X-Message-Number: 23970
From: "Gina Miller" <>
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Subject: The Nanogirl News~
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2004 22:49:17 -0700

The Nanogirl News
April 23, 2004

Eric Drexler (author of Engines of Creation and Nanosystems) has provided us 
with a website full of crucial nanotechnology information and images. 

Harnessing Nanotechnology. As field develops, scientists gather to take stock 
and look to the future. The field of nanotechnology is getting a lot of 
attention these days. Many scientists and policymakers are excited over the 
potential impact of this field on areas such as energy, public health, and the 
environment. But despite this bright future, it's the potentially harmful 
implications of the science as detailed by some media outlets and 
science-fiction literature that is garnering the interest of the general public.
Creating an environment that recognizes and addresses public concern, while 
encouraging continued research and development, is a key challenge facing the 
nascent field. That challenge was a major topic of discussion at a recent 
nanotechnology conference. Held in Washington, D.C., in early April, the 
meeting, called National Nanotechnology Initiative: From Vision to 
Commercialization, brought together approximately 400 scientists from academia, 
industry, and the government to assess the state of the field and discuss its 
future direction.  (C&E 4/21/04) http://pubs.acs.org/cen/nlw/8216gov1.html

Are Nanobots Fiction or Reality? (By Chris Phoenix of CNR). As far as we know, 
nanoscale machinery is possible, and we could see molecular manufacturing within
a decade. Nanotechnology is a diverse collection of fields. It promises many 
things that haven't been built yet, such as molecular electronic computers, new 
kinds of medicine, and nanobots. As far as we know, nanobots are quite 
possible-no more "fictional" than the others. However, nanobots are special for 
three reasons: They were the first kind of nanotech to be called 
"nanotechnology"; they can be used for general-purpose manufacturing, including 
building more manufacturing capability; and they're associated with scary ideas,
so a lot of nano bureaucrats like to claim they're impossible. (Betterhumans 


Nanoscale beads sniff tough-to-find toxins. A biosensor that uses nanoshells - 
nanoscale hollow beads - may provide the long-sought technology U.S. homeland 
security officials have sought to sense arbitrary biotoxins. Researchers at the 
University of Arizona have continued the pioneering work of a colleague to 
create the biosensors. Made from cell membrane material with embedded ion 
channels, the biosensors transduce fluorescence in the presence of nearly any 
agent, from biotoxins to proteins to other difficult-to-sense organics, even 
those inside a living cell. (EETimes 4/9/04)


Ultra-fast laser allows efficient, accessible nanoscale machining. Think of a 
microscopic milling machine, capable of cutting just about any material with 
better-than-laser precision, in 3-D---and at the nanometer scale. In a paper 
published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 
University of Michigan researchers explain how and why using a femtosecond 
pulsed laser enables extraordinarily precise nanomachining. The capabilities of 
the ultra-fast or ultra-short pulsed laser have significant implications for 
basic scientific research, and for practical applications in the nanotechnology 
industry. (Eurekalert 4/20/04) 

Carbon nanotubes break small record. Researchers from Meijo University in Japan 
and Research Centre J lich in Germany have made what they say is the smallest 
stable carbon nanotube. The tube, just 3 Angstroms in diameter, grew inside a 
multiwalled carbon nanotube during a hydrogen arc discharge process. 
(nanotechweb 4/20/04) http://nanotechweb.org/articles/news/3/4/10/1

Will nanotech save the world or is it mostly hype? While its benefits are still 
years away from reaching the public, scientists hope nanotechnology -- the 
manipulation of atoms as raw materials -- will eventually live up to the hype 
it's received for its potential to advance medicine, electronics and 
manufacturing. From helping diagnose diseases more accurately to keeping 
computers running more smoothly, the manipulation of atoms is a challenge with a
whole new set of rules. The scientists who work with these tiniest of raw 
materials see a world just as mesmerizing as those who study the farthest 
reaches of outer space. (CNN 4/21/04)

Carbon Nanofoam is the First Pure-Carbon Magnet. Discovered a few years ago, 
carbon nanofoam is the fifth known allotrope of carbon, the others being 
graphite, diamond, fullerene (e.g., C-60 molecules), and carbon nanotubes. The 
foam is, along with aerogel, one of the lightest known solid substances (with a 
density of ~2 mg/cm3). But at this week's APS March Meeting in Montreal, 
physicists announced an even more interesting property: though made entirely 
from carbon atoms that are normally considered nonmagnetic, the foam 
nevertheless can act like a ferromagnet. 

(Physics News Update 3/26/04) 

A buckyball toxicity study that spawned considerable debate inside and outside 
the nanotech industry last week has been published in an environmental journal. 
The journal Environmental Health Perspectives this week published Manufactured 
Nanomaterials Induce Oxidative Stress in Brain of Juvenile Largemouth Bass, 
written by Southern Methodist University environmental toxicology lecturer Eva 
Oberdorster. The peer-reviewed study, conducted by Oberdorster and her students,
is believed to be the first to show that uncoated fullerenes can cause brain 
damage in aquatic species. (SmallTimes 4/8/04) 

Friday Forward: A chat with futurist John Smart. Every Friday, I post a new 
E-mail chat with a forward-looking thinker about the road ahead. Today, our 
prescient Friday Forward prognosticator is John Smart, president of the 
Institute for Accelerating Change a nonprofit futurist community based in San 
Pedro, Calif., that conducts research and holds conferences on the future of 
technology and the accelerating pace of technological change. IAC's major 
conference in September, for instance, will explore the increasing connectivity 
of physical space, the increasing accuracy of simulation space, and the 
increasing intelligence of our physical-virtual and human-machine interfaces. 
Next News: What tech trends do you see developing over the next 10 to 25 years 
that the average person today has little awareness of? Smart: A surprising 
number of today's technologies, like most nanotechnology and biotechnology, will
be much less powerful in the next several decades than many futurists presently
realize. (USANews 4/23/04) 

Enzyme "Ink" Shows Potential For Nanomanufacturing. Experiment uses biomolecules
to write on a gold substrate. Duke University engineers have demonstrated that 
enzymes can be used to create nanoscale patterns on a gold surface. Since many 
enzymes are already commercially available and well characterized, the potential
for writing with enzyme "ink" represents an important advance in 
nanomanufacturing. This research was funded by the National Science Foundation 
through a Nanotechnology Interdisciplinary Research Initiative (NIRT) grant. 
(Innovations-report 4/23/04)


Nanosys, the reigning celebrity of the nanotechnology market, filed preliminary 
documents Thursday for an initial public offering with the Security and Exchange
Commission, in what will likely be a closely watched saga. Nanosys specializes 
in designing molecules that could conceivably lead to better solar panels, 
flexible screens or dense computer memory. (Cnet 4/23/04) 

Research and Markets: Nanotechnology and Government Strategies Worldwide. The 
Worldwide Nanotechnology Research and Development Investment has increased five 
times in the last five years and worldwide annual industrial production in the 
nanotech sectors is estimated to exceed $1 trillion in 10 - 15 years from now. 
Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com) has announced the 
addition of Nanotechnology and Government Strategies Worldwide to their 
offering. Link to the contents provided at the bottom. (tmcnet 4/23/04) 

Meet the Public Face of U.S. Nano; You'll be Seeing More of Him. When nano meets
the general public, it isn't always pretty. That's why Clayton Teague has both 
a tough and rewarding job ahead of him. As director of the National 
Nanotechnology Coordination Office, it's his job to handle "public outreach" for
the U.S. government's nanotechnology program. As the public becomes more aware 
of nanotechnology, Teague's job turns even more challenging. One day the 
general-interest media are hyping the wonders of nanotech, the next day it's 
denigrated as a polluter that preys on lab rats and fish. I spoke to Teague 
recently at the National Nanotechnology Initiative's annual conference in 
Washington, where nanotech's public image was very much on everybody's mind. 
Here's an edited excerpt from our discussion. (Smalltimes 4/23/04)

Getting Molecules To Do The Work. The era of nano-manufacturing is being born in
hundreds of labs that are racing to perfect a technique called self-assembly. 
If you just listen casually to a description of what Sandia National 
Laboratories has been working on, you would think it had wasted its time 
reinventing the wheel: It has developed a robot that can walk and pick up and 
deliver loads of cargo. In an age of advanced assembly and landings on Mars, 
that hardly sounds impressive -- except that Sandia's robot is a molecule. 
Called a motor protein, it has two little feet on one end and a tail that can 
grab things on the other. Once a special chemical is added to the solution in 
which it resides, the protein begins moving along strands of fiber that are 
one-fifth the width of a human hair, says Bruce Bunker, a Sandia researcher 
who's in charge of the project. (Business Week Online special report 4/22/04) 

First book on Nanophotonics. Like any emerging technology, nanophotonics -- the 
science behind light and matter interacting on the nanoscale -- is ripe for all 
kinds of claims ranging from the sublime to the far-fetched. So it is an 
opportune time for the publication of Nanophotonics (John Wiley & Sons, March 
2004), the first book to comprehensively cover nanophotonics, both as a 
fundamental phenomenon and as the origin of technologies and devices that will 
impact fields ranging from information technology to drug delivery. Authored by 
Paras N. Prasad, Ph.D., SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of 
Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University at Buffalo and 
executive director of UB's Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics, 
Nanophotonics is written so that it can be understood by established scientists 
and advanced undergraduates alike. (Azonano 4/22/04) 

(Comics & Nano) "Magnus, Robot Fighter" Fights his Way back into Comics. In the 
early 1960s, comic fans became enamored with the superheroic offerings made by 
DC Comics and Marvel Comics...The 1990s saw the return of Magnus when Valiant 
Comics, and later Acclaim Comics, offered up all news tale based on the 
character, but since then no new material has been published and those classic 
Russ Manning issues have remained out of print. Things are looking up for the 
hero, though. New robot-fighting tales are planned for Magnus as well as 
collections of the original Russ Manning issues...We intend to honor the Russ 
Manning vision of man and robot," said Preiss, "but to add layers of complexity 
that evolve from nanotechnology, Asimovian thought and the world of personal 
computing and artificial intelligence which did not exist when the character was
invented. Personally, I would like to get rid of the red shorts and the 'M' on 
the belt, but that is not decided. We certainly will update the costume. 
(Comicbookresources 4/20/04) 

Nano-refrigeration firm takes a Cool look at wafers. Cool Chips is starting to 
manufacture prototypes of a heat-removal system based on wafer-shaped 
electrodes. Cool Chips, a company that wants to bring refrigeration into the 
nanotechnology era, has opened a prototype manufacturing facility, a crucial 
step in the long road to commercial deployment. The Gibraltar-based company is 
promoting one of the more novel approaches to cooling industrial equipment and 
computer parts. Cool Chips takes two wafer-shaped electrodes and spaces them 
about 10 nanometres apart in a very thin sandwich. (ZDnet 4/23/04) 

A Rose By Any Other Name? Nanotechnology may be the next big thing, but the 
sweet smell of success is being used to promote nearly worthless stocks, charges
Asensio & Co. The New York City-based investment banking firm has asked New 
York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to investigate misuse of the nano 
label. Asensio charges that nanotechnology "has become a favorite, and 
successful, term among America's most fraudulent stock promoters." The firm has 
reason to want to stop such hype: It makes money by publishing critical reports 
on stocks that it believes are overvalued and "short selling" them-betting that 
they will drop in price. (C&Enews 4/19/04)

Pentagon official says nanotechnology a high priority. The U.S. military expects
advances in nanotechnology to impact every major weapons system and is spending
hundreds of millions of dollars annually on various research programs, a senior
military science adviser said Thursday at a meeting of nanotechnology 
specialists. "Nanotechnology is one of the highest priority science and 
technology programs in the Defense Department," said Clifford Lau, the senior 
science adviser in the Pentagon's office of basic research. Lau, who also serves
as president of the nanotechnology council at the engineering group IEEE, said 
research is being coordinated across the military branches, and plans are in 
place to transition the technology from basic research to deployment. (GovExec 
4/19/04) http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0404/041904td1.htm

China Sunday successfully sent into space Nano-satellite I, the first 
nanotechnology-based satellite ever developed by the country, Xinhua reports. 
The successful launch made China the world's fourth country capable of launching
nano-satellites after Russia, the US and Britain, Chinese space experts said. 
(India Kerala News 4/18/04) 

Spray-on electronics move closer to reality. If recent research projects bear 
fruit, it won't be too many years before magazines play videos and 
semiconductors roll out of inkjet printers. Workers at Xerox and TDA Research 
independently unveiled methods this week for making transistors out of plastic 
rather than silicon, in ways that could be commercially viable. Such a shift in 
materials could drastically reduce the cost of computer displays because 
chipmakers would not have to build multibillion dollar factories to make 
semiconductors to power these devices. Just as important, it could greatly 
expand the range of objects that connect to the Internet, because electronic 
connections would be handled by a thin film or moldable material, rather than 
rigid chips. A thin screen could be bound into a magazine, for instance, and 
connect wirelessly to a Web site, or plastic soda bottles could transmit signals
to inventory devices. (Cnet 4/19/04)

Nanotech's Chemotherapy Cure (Josh Wolfe). In the world of modern medicine there
are few more imprecise and drastic measures than chemotherapy as a treatment 
for cancer. In most cases the process involves poisoning a patient's system with
toxic chemicals in an effort to kill malignant cancer cells. Anyone who has 
personally suffered through chemo or seen a loved one suffer can attest to its 
destructive and debilitating side effects. Unfortunately, one of the causes of 
these severe side effects comes not from the anti-cancer drugs themselves, but 
from the solutions used to dissolve them. When a drug won't dissolve in water, 
another solvent is often used in its place; occasionally the side effects of the
solvent cause more discomfort than the cancer-killing agent. Scientific 
researchers working with nanoparticles, 1/100th the size of a red blood cell, 
may have discovered a solution to chemo's "solution" problem. (Forbes 4/15/04)

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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