X-Message-Number: 23016
From: "Gina Miller" <>
Subject: The Nanogirl News~
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2003 15:47:22 -0800

The Nanogirl News
December 4, 2003

President Bush Signs Nanotechnology Research and Development Act. Today
(Dec.3) at the White House, the President signed into law the 21st Century
Nanotechnology Research and Development Act, which authorizes funding for
nanotechnology research and development (R&D) over four years, starting in
FY 2005. This legislation puts into law programs and activities supported by
the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), one of the President's highest
multi-agency R&D priorities. (THE WHITEHOUSE 12/3/03)
-Here is the Presidents statement on this action (The White House 12/03):
-Also see: Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Nano is President's Prefix of the day.
Here you can download the PDF file of the 21st Century Nanotechnology
Research and Development Act. (12/3/03 SmallTimes)

(News related to the above Act.) The government says "no" to federally
funded nanobots... Perhaps most interesting, though, is what the bill
apparently does not fund: research into so-called molecular nanotechnology,
a theoretical approach to nanotech that proposes the creation of "molecular
assemblers," which could build complex products from molecular level up. It
is this version of nanotech, promoted by nanotech guru Eric Drexler that
often appears in science fiction, where trillions of tiny, self-replicating
nanorobots can transform matter into just about anything. But most nanotech
researchers-including Nobel laureate Richard Smalley, co-discoverer of
carbon buckeyball molecules-are skeptical of this vision. The bill does
allow a "one-time study to determine the technical feasibility of molecular
self-assembly for the manufacture of materials and devices at the molecular
scale." But self-assembly is not the same thing as self-replication, with
the former being a proven chemical process being developed in nanotech labs.
The original House version of the bill did contain an explicit passage that
unmistakably referred to Drexlerian molecular manufacturing, including use
of the phrase "self-replication." It appears that in substituting the word
"assembly" for "replication," some savvy bill writer performed a bit of
legislative jujitsu to leave Drexler's approach out in the cold. After all,
why investigate the feasibility of self-assembly when it's already been
proved possible? (USNews 12/2/03)

Experts debate the future of nanotechnology. Two giants in the field of
nanotechnology face off in an exclusive point-counterpoint debate about the
future of this burgeoning field of science in the Dec. 1 issue of Chemical &
Engineering News (available online here:
http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/8148/8148counterpoint.html), the weekly
newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest
scientific society. K. Eric Drexler, Ph.D., cofounder of the Foresight
Institute in Palo Alto, Calif., and the person who coined the term
"nanotechnology," and Richard E. Smalley, Ph.D., a professor at Rice
University and winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, debate a
fundamental question of nanotechnology: Are "molecular assemblers" - devices
capable of positioning atoms and molecules for precisely defined reactions
in almost any environment - physically possible? (Eurekalert 12/2/03)

Also see an Analysis of the above exchange written by Chris Phoenix,
Director of Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN).

Nanoguitar Promises New Sensor And Electronics Applications. Six years ago
Cornell University researchers built the world's smallest guitar - about the
size of a red blood cell - to demonstrate the possibility of manufacturing
tiny mechanical devices using techniques originally designed for building
microelectronic circuits. Now, by "playing" a new, streamlined nanoguitar,
Cornell physicists are demonstrating how such devices could substitute for
electronic circuit components to make circuits smaller, cheaper and more
energy-efficient. (SpaceDaily 11/19/03)

The Architecture of the Very Small (210 KB PDF). For nanostructured solids,
it's not just the chemistry, it's the way they're put together.
(Today's Chemist at Work Nov. 2003)

Nano research eyes ink jet-printed 'sheets' of circuits. NanoProducts Corp.
lab researchers have begun work on nanoscale devices that may lead to the
formation of "plastic" circuit elements and circuit "sheets" fabricated with
ink jet printers within three years. The company's researchers have started
the evolution toward such products by integrating nanoscale materials with
existing micron-sized devices and composites, enhancing their performance
and lowering their cost. (EETimes 11/20/03)

Nanotech instruments allow first direct observations of RNA 'proofreading'.
When Ralph Waldo Emerson said that nature pardons no mistakes, he wasn't
thinking about RNA polymerase (RNAP) - the versatile enzyme that copies
genes from DNA onto strands of RNA, which then serve as templates for all of
the proteins that make life possible. Emerson's comment notwithstanding,
RNAP makes plenty of mistakes but also proofreads and corrects them before
they have a chance to create abnormal proteins. (Eurekalert 11/25/03)

"Nano" in firm's name fuels stock's hefty gain. A growing fascination with
nanotechnology seems to be doing wonders for the stock price of Nanometrics.
Too bad the company's only connection with the hot field of molecular-scale
machinery is the first four letters of its name and a stock ticker, NANO.
But that, apparently, is enough to confuse some investors.
(USAToday 12/4/03)

DuPont-led Scientists Unveil Key Nanotechnology Discovery with Use of DNA.
Sorting Carbon Nanotubes Provides Significant Step in Advancing
Nano-Electronics Applications. A collaborative group of DuPont-led
scientists have discovered an innovative way to advance electronics
applications through the use of DNA that sorts carbon nanotubes. This
research in the emerging field of nanotechnology appears in the current
issue of the journal Science, which is published by the AAAS - the world's
largest general scientific organization. The research paper is titled "
Structure-Based Carbon Nanotube Sorting by Sequence-Dependent DNA Assembly."
(DuPont 12/2/03)

Shares of Nanogen Inc. skyrocketed 61 percent after the company received a
"Methods for the Electronic Assembly and Fabrication of Devices" patent from
the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the lead patent in a series of pending
applications that will strengthen Nanogen's proprietary position in the
nanotechnology and nanomanufacturing fields, the company said.
(Pharmexec 12/4/03)

TNT Weekly: deletion of MNT study from nano bill is "a farce". Issue #13 of
TNT Weekly (which will be archived here), the leading nanotech industry
e-newsletter, covers the recent deletion of a molecular manufacturing study
from the new U.S. nanotech legislation: " --The plot thickens and the
nanotech bill gets sillier--Last week we had some fun with the recent
nanotech bill in the US, especially the plan for a one-time study to
determine the feasibility of making things using molecular self-assembly,
which makes about as much sense as conducting a one-time study into the
feasibility of sharpening a stick with a sharp knife. With a combination of
cynicism and naivet , we assumed that the bill had got away from those who
actually understood nanotech and ended up in the hands of politicians who
didn't understand the difference between self-assembly and molecular
assemblers, the result being a terminological boo-boo in the part that was
meant to direct figuring out whether Drexlerian-style molecular
nanotechnology (MNT) and molecular manufacturing are actually feasible. We
were not alone. Quite a few people, it seemed, thought that the MNT crowd
had been given the chance to make their case or forever hold their peace.
Even the skeptics seemed to think this was fair dinkum." (Nanodot 12/3/03)

Scientists grow carbon nanofibres straight onto plastic. Researchers from
the University of Cambridge, UK, have deposited carbon nanofibres directly
onto plastic substrates using plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition.
The arrays of fibres could have applications as field emitters in displays.
(Nanotechweb 12/4/03) http://www.nanotechweb.org/articles/news/2/12/2/1

Kettering University Researchers Discover New Way to Produce Nanotubes.
Nanotubes have thermal conductivity better than diamonds,
electro-conductivity better than copper, and can withstand very high
temperatures. Researchers at Kettering University have discovered a
different method for producing nanotubes, which is one of the U.S.
government's best-funded technology areas...The Kettering team's procedure
for creating nanotubes is "actually a simpler way of doing it than had
previously been done," said Bahram Roughani, associate professor of Applied
Physics. Established methods include arc discharge, laser ablation or pulsed
laser vaporization (PLV), chemical vapor deposition and gas phase processes,
such as high-pressure carbon monoxide (HiPCO).
(Kettering University 12/4/03)

Major nanotechnology hurdle not so worrisome, thanks to Indiana University
chemistry discovery. According to the classic rules of physics, substances
melt at a lower temperature when their sizes decrease. But scientists at
Indiana University Bloomington have found that at least one substance,
gallium, breaks the rules, remaining stable as a solid at temperatures as
much as 400 degrees Fahrenheit above the element's normal melting point.
Their report will be published in an upcoming issue of Physical Review
Letters. The discovery gives hope to some nanotechnologists and
"nanocomputer" engineers, who have been worried that components will behave
unpredictably at smaller sizes, possibly even melting at room temperature.
(innovations report 12/3/03)

'Stuffed' nanotubes could enable high-density storage. Researchers here have
succeeded in loading carbon nanotubes with magnetic materials, an advance
that could enable the use of the tiny cylinders for making extremely
high-density data storage devices. (EETimes 11/25/03)

Robot Nation? A couple of columns ago, I wrote a piece called Kent Brockman
on Unemployment, describing the impact of robots and automation on
employment. In the comments section, someone posted a link to some things
that the writer and founder of HowStuffWorks Marshall Brain has written.
Brain thinks that we'll be losing jobs wholesale to robots in the very near
future, long before things like nanotechnology have a chance to change the
world: (TCS: Tech Central Station 12/3/03)

Nanosensor smells the faintest scent. Nanostructures could detect a few
molecules of perfume, says a Japanese researcher working on a cheaper way to
make these structures using ultra thin films. Professor Toyoki Kunitake from
the Japan Science and Technology Agency presented his research at an
Australian nanotechnology conference at the University of Melbourne
yesterday. The structures are very small, "one millionth of one millionth of
a metre",
Kunitake told ABC Science Online. (ABC Science Australia 12/3/03)

(Gaming) Codemasters Announce Perimeter. Codemasters today announced that it
has picked up worldwide publishing rights to a groundbreaking new Real-Time
Strategy (RTS), currently in development at 1C for the PC...Through
nanotechnology players can transform units on the battlefield, giving scope
for tactical opportunities to adapt combat units to a particular situation
and keep up with any changes that occur during the battle.
(TotalVideoGames 12/2/03)

Nanotechnology center causing controversy. Nanotechnology has emerged as a
controversial issue at UAlbany. A heated meeting by the UAlbany senate on
the hot-button issue took place Monday night. All the controversy centers
around Professor Richard Collier, because he presented a resolution
questioning the development of the School of Nanosciences and
Nanoengineering at the university. (Capital News 9 12/2/03)

(Movie-Review) Nanotechnology is one of the current hot topics in various
fields of science and medicine. Essentially, the idea is that small machines
can be made and programmed to perform a host of different tasks, sight
unseen, with endless possibilities. Recent television shows, including
Andromeda and Jake 2.0 explore some applications of such technology, albeit
by greatly advancing what we can do today. A newly released OVA anime
series, Zaion: I Wish You Were Here 1: Epidemic, explores the idea in
another way, this time as a means to combat an alien virus. (DVD Talk
11/30/03) http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=8501

Technique allows scientists to fine-tune strength and conductivity of
nanotube-laced materials. University of Pennsylvania researchers have
developed a technique to customize nanotube-laced materials. While
notoriously difficult to manipulate, nanotubes can provide added strength or
conductivity to materials, depending on how the nanotubes are oriented. The
Penn engineers have developed a production technique that permits a finer
and more precise dispersion of nanotubes within a material. (Eurekalert
12/2/03) http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/article.php?id=565

(Japan) How safe is nanotechnology? Although nanotechnology is said to have
the potential to drastically alter 21st-century society, there must be a
thorough assessment of the risks nanomaterials could pose to human health
and the ecosystem. In October, expectations surged in the academic world
that the Nobel Prize in Chemistry might be awarded to a Japanese researcher
for the fourth consecutive year. Meijo University Prof. Sumio Iijima was
considered the strongest among the Japanese candidates for the prize. This
is because Iijima is known for his 1991 discovery of the carbon nanotube, an
ultrafine carbon material measuring several thousandths of a human hair in
diameter. Iijima's discovery sparked nanotechnology studies worldwide.
(The Daily Yomiuri)

Intern makes huge impact on nanotechnology. Rob Sobelman thought researching
the technique of creating carbon nanotubes would be boring. He ended up
making a major scientific discovery...For his part, Rob discovered that
heating to 1,000 degrees Celsius during the process of making carbon
nanotubes not only produced significantly more of them, but it also made
them longer and straighter - a major benefit in using the structures, such
as in computers and transistors. (The Advocate 11/27/03)

Seasons greetings,

Gina "Nanogirl" Miller
Nanotechnology Industries
Personal: http://www.nanogirl.com
Foresight Senior Associate http://www.foresight.org
Nanotechnology Advisor Extropy Institute  http://www.extropy.org
Tech-Aid Advisor http://www.tech-aid.info/t/all-about.html

"Nanotechnology: Solutions for the future."

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