tiny automata that
could climb even when upside down... (Guardian Unlimited 8/27/02)

Scientists creating radiation sensors so small, they fit inside blood cells.
Researchers are creating "Star Trek"-like  radiation sensors that are so
small, they could be absorbed into the  white blood cells of astronauts and
could someday be used to treat  and diagnose illnesses. Astronauts
constantly are exposed to radiation, and  radiation-induced illness is a
serious concern in space travel. The sensors would continuously monitor for
early signs of damage,  said Dr. James Baker Jr., a University of Michigan
scientist who is  directing the project. With the nano-molecular devices in
their white blood cells,  astronauts would feel no more intrusion than when
they fly with  regular staples, such as freeze-dried food.
(HindustanTimes.com 8/22/02)

nPoint Announces New 3-Axis Nanopositioner for Optical and Scanning Probe.
PiezoMAX Product Line Offers the Fastest and Most Precise Nanoscale Motion
And Control -- Bringing a New Level of Microscopy Performance to R&D
Applications. nPoint, Inc., the global leader in ultra-precision motion and
control nanopositioners for nanoscale research and manufacturing, has
announced a new member of its PiezoMAXT product line. The N-XYZ100B is used
for microscopy applications that require transmitted light through the
sample, such as the traditional inverted optical microscope, confocal
microscope, and near-field scanning optical microscope (NSOM).  The aperture
enables a light beam to pass through the sample, while the nanopositioner
allows the sample to be moved and controlled within nanometer range.
(Hoover's Online 8/27/02)

An Exciting New State For Excitons. Researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), in collaboration with a scientist at the
University of California's Santa Barbara campus, have reported the
observation of excitons that display a macroscopically ordered electronic
state which indicates they have formed a new exciton condensate. The
observation also holds potential for ultrafast digital logic elements and
quantum computing devices...The observations were made by shining laser
light on specially designed nano-sized structures called quantum wells which
were grown at the interface between the two semiconductors. (Science Daily

Nanoscience: Big Interest in Studying the Very Small. Nobody knows what the
Incredible Shrinking Man saw when he disappeared from view, but the U.S.
Department of Energy wants to find out. The agency is building five
nanoscience facilities across the country that will study the science of the
very small. Nanoscience investigates interactions, reactions, and
construction of materials the size of atoms and molecules. And, it turns
out, the Incredible Shrinking Man-made famous in a 1957 science-fiction
film-would have been quite surprised by what that tiny world looks like.
"Materials behave very differently on a nano scale," said Don Parkin,
associate director of the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, which will
be operated by Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories in New Mexico.
(National Geographic from Scripps Howard news service 8/22/02)

No fairy tale: Researchers spin straw into gold. Grains contain gold in
forms that seem tailor-made for industrial use...Rumpelstiltskin, the
fairy-tale rogue who spun straw into gold, has nothing on Miguel Yacaman and
Jorge Gardea-Torresdey. The two University of Texas researchers have
developed a way to draw gold from wheat, alfalfa, or - best of all -
oats...The work represents the first time researchers have reported that
living plants form these gold micro-nuggets, opening "exciting new ways to
fabricate nanoparticles," according to Dr. Gardea-Torresdey, who heads the
chemistry department at the University of Texas at El Paso. He notes that
current approaches to making gold nanoparticles, now used as tags for
studying cellular processes in biology and coveted for use as electrical
contacts in nanoelectronic circuits, are expensive and involve chemical
processes that generate pollution. The use of plants, he holds, "is both
cost-effective and environmentally friendly." (CSMonitor.com 8/29/02)

(Interview with Timothy Weihs Reactive NanoTechnologies Inc.) A better bond.
Hopkins scientists have come up with an easier way to join diverse materials
like ceramic armor onto metal tanks; Will their nanotech discovery become a
macro-economic success?  With a foil made up of incredibly thin layers of
simple elements, two professors at the Johns Hopkins University say they
have discovered a better way to bond metal and ceramic components. Don't let
your eyes glaze yet: This nanotech solution could tap into a $10 billion
market. You recently received $2 million in venture funding for your bonding
foil. How does it work?...
(Sunspot.net 8/23/02)

Cambridge University Spinoff Devises Array for Swift, Cheap Resequencing. A
small British company said it is close to unveiling a prototype of a novel
single-molecule array that can resequence an individual human genome with
single-base resolution at a fraction of the time and cost of currently used
methods. The technology being developed by the company, Solexa, is an
unaddressed and monodispersed high-density array designed to deliver
base-by-base sequencing without the need for DNA amplification, the company
said. There are two principle components to the technology, said Nick
McCooke, the company's CEO: The actual nanotechnology-based single-molecule
array platform, currently in the pre-prototype stage, and a sequencing
chemistry, which is expected to appear early next year. (Genomeweb.com

Hope for nano-scale delivery of medicine using a light beam to move liquid
through tiny tubes. Medical researchers would like to use nano-scale tubes
to push very tiny amounts of drugs dissolved in water to exactly where they
are needed in the human body. The roadblock to putting this theory into
practical use has been the challenge of building pumps small enough to do
the job. In addition to the engineering challenge of building a nano-scale
pump, there is the added complication of clogging by any biological molecule
that can occur in valves small enough to fit a channel the size of bacteria.
The solution - discovered by researchers at Arizona State University - is to
create a system that does not rely on mechanical parts. The ASU team of
scientists and engineers reports in the American Chemical Society journal
Langmuir (Thursday, August 29, 2002) on a technique they developed to pull
water up a tube tinier than a straw by shining a beam of light on the
surface of the tube. (Eurekalert 8/28/02)

Manufacturing now a high-tech business.  you weren't thinking about
nanotechnology in the context of manufacturing, think again. When the 75th
International Manufacturing Technology Show 2002 kicks off next week at
McCormick Place, you will be able to see "the world's most accurate machine"
on display by Moore Nanotechnology Systems of New Hampshire. "In our
industry, nanotechnology has particular importance in areas like optics,"
notes Charlie Carter, vice president of technology for the Association for
Manufacturing Technology. (Sun Times 8/26/02)

Nano research challenges storage limit. The computer hard-drive industry
might get an unexpected research boost from a study about how densely
magnetic bits can be packed, which was debated Monday at a nanotechnology
conference. Most of the research at the Institute of Electrical and
Electronic Engineers event, which focuses on developments in the science of
manipulating matter at the atomic or molecular levels, look several years
into the future. The nanomagnetics work of Larry Bennett, a research faculty
member at George Washington University's Ashburn, Va., campus, and Ed Della
Torre of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Metallurgy
Division in Gaithersburg, Md., could affect today's hard-drive designers,
however. (UPI 8/26.02)

(An anti-nanotechnology article by the environmentalist group ETC Group) No
Small Matter! Nanotech Particles Penetrate Living Cells and Accumulate in
Animal Organs. Issue: At a mid-March fact-finding meeting at the US
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), researchers reported that
nanoparticles are showing up in the livers of research animals, can seep
into living cells, and perhaps piggyback on bacteria to enter the food
chain. The commercial use of nanoscale carbon was likened to either "the
next best thing to sliced bread or the next asbestos." Despite these
revelations, there is no regulatory body (and no plans for one) dedicated to
overseeing this potent and powerfully invasive new technology. (etcgroup.org
The New York Times on 8/19/02  covers the ETCs request for banning,
discussing both sides of this issue. See:

UCI gold chain study gets to heart of matter. Discovery reveals smallest
size molecules form functional structures; nanotechnology, research
implications may be significant. While it may not make much of an
anniversary present, a gold chain built atom by atom by UC Irvine physicist
Wilson Ho offers an answer to one of the basic questions of
nanotechnology-how small can you go? In the first study of its kind, Ho and
his colleagues have discovered the molecular phase when a cluster of atoms
develops into a solid structure, a finding that can have a significant
impact in the future development of metal structures built at the molecular
scale. (UCI news release 8/28/02)

Beyond Alchemy & the Wright Brothers: Nanosecrets of Everyday Things...For
15 years, ever since K. Eric Drexler's Engines of Creation launched the
nanocraze, the field has been plagued by sci-fi notions of tiny robotic
"molecular assemblers" running around shoving atoms together. But as
buckyball pioneer Richard Smalley remarks, molecular assemblers have long
existed: "We call them catalysts." Catalysts are "helper" substances that
promote chemical reactions without themselves being consumed. Nature's
catalysts, enzymes, assemble only specific end products. Industrial
catalysts are rarely so precise. Gabor Somorjai of Berkeley Lab's Materials
Sciences Division, a professor of chemistry at UC Berkeley, notes that "you
can increase the octane rating of gasoline remarkably" by catalyzing its
hydrocarbon precursor over platinum, "but there are at least seven or eight
directions the reaction can go." (ICA Syndicate 8/02)

Out of their minds. Here we go again . . . pundits can't stop hyping the
business opportunities of artificial intelligence. In 1983, artificial
intelligence appeared on the mainstream business radar. That was the year a
book entitled The Fifth Generation (Addison Wesley) slammed onto the
best-seller lists. In it, authors Edward Feigenbaum and Pamela McCorduck
described how the Japanese government was investing billions of dollars to
create machines that could think. "In Japan, a vast government-backed
project is developing the next stage of computers," read the jacket copy.
"Giant machines, programmed to perform logical functions approaching human
reasoning, will make our present computers look like children's toys." There
is some Ray Kurzweil bashing in this article. (Red Herring 8/23/02)

(Cover Story) Drug Delivery. Materials scientists look for new materials and
ways to manipulate existing ones in order to fulfill unmet needs. Scaffold
Highly branched dendrimers, depicted here among cells shown in green, may
one day deliver drug molecules (Center for Biological Nanotechnology,
University of Michigan)..."We envision long-circulating nanoscopic drug
depots that may produce controlled levels of free drug in blood over time
and perhaps drug release solely at disease tissue," Kwon told C&EN.
3 Pages. (C&E 8/26/02)

Nanomedicine and the Future of Healthcare. As the phrase nanotechnology
slowly enters the household vocabulary scientists in a wide range of
industries is looking for potential applications. This article will examine
the consequences nanotechnology will have in the medical industry and
subsequently the healthcare industry in general. Mentions; Transhumanists,
stemcells and cloning, artificial blood, medical nanosensors, DNA chips, The
International Necronautical Society and references. (Plausible Futures
Newsletter 12/08/02)  http://www.plausiblefutures.com/text/nanomed.htm

Researchers Say "Frustrated Magnets" Hint At Broader Organizing Principle In
Nature. When "frustrated" by their arrangement, magnetic atoms surrender
their individuality, stop competing with their neighbors and then practice a
group version of spin control -- acting collectively to achieve local
magnetic order -- according to scientists from the Commerce Department's
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Johns Hopkins University and
Rutgers University writing in the Aug. 22, 2002, issue of the journal
Nature. The unexpected composite behavior detected in experiments done at
the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) accounts for the range of
surprising ---and, heretofore, unexplainable ---properties of so-called
geometrically frustrated magnets, the subject of intensifying research
efforts that may lead to new types of matter. (ScienceDaily Magazine

America's Might: A Comic Tale. According to Radix's comic book creators Ray
and Ben Lai, MIT used an image from the first issue without permission. The
image, a drawing of heroin Valerie Fiores was submitted with a MIT grant
proposal to the Army's Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies. The grant
which was for super next generation of soldiers' battlefield armor was
approved and awarded to MIT in the sum of $50 million dollars. "In the MIT
proposal, the picture was credited to an "H. Thomas." MIT professor Ned
Thomas, who heads the 150-person nanotechnology institute, told News.com
that his daughter had drawn it...If the Lais are mulling a lawsuit, they may
not have much luck, according to copyright experts.
(Wired 8/28/02)  http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,54815,00.html

Tiny ventures. Circuits made of molecules will supplant
silicon...eventually. But for now, the smart money is starting small. The
discovery came as a shock to chip engineers who had spent their careers
worrying about how to etch ever smaller circuits on to silicon wafers. Their
articles in technical reviews would anxiously express the need for circuits
to get smaller while conceding that it takes millions of molecules to make a
transistor or any other kind of switch. It was a formidable limit. In 1998,
however, their worries were eased by the discovery of molecular
electronics--the use of individual molecules or small groups of molecules as
circuit elements--by Mark Reed of Yale University and James Tour of Rice
University. (Red Herring 8/26/02)

Convergent technologies: Is your company ready for the future? The
convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and
cognitive science will have a substantial impact on companies and markets in
the future. Though technology convergence is still only a concept, it is
already beginning to define the global marketplace. Technologies such as
connections between the brain and machines, wearable health monitors, smart
houses made of environment-sensitive materials are not science fiction
anymore, but are scientifically feasible. (Eurekalert 8/27/02)

Researchers develop 'fingerprinting' for biological agents. Northwestern
University scientists have developed a new method for detecting infectious
diseases, including those associated with many bioterrorism and warfare
threats such as anthrax, smallpox and HIV. The technique could enable
researchers to create thousands of DNA detection probes made of gold
nanoparticles with individual molecules attached. Much like human
fingerprints, these molecules act as unique signals for the presence of
biological agents. The method can easily distinguish smallpox's distinct
"fingerprint" from that of HIV. (Eurekalert 8/29/02)

Nano, Nano! - Part 2. (interview with Nanomix's Jeff Wyatt w/ text and
audio) Nano-grapes are actually spherical molecules of boron seen under an
electron microscope. Nanomix is investigating this material for its hydrogen
storage properties. If mankind is ever going to transition away from our
over-dependence on fossil fuels - - and not to do so expeditiously invites
global disaster - - we have to come up with a clean, renewable energy
substitute and at present, hydrogen is the best candidate. But hydrogen,
which is an energy carrier, has to be stored in concentrations sufficient
enough to produce useful amounts of energy. This is especially true in the
case of the modern automobile...Nanotube technology is of great interest
because it might offer a relatively inexpensive medium in which to store
sufficient quantities of pure, gaseous hydrogen safely to give a motor
vehicle useful working range or a laptop computer useful working time. (EV
World 8/24/02)
To read part 1:

Walking on nano-eggshells. By depositing metal films on to microscopic
beads, researchers have made metal half-shells with interesting properties
such as superhydrophobicity. (Nature 8/29/02)

Nanoscale patterns boost magnetic density. Increasing magnetic recording
density has become an important goal for many in the hard-disk-drive
industry. But recording on a continuous film at higher densities generally
means decreasing the grain size, and that can cause the magnetization of the
grains to become thermally unstable. Now, a team of scientists from IBM has
developed a film-patterning technique that could overcome this issue and
suit large-scale manufacturing. (Nanotechweb.org 8/29/02)

Gina "Nanogirl" Miller
Nanotechnology Industries
Personal: http://www.nanogirl.com
Foresight Senior Associate member http://www.foresight.org
Extropy member http://www.extropy.org

"Nanotechnology: Solutions for the future."

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